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The Maine State House in Augusta, Maine, USA.

Governor Mills, U.S. Department of Energy Announce $10 Million Federal Grant to Support Energy Efficiency and Workforce Investments in Rural Maine

February 28, 2024

An Update from the State of Maine Office of Governor Janet T. Mills:

Grant through Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will support installation of 675 high-efficiency heat pump systems in mobile and manufactured homes to reduce energy costs for residents in rural areas

South Portland, MAINE – Governor Janet Mills today announced that the U.S. Department of Energy has awarded $10 million to the State of Maine to support the installation of high-efficiency heat pump systems in approximately 675 rural mobile and manufactured homes in Maine and expand workforce training for local installers to do the work.

This initiative, among the first of its kind in the country, is the result of a partnership among Efficiency Maine, the Governor’s Energy Office and MaineHousing focusing on the specific needs of residents in mobile and manufactured homes, who have been subject to high and volatile prices for heating fuels, especially kerosene, over the past two years.

This award follows a successful pilot program by Efficiency Maine to transition residents of mobile and manufactured homes to heat pumps, which helped homeowners lower their energy expenses, increase the comfort of their homes throughout the year, and curb greenhouse gas emissions. Maine is a national leader in heat pump adoption, with more than 115,000 newly installed since 2019.

Governor Mills announced the award at F.W. Webb in South Portland, a leading supplier of heat pumps, alongside U.S. Representative Chellie Pingree, representatives from the Governor’s Energy Office, Efficiency Maine, and MaineHousing, and others.

“Heat pumps are transforming the way Maine people heat and cool their homes,” said Governor Janet Mills. “Our nation-leading transition to heat pumps is creating good-paying jobs, curbing our reliance on expensive and harmful fossil fuels, and cutting costs for Maine families. With this new funding for a pioneering program, we will continue our effort to help folks across Maine, particularly those in rural Maine, stay comfortable and safe in their homes and save them money in the process. I thank the Biden Administration for this funding and for its support of our work to expand the use of heat pumps to lower energy costs, strengthen our economy, and protect our environment.”

“The Biden-Harris Administration is laser-focused on ensuring that every single American – regardless of where they live – can unlock the benefits that come with the clean energy transition. This project, selected for $10 million in federal funding, will help install more heat pumps in mobile and manufactured homes, making them healthier and reducing the costs of monthly energy bills for homeowners. This project highlights the importance of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, which is making investments in community solutions and meaningful progress on our clean energy goals,” **said DOE Under Secretary for Infrastructure David Crane. **

“The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s historic clean energy investments are helping build a brighter, cleaner, and more affordable future,” said Congresswoman Chellie Pingree, ranking member of the House Appropriations Interior and Environment Subcommittee. “Maine households rely on fuel oil more than anywhere else in the country, and with how volatile heating oil pricing is, making the switch to heat pumps means huge energy savings for households. Thanks to this significant investment for Efficiency Maine, hundreds of rural Maine communities will not only see lower energy costs but will be part of the clean energy revolution–helping fight climate change and achieving carbon neutrality in Maine by 2045.”

“Winters in Maine can be bitter cold, which is why heat pumps are an incredibly important, efficient, and affordable way to heat homes,” said Senator Angus King. “This $10 million grant awarded to Efficiency Maine, funded through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, will help conserve energy, reduce reliance on the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and deliver economic relief across Maine. Our state is already a leader in clean energy and this initiative will help continue to propel us forward. It’s a win-win for Maine families and the environment.”

“This funding from the U.S. DOE will lower energy costs and ensure comfort for rural Mainers who have in recent years been most vulnerable to issues of supply and price volatility for heating fuels,” said Senator Mark Lawrence and Representative Paige Zeigler, co-chairs of the Maine Legislature’s Joint Standing Committee on Energy, Utilities and Technology. “At the same time, these funds will also reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support clean energy jobs in Maine communities.”

“Our innovative pilot program has established that whole-home heat pump systems can be retrofitted into the existing ductwork of manufactured, also known as mobile, homes to deliver both cooling and heating, even in Maine’s very cold winters,”** said Michael Stoddard, Executive Director of the Efficiency Maine Trust.** “This grant will allow us to leverage that success for hundreds more homes in Maine’s smaller, rural communities and set the standard for the 65,000 households living in mobile or manufactured homes across the state.”

“Too many of Maine’s poorest households reside in older mobile homes heated with delivered fuels, many in the most rural parts of our state. They pay the most to heat their homes of anyone in the state,” said MaineHousing Director Daniel Brennan. “Replacing these homes’ heating systems with a more efficient whole-home heat pump will dramatically improve the quality of life for these homeowners, greatly reducing their energy burden and reducing the likelihood of frozen pipes and other destructive results of not having a safe and efficient heating system. We are grateful for Governor Mills’ leadership on energy issues, applaud Efficiency Maine for receiving this grant and thank DOE for this critical investment in our state.”

Today’s award for Maine’s “Whole-Home Heat Pump Solutions for Mobile/Manufactured Homes” initiative is part of $336 million awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy through President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for 17 projects across 20 states and 30 Tribal Nations and communities to support a variety of community-driven energy projects in rural and remote regions across the country.

Under this heat pump initiative, approximately 675 eligible residents of manufactured or mobile homes in Maine could have their existing heating systems retrofitted with ducted whole-home heat pump systems, a transition which could reduce their energy costs by an estimated 40 percent, based on current energy costs.

In addition to the installations, funding for the initiative will also support workforce training opportunities for heat pump installers on specific needs and challenges of updating heating systems in mobile and manufactured homes.

In July 2023, Governor Mills celebrated a historic climate milestone for Maine: the state surpassing its goal of installing 100,000 new heat pumps two years early. Governor Mills then set an ambitious new target of installing another 175,000 heat pumps in Maine by 2027, bringing the number of heat pumps installed in Maine homes, businesses, and public buildings during her time in office to 275,000.

Maine’s success in installing heat pumps has earned wide recognition for how the high-efficiency heating and cooling technology works well in rural areas with cold climates and can generate new economic and workforce opportunities for Maine people – and has contributed to Maine having the fastest growing clean energy economy in New England.

While overall reliance on heating fuels has decreased in recent years, Maine still remains the most heating fuel-dependent state in the nation with 56 percent of households reliant on delivered fuel as their primary heating source. Mobile and manufactured homes are often equipped with external fuel tanks, which are largely filled with kerosene, or K1 fuel, supplies of which have experienced significant constraints and historically high prices in the past two years.

Since taking office, Governor Mills has prioritized action against climate change in Maine through reducing carbon emissions, transitioning to renewable energy, and making Maine communities more resilient to climate effects.

In 2019, with bipartisan support of the Legislature, Governor Mills enacted laws setting ambitious targets for transitioning to renewable energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. These include reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Maine by 45 percent by 2030 and 80 percent by 2050 and transitioning Maine’s electricity use to 80 percent renewable energy by 2030.

In 2023, Governor Mills committed to accelerate Maine’s transition to using 100 percent clean energy to 2040, a move that would ensure the expansion of climate-friendly technologies in Maine – such as heat pumps – are powered by clean electricity. In 2019, Governor Mills also pledged Maine will become carbon-neutral by 2045, a commitment which she signed into law in 2022.

Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

To date, over $2.1 billion from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) has been awarded to more than 300 specific projects in Maine. Recent awards include:

  • $27.7 million to reconstruct two sections of Route 1 near Frenchville;
  • $15 million to fund EV charging infrastructure in more than 70 communities statewide; and
  • $1.3 million to fund the creation of comprehensive transportation safety plans in three communities.

In April 2022, Governor Mills signed an executive order directing her Administration to coordinate BIL implementation among the State, cities, towns, tribal governments, and other entities in Maine to maximize opportunities for Maine.

To see BIL projects across Maine, please visit

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