What Are The Rebates For Maine Energy 2023?

Energy costs in Maine have fluctuated over the years but remain high compared to other states. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average retail electricity price in Maine was 17.44 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) in 2022, ranking it the 9th highest in the nation.1 However, rates are expected to decrease in 2023. The standard offer supply rate for Central Maine Power customers will drop 35% to 10.8 cents/kWh from 16.6 cents/kWh.2 This brief overview will examine the various rebates and incentives available to Maine residents and businesses to help manage energy costs in 2023.

Efficiency Maine Rebates

Efficiency Maine is a statewide program that offers financial incentives to help Maine homeowners improve energy efficiency in their homes. The program provides rebates, discounts, and loans to upgrade heating systems, weatherize homes, install efficient appliances and lighting, and much more (https://www.efficiencymaine.com/at-home/).

Efficiency Maine rebates aim to help Maine residents manage energy costs, increase home comfort, and reduce environmental impact. The program strives to provide quality services that are simple and streamlined for Maine homeowners (https://www.efficiencymaine.com/at-home/).

Some highlights of Efficiency Maine home rebates and incentives:

  • Up to $750 rebate for ductless heat pumps
  • Up to $4,000 rebate for efficient central heating systems
  • Discounts on energy audits and weatherization
  • Rebates for appliances, lighting, water heaters, and more

Heating System Rebates

Efficiency Maine offers several rebates for upgrading your home’s heating system to more energy efficient options like heat pumps, natural gas, and advanced wood/pellet stoves.

rebates for upgrading heating systems

For heat pumps, Efficiency Maine provides rebates up to $1,000 for air source heat pumps and up to $1,500 for cold climate ductless heat pumps. There are additional rebates available if you install an integrated control that allows the heat pump to communicate with the power grid during peak demand times (https://www.efficiencymaine.com/at-home/heating-cooling/heat-pumps/).

If you switch from oil to natural gas for heating, Efficiency Maine offers a $750 rebate. This applies for both new construction and conversions in existing homes (https://www.efficiencymaine.com/at-home/heating-cooling/natural-gas-conversions/).

For advanced wood and pellet heating systems, there are rebates up to $6,000 available. This includes new high-efficiency wood or pellet boilers and furnaces to replace oil or propane heating systems. Rebate amounts are higher if you live in a low-income household (https://www.efficiencymaine.com/at-home/heating-cooling/wood-and-pellet-heating/).

Weatherization Rebates

Efficiency Maine offers rebates for weatherization projects that improve the energy efficiency of your home. Some of the key rebates for 2023 include:

Insulation Rebates: Efficiency Maine provides rebates for installing insulation in your attic, floors, walls or basement. Rebates range from 50-80% of project costs up to $8,000 depending on your income level. Focus areas include air sealing to reduce drafts before insulating. See https://www.efficiencymaine.com/at-home/insulation/ for details.

Efficient Window Rebates: Rebates are available for replacing old, inefficient windows with new energy efficient models. Efficiency Maine provides $1-$4 per square foot for window projects. See http://www.maine.gov/jobsplan/program/energy-efficiency-and-weatherization-homeowners-small-businesses-and-local-governments for details.

Air Sealing Rebates: Rebates are offered to seal air leaks and reduce drafts before insulating. Typical projects seal attics, basements, windows, doors, electrical outlets, etc. Rebates range from 50-80% of project costs up to $2,000 depending on income level. See https://www.efficiencymaine.com/at-home/insulation-rebates-after-7-31-2023/ for details.

Appliance Rebates

Efficiency Maine provides rebates for Maine residents who purchase energy efficient appliances for their home to promote sustainable energy use and cost savings. Some of the rebates available in 2023 include:

– Clothes washers: $50 rebate for ENERGY STAR certified models that use at least 20% less energy and 30% less water.

– Refrigerators: $75 for models that are 20% more efficient than federal standards.

– Dehumidifiers: $25 for ENERGY STAR certified models.

– Heat pump water heaters: up to $1,000 for efficient models that replace electric water heaters.

Efficiency Maine also offers additional rebates for low-income households and older appliances that are replaced with high-efficiency models. All appliances must meet program requirements to qualify for rebates.

Maine residents can apply for the rebates online or by submitting a paper application along with proof of purchase. The rebates help offset the higher upfront costs of energy efficient appliances and provide long-term energy savings for Maine homeowners and renters.

Electric Vehicle Rebates

Maine offers several rebates for electric vehicles through Efficiency Maine and the state government. Efficiency Maine provides rebates of $1,500 for new all-electric vehicles and $1,000 for plug-in hybrids purchased or leased by Maine residents.

The state of Maine also offers rebates through the Maine Clean Vehicle Program of $500 – $7,500 for new qualifying electric vehicles, depending on income level. To qualify, vehicles must be registered in Maine and meet certain electric range requirements.

These rebates can significantly lower the upfront costs of purchasing or leasing an EV for Maine residents. However, rebate amounts and requirements can change annually, so be sure to check current program details.

Solar Panel Rebates

Maine offers several incentives for residents to install solar panels, making solar energy more affordable. The state has seen significant growth in solar adoption in recent years due to these financial incentives. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, Maine has increased its solar capacity over 5,000% since 2015.

One of the main solar incentives in Maine is the federal solar tax credit, which allows homeowners to deduct 26% of installation costs from their federal taxes through 2032. Many Maine utilities also offer rebates and performance-based incentives for solar installation.

For example, Efficiency Maine offers a rebate up to $2,000 for installing a new solar array. They also provide loans with interest rates as low as 2.99% for solar projects. Additionally, many Maine towns provide property tax exemptions for the added value solar provides.

Net metering is another important incentive, as it allows solar customers to get credit for excess electricity sent back to the grid. Maine also has strong interconnection rules and no aggregate capacity limit for net metering systems.

By taking advantage of these financial incentives, Maine homeowners can offset upfront costs and maximize their long-term solar savings. The incentives have made solar power highly popular and more affordable in the state.

Smart Thermostat Rebates

Efficiency Maine offers rebates to customers of Central Maine Power and Bangor Hydro for installing eligible smart thermostats in their homes. The rebate amount is up to $100 for a WiFi or cloud-based smart thermostat that connects to the internet and allows remote access and temperature adjustment. Customers can receive up to $200 for an advanced smart thermostat if they participate in Efficiency Maine’s peak saver program, which allows brief adjustments to the thermostat during times of high energy demand.

To qualify for the rebate, the smart thermostat must be ENERGY STAR certified and professionally installed by a licensed technician. The installation needs to take place in an existing home that has not received a smart thermostat rebate from Efficiency Maine in the past. After installation, customers can submit the rebate application along with a copy of the paid invoice to Efficiency Maine.

Tax Credits

There are federal and state tax credits available for Maine residents who make energy efficiency improvements or install renewable energy systems in their homes. The federal Residential Energy Efficient Property Credit allows taxpayers to claim a credit of 26% of the cost of eligible improvements like adding insulation, energy-efficient exterior windows and doors, and certain high-efficiency heating and air conditioning systems. The credit has a lifetime limit of $500. More details can be found at this Department of Energy website.

Maine also offers some state tax credits, including a credit up to $2,000 for the cost of a high-efficiency central heating system or $1,500 for an energy efficient heat pump. Details on eligibility and amounts can be found on the Efficiency Maine website. When claiming these credits on a Maine state tax return, federal credits for the same improvements must be subtracted from the amount claimed.

Additional Resources

There are several resources that can help Mainers find and apply for energy rebates and assistance programs:

The Efficiency Maine Rebate Finder allows you to search for available rebates based on your home type and energy upgrade goals.

The Maine State Housing Authority offers energy assistance programs for income-eligible households to help pay energy bills and weatherization costs.

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) provides federally funded heating and cooling assistance for low-income families.

Local Community Action Agencies across Maine can also provide information on accessing energy rebates and financial assistance. The Maine State Housing Authority website has a locator tool to find agencies by county.

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