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Maine Efficiency Program Can Save Businesses up to 30% on Lighting Costs

Businesses in Maine can apply for a rebate under Efficiency Maine’s Prescriptive Incentives program for their energy-efficient retrofits, which in some cases have saved businesses up to 30 percent per month in electricity costs, reports Seacoastonline.com.

Case-in-point: Dan Corcoran, owner of Jackson’s True Value Hardware and Marine says more than one half the cost of installing its energy-efficient lighting was paid for by the Maine Public Utilities Commission under its Efficiency Maine program, and electricity costs have been cut by about 30 percent per month.

The program covers lighting, HVAC equipment, motors and motor drives, commercial refrigeration and agricultural equipment. Businesses can apply for up to $300,000 in incentives in a single calendar year.

In 2009, Efficiency Maine helped complete nearly a thousand commercial projects that will save nearly $50 million a year in electric bills.

As an example, a project at Pineland Farms in New Gloucester, which retrofitted over 200 street lighting fixtures with Osram Sylvania LEDs, is expected to save the college $30,000 annually in energy costs.

Michael Stoddard, executive director of Efficiency Maine, said in the article that 60 percent of Efficiency Maine’s $13 million annual budget is used for business programs and 40 percent for residential programs. The program is funded by a “modest surcharge” added to customers’ electric bills.

Efficiency Maine is proposing an increase to $21 million for the upcoming fiscal year.

In addition, Corcoran told Seacoastonline.com that his business has reduced its carbon footprint by more than 18,000 pounds per year, while reducing sulfur oxide, nitrogen oxide and mercury contamination and avoiding more than four tons of coal from being burned each year, according to information supplied to him by Efficiency Maine.

Other efficiency programs Maine businesses may apply for under the Efficiency Maine program include a free energy audit for small businesses, and a Custom Incentive program that is offered for larger new and retrofit projects that could benefit from custom equipment. The incentive may be up to 75 percent of the incremental cost of high-efficiency equipment over standard equipment.

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