Can I do the installation myself?
No, businesses must select a participating contractor.
My contractor is not listed, can I use my own contractor?
We would be happy to reach out to them to see if they would like to participate. If they are not interested, we will follow up with you to discuss which participating contractor you would be willing to use instead.
How does Efficiency Maine choose contactors?
Efficiency Maine works with hundreds of contractors (Qualified Partners) across the state. A subset of interested local Qualified Partners work on installations for this program.
Why do you need my electric bill?
We use the bill to verify that your business has a “Small General Service” (SGS) or “General Service” (GS) electric account.
Yes, I am interested (and eligible). What are the next steps?
We will assign your business to one of our participating contractors. They will reach out to you, usually within two weeks, to set up a time for the lighting assessment. After the assessment is completed, you will receive a proposed scope of work that includes the estimated energy savings and project costs. If you would like to move forward with the lighting upgrade, you will need to accept the program’s terms & scope of work and then coordinate with the contractor to schedule the project installation.
How and when do I pay for my share of the project?
Payment agreements are made between the contractor and the customer.
Is there any obligation to proceed with work if I have a lighting assessment?
No, the lighting assessment is free with no obligation to complete a project. If you would like to move forward after the assessment has been completed and the lighting project has been developed, you will be asked to sign a scope of work.
How do you calculate my energy savings?
We use an energy assessment tool that performs a cost-benefit analysis. The analysis considers your old fixtures/lamps, the proposed new fixtures/lamps, and how often your lights are in use.
How much money will I be paying out of pocket?
For a lighting project, typical out-of-pocket expense for a business owner is between 15 to 25 percent of the total project cost. These expenses will be offset by the ongoing savings from your energy efficiency upgrade.
How long will my project take?
Every project is different, but most installations can be completed within three to six weeks once a lighting assessment has been completed and you have accepted the scope of work.
How many businesses have you worked with in Maine?
Efficiency Maine has helped thousands of businesses save on energy costs. We have programs tailored to the needs of all commercial, industrial, and residential customers in Maine.
How long has the program been around?
Efficiency Maine has been offering this initiative since 2013. Since then we have completed hundreds of projects throughout the state, from Aroostook to York county.
Where do the lighting products come from?
Efficiency Maine works with local distributors to obtain the products at a competitive cost.
What happens to the old lights and fixtures?
They are responsibly disposed of by our contractors.
What types of lights are offered through SBI?
The Small Business Initiative provides incentives for both interior and exterior LED retrofit kits, new LED high/low bay fixtures, LED linear luminaire replacements, screw-in LED bulbs, recessed/surface/pendant-mounted LED downlights, exterior wall packs, and pole lights to name some of the most common measures. However, if you have questions about what will be installed at your facility, we suggest asking the contractor when they perform your free lighting assessment.
Heat Pumps for Small Businesses
Where do the heat pumps (products) come from?
Qualified Partner installers obtain heat pump products from local distributors throughout Maine.
What should I do with my old heating system?
Your former heating system can remain installed and can be used as a back-up or supplemental source of heat for your business.
Will a heat pump increase my electric bill?
Unless you use electric resistance heat for your business, a heat pump will increase your electric bill. However, if your current heating system runs on oil or propane, the savings from burning less oil or propane will exceed the increased cost of electricity. When a heat pump is used for cooling instead of a window air conditioner, it will decrease your electric bill.
Do heat pumps produce enough heat for an entire business?
It depends on the building, heat pump, number of indoor units and outdoor temperature. If you’re looking for a whole-building solution, be sure to let your installer know. A growing number of homes and businesses in Maine are designed to heat and cool entirely with heat pumps.
Small Business Energy Loans
Can I get a loan to help finance upgrades to my small business?
Financing is available from $2,000 to $10,000 at 4.99% APR for heat pumps and lighting upgrades (lighting projects must be paired with a heat pump to be eligible for financing).
Do I need a certain credit score to apply for financing?
A Creditsafe Credit Score of at least 43 is needed to apply, or a business may provide a personal guarantee, proof of operations for more than 24 months and a current electric bill payment with no past-due balance.
Can any small business receive a loan through Efficiency Maine?
Small businesses that are interested in installing a heat pump system may qualify for a small business loan.
Can my business finance a lighting retrofit?
A qualifying small business may finance a lighting retrofit provided a qualifying heat pump retrofit project is financed.
How much do I qualify to borrow?
To find out how much you qualify to borrow, you can apply for the max of $10,000. If you qualify for less, we’ll contact you and let you know how much you do qualify for.
Can I prepay my loan?
Yes. You can prepay any amount at any time without penalty. If you prepay part of the loan, your monthly payment will remain the same, but you won’t need to make as many payments.
Who receives the loan proceeds the business owner, or the contractor?
The loan amount is electronically sent to the contractor when the project scope of work is completed, and the customer acknowledge the work is completed and accepted.