Rep. Cheryl Golek, D-Harpswell, presented L.D. 815, “An Act to Provide Energy Efficiency Program Outreach and Assistance to Manufactured Housing Residents,” before the Legislature’s Labor and Housing Committee on Tuesday.

The bill would require Efficiency Maine and the Maine State Housing Authority to develop an education program and conduct outreach to residents of manufactured housing to increase the awareness of the energy efficiency programs available to residents. Additionally, the proposal would establish a program to provide financial assistance to qualifying individuals to purchase and install high-efficiency heat pump systems and weatherization products and services.

“This bill will help Mainers who own manufactured homes make much-needed weatherization updates, which will reduce their energy bills and lower their costs in the long run,” Golek said. “Improving education and outreach programs will be critical to raising awareness about the resources that are available to Mainers. This measure will help families reduce their energy costs and move our state closer to meeting our clean-energy goals.”

The cost of heating oil in Maine has increased significantly over the last several years. According to the Governor’s Energy Office, the statewide cost of heating oil was $3.95 a gallon as of March 13, up from $2.55 a gallon in May 2021.

The Legislature’s Labor and Housing Committee will hold a work session on the bill in the coming weeks.

Golek, a member of the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee and the Joint Select Committee on Housing, is serving her first term in the Maine House and represents Harpswell and part of Brunswick.

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