(Maine) Efficiency Maine Renewable Energy Program

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Efficiency Maine is accepting rebate reservations at this time for all technologies eligible under the program, including wind, solar photovoltaics, and solar thermal.

All rebates are calculated based on estimated annual energy production in kilowatt hours (kWh). The rebate is $500 per 1000 kWh estimated annual production. The maximum rebates for all technologies are $2000 for residential systems and $4000 for commercial systems.

History

In June 2005, Maine enacted legislation (L.D. 1586) creating a rebate program for photovoltaic (PV) systems and solar-thermal systems installed at homes or businesses. Legislation enacted in April 2008 (L.D. 2283) extended the program to grid-tied wind-energy systems installed after January 1, 2009. The Maine Public Utilities Commission (PUC) developed rules to implement the program. Rebates for PV and solar-thermal installations were unavailable for 2009. However, the governor signed legislation (L.D. 220) in early May 2009 directing the Maine Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to utilize funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to increase this rebate program by $500,000 per fiscal years 2009-10 and 2010-11. This legislation also required the PUC to amend the rules in order to create performance standards for solar and wind energy systems and to require applicants to calculate a simple payback period as part of the application process. In September 2009, Maine passed a large energy bill called the “Act Regarding Maine’s Energy Future” (H.P. 1038). This legislation transfers all of the funding and programs over to the Efficiency Maine Trust. Legislation enacted in June 2011 (HB 568) fixes a legislative glitch with the rebate program (a result of the Act Regarding Maine’s Energy Future, the program was allowed to sunset on December 31, 2010) and directs Efficiency Maine to establish new rules for the rebate program, which it did in November 2011 as part of its Renewable Resource Fund Regulations.

The rebate program has been historically funded by an assessment on the state’s transmission and distribution utilities. A total of $500,000 in funding has been available for rebates annually. Of this sum, the Public Utilities Commission had allocated traditionally 60% to rebates for solar-thermal systems, 20% to rebates for PV systems, and 20% to rebates for wind-energy systems. During fiscal years 2010 and 2011, this rebate program was increased by $500,000 per year with money allocated from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Funding for FY2012 of approximately $1,000,000 was approved in September 2011 and the traditional allocations are no longer applicable. (See the 2011 Efficiency Maine Annual Report for more information.)

Program Overview:
State: Maine
Incentive Type: State Rebate Program
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies: Solar Water Heat, Solar Space Heat, Photovoltaics, Wind
Applicable Sectors: Commercial, Industrial, Residential, Nonprofit, Schools, Local Government, State Government, Fed. Government, Agricultural, Institutional
Amount: $500/1000 kWh est annual production
Maximum Incentive: Residential: $2000
Commercial: $4000
Eligible System Size: Not specified.
Equipment Requirements: Not specified.
Installation Requirements: All installers must be listed on Efficiency Maine Website as a certified Renewable Energy Installer. PV installers must be a Master Electrician’s and be NABCEP certified or working with someone who is NABCEP certified. Solar thermal water systems installers must be certified by the PUC and must hold a state license as a Master Plumber, a Master Oil Burner Technician, or a Propane and Natural Gas Technician, or who is U.S. EPA-approved as a Type II, Type III or Universal HVAC Technician. Solar-thermal systems that heat potable water must be installed under the auspices of a Master Plumber. Wind energy systems must be grid-tied and installed by a factory trained and approved dealer for the system and working under the supervision of a Master Electrician.
Ownership of Renewable Energy Credits: Efficiency Maine
Funding Source: State: Assessment on utilities of up to 0.005 cents/kWh
ARRA Funded: Years 2009-10 and 2010-11
Program Budget: $1,000,000
Start Date: 07/01/2005
Web Site: http://www.efficiencymaine.com/renewable-energy
Authority 1: 35-A MRSA § 3210
Authority 2:
Date Enacted:
Efficiency Maine Rules Chapter 103
11-13-2011
Contact:

Dana Fischer
Efficiency Maine
151 Capitol Street
Suite 1
Augusta, ME 04330
Phone: (866) 376-2463
Web Site: http://www.efficiencymaine.com

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