Sen. Sanborn bill to help Maine reach its energy efficiency goals signed into law

Posted: June 14, 2021 | Energy, Utilities and Technology, Senator Heather Sanborn

AUGUSTA – On Thursday, June 10, a bill from Sen. Heather Sanborn, D-Portland, was signed into law by Gov. Janet Mills. The bill, LD 340, “An Act To Allow for the Establishment of Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy Programs,” will allow a municipality to opt-in to the Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy Program, also known as C-PACE.

“In order for Maine to reach its efficiency goals and tackle the climate crisis, we need to help business owners and landlords upgrade to more efficient energy systems,” said Sen. Sanborn. “The C-PACE program will help us realize new energy efficiency projects across our state, by eliminating upfront costs and spreading out the cost of an upgrade over its useful life. I thank Gov. Mills for signing this important bill into law.”

C-PACE is a public-private partnership, currently implemented in 24 states, that breaks down many of the barriers that can get in the way of efficient and renewable energy upgrades. The financing is tied to the useful life of the energy savings improvement, typically 15-30 years, which makes upgrades worth it for businesses and property owners. In addition, the unique financing structure allows the costs of the improvements and the energy efficiency savings to be shared more easily between landlord and tenant.

C-PACE also provides the needed security for these financing options. A commercial property owner can place a special assessment on their property to finance energy savings improvements, and if unpaid, the assessment becomes a lien against the property, similar to a property tax lien, enforceable through foreclosure by the municipality.

LD 340 will take effect 90 days after the Legislature adjourns sine die.