Maine energy reform bill could lower electricity costs
Maine took a major step toward increasing energy efficiency and lowering statewide electricity costs after a legislative panel voted 12-1 last month to advance a comprehensive energy reform bill.
The bill represents a compromise of nine different energy bills proposed by both Democratic and Republican lawmakers, according to the Portland Press Herald. Maine currently has a renewable portfolio standard of 40 percent by 2017.
The bill identifies Maine's electric bills as the 12th highest in the United States. The Natural Resources Committee of Maine estimated that the bill could lower electric bills by $100 to $200 million per year after implementation, including $30 million in immediate rate relief. Cost reductions would come from streamlining natural gas and hydroelectric development in the state.
Governor Paul LePage has said he would not support the bill unless it included beefed-up wind industry regulation. He is also pushing to remove a 100 MW cap included in the current RPS, reports the Bangor Daily News.
The bill must now pass both the House and the Senate.