An electric vehicle charging station in Bath. Courtesy photo/Efficiency Maine

South Portland’s rebate program for electric consumer goods, “Electrify Everything!” is being expanded. The city’s sustainability office launched the program on Sept. 1, 2022. The program offers rebates for the purchase of electric vehicles, electric lawn care equipment, e-bikes, heating and cooling systems, and home weatherization. So far, the city has given out $100,000 and $150,000 remains. The program is funded by the American Rescue Plan Act.

The program is for residents of South Portland with a household income up to 100 percent of area median income. With South Portland’s goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050, rebates are being increased for electric bikes, e-cargo bikes, and lawn mowers. Rebates have also been added for string trimmers. Requirements for the purchase of battery electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles has been relaxed, with used and out-of-state electric vehicles now qualifying.

According to officials, the electric market is growing, with many South Portland residents installing heat pumps, driving electric vehicles, and more, for both economic and environmental reasons.

The updates to “Electrify Everything!” include:

Eliminate the requirement that Battery Electric Vehicle and Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle be purchased new and allow for purchase outside of the state of Maine.

Increase the rebate for an electric bike (e-bike) from $300 to $500.


Increase the rebate for an electric cargo bike (e-cargo bike) from $500 to $800.

Increase the rebate for an electric lawn mower from $100 to $300.

Add electric string trimmer rebate of $50.

According to the sustainability department, 32 percent of South Portland’s greenhouse gas emissions are from transportation, with another 19 percent from residential buildings. Electric equipment is much more efficient than equipment using fossil fuels. One example is air-based heat pump systems, which are over 100 percent more efficient than traditional combustion-based systems, and they have cooling functions. Electric vehicles cost 50 percent less per mile to charge than a gasoline car and do not require much maintenance.

Programs such as “Electrify Everything!” and home energy loans from Efficiency Maine are intended to aid low and moderate income residents get past the upfront cost, opening the door for saving more money and reducing emissions.

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