Enacted on August 16, 2022, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) significantly expands federal tax credits and provides funding for rebates to encourage homeowners and businesses to increase their energy efficiency and shift to qualifying electric appliances and vehicles. The IRA’s incentives for home efficiency upgrades fall in two general categories: tax credits and rebates. Updates to tax credits are in effect now and are described at the bottom of this page. We do not expect IRA funding for rebates, on the other hand, to be available before late 2023. The federal government is still in the process of developing program requirements for states, which include restrictions limiting eligibility for certain rebates to low- and moderate-income customers. This federal guidance will inform our ongoing planning for the rollout of these rebates in late 2023 or in 2024. When they do become available in Maine, we look forward to administering them and will update our website at that time.
Click here for a summary of Efficiency Maine’s programs as they relate to the Inflation Reduction Act as of May 2023.
Click here for a summary of H.R. 5376 as of 10-20-2022.
In January 2021, the U.S. Congress enacted the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), a federal stimulus bill to aid, among other things, economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The plan included funding for state governments through the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF). Approximately $1 billion of the SLFRF was allocated to the State of Maine to respond to the pandemic and support economic recovery.
In May 2021, Governor Mills put forth a proposal – the Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan (MJRP) – outlining her administration’s priorities for using these funds. The Maine Legislature approved the plan in July 2021, enacting LD 1733, An Act To Provide Allocations for the Distribution of State Fiscal Recovery Funds.
The MJRP allocated $50 million to the Efficiency Maine Trust (Efficiency Maine) to accelerate weatherization upgrades for low- and moderate-income residents, and to expand energy efficiency investment among local governments, schools, community organizations, and businesses. The MJRP also allocated $8 million to the Maine Department of Transportation to expand state, municipal, and other publicly accessible electric vehicle (EV) charging stations and related infrastructure in partnership with Efficiency Maine.
In collaboration with other agencies and offices of state government, Efficiency Maine prepared a series of five initiatives that incorporate both the goals of the MJRP and the federal guidelines for uses for the SLFRF. These initiatives, each designed to assist different customer segments of the Maine economy, are listed below with links to further information about the available incentive offerings and guidance on how to participate. Efficiency Maine will post updates about future offerings on this webpage.
All ARPA funds must be committed by December 31, 2024, and expended by Dec. 31, 2026.
In November 2021, the U.S. Congress enacted the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) — also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) — to support a broad range of infrastructure needs. In addition to investments in highways, transit, broadband, clean water, and electric grid renewal, the bill provides $7.5 billion to build a national network of EV chargers through the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) program. Maine will receive approximately $19 million of these funds and will have the opportunity to apply for additional grant funding to expand EV charging.
Efficiency Maine, MaineDOT, the Governor’s Energy Office, and other state agencies, with input from stakeholders, developed a Plan for Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Deployment (PEVID) outlining how the state plans to use NEVI and other funding sources to expand public EV charging over the next five years. The plan is available for download here.
Efficiency Maine has been contracted by MaineDOT and the Governor’s Energy Office to administer NEVI funds for EV charging. As NEVI-funded grant opportunities for EV chargers become available, Efficiency Maine will post relevant information below and on its Opportunities page.