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Incentives/Policies for Renewables & Efficiency

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Efficiency Maine Trust   

Last DSIRE Review: 06/11/2013
Program Overview:
State: Maine
Incentive Type: Public Benefits Fund
Eligible Efficiency Technologies: Unspecified Technologies
Applicable Sectors: Commercial, Industrial, Residential, Nonprofit, Schools, Local Government, State Government, Agricultural, Institutional
Types:Energy efficiency
Total Fund:~$83 million collected through FY2012
Charge:1.45 mills/kWh
Web Site:
Authority 1:
Date Enacted:
Date Effective:
35-A M.R.S. ยง10101 et seq.
Authority 2:
Date Enacted:
Date Effective:
CMR 65-407-380
10/1/1999 (subsequently amended)

Maine's public benefits fund for energy efficiency was authorized originally in 1997 by the state's electric-industry restructuring legislation. Under the initial arrangement, the administration of certain efficiency programs was divided among the State Planning Office (SPO), the state's electric utilities and the Maine Public Utilities Commission (PUC). However, general dissatisfaction by the Maine Legislature (and many other stakeholders) with the administration of the fund prompted revisions in 2002. As a result of the 2002 legislative amendments, the authority to develop energy-efficiency programs was effectively transferred from the SPO to the PUC, and the authority to implement these programs was transferred from the state's electric utilities to the PUC.

Most recently, the Act Regarding Maine's Energy Future (Public Law 372, June 2009) established a new entity, the Efficiency Maine Trust, which became responsible for Maine's energy efficiency and renewable energy programs. All of the funds in Efficiency Maine were transferred to Efficiency Maine Trust July 1, 2010.* Public Law 637 of 2012 provided additional budget oversight to the Legislature, requiring Efficiency Maine Trust to provide reports to the Legislature twice per year on the status of the fund's budget and programs. 

By statute, at least 20% of funds must support energy programs for low-income residents, and at least 20% of funds must support energy programs for small business customers. The PUC assesses utilities to collect funds for energy programs and administrative costs. The fixed amount of the assessment is 0.145 cents per kilowatt-hour (1.45 mills/kWh).

There is no expiration date for the fund. In general, Efficiency Maine supports improvements in lighting efficiency, reductions in peak demand, high-performance buildings, appliance replacements for low-income residents, energy training and certification, and public education.  The fund collected approximately $12.4 million in FY2010, approximately $12.9 million in FY2011, and $13.2 million in FY2012 from assessments on the utilities. In addition, Efficiency Maine Trust manages money from the Regional Green House Gas Initiative and grants, such as those received from the Federal government's American Recovery Reinvestment Act (ARRA) in 2010. In FY2012, the fund collected approximately $34 M from all sources.

The Efficiency Maine Annual Reports includes additional details on the fund and the types of projects funded.

*In addition, Public Law 655 (2010) mandates that state revenue generated from energy corridor development on state-owned land would be deposited to the Efficiency Maine Trust (80%) and a new Transportation Efficiency Fund (20%).


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Disclaimer: The information presented on the DSIRE web site provides an unofficial overview of financial incentives and other policies. It does not constitute professional tax advice or other professional financial guidance, and it should not be used as the only source of information when making purchasing decisions, investment decisions or tax decisions, or when executing other binding agreements. Please refer to the individual contact provided below each summary to verify that a specific financial incentive or other policy applies to your project.

While the DSIRE staff strives to provide the best information possible, the DSIRE staff, the N.C. Solar Center, N.C. State University and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. make no representations or warranties, either express or implied, concerning the accuracy, completeness, reliability or suitability of the information. The DSIRE staff, the N.C. Solar Center, N.C. State University and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. disclaim all liability of any kind arising out of your use or misuse of the information contained or referenced on DSIRE Web pages.

Copyright 2014 - 2015 North Carolina State University, under NREL Subcontract No. XEU-0-99515-01. Permission granted only for personal or educational use, or for use by or on behalf of the U.S. government. North Carolina State University prohibits the unauthorized display, reproduction, sale, and/or distribution of all or portions of the content of the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE) without prior, written consent.