Governor Janet Mills announced the $10 million grant for heat pumps for mobile and manufactured homes. Rebecca Richard photo

SOUTH PORTLAND – Governor Janet Mills announced Tuesday, Feb. 26, that Maine has been awarded a $10 million grant from the Biden administration to fund whole-home heat pump solutions for mobile and manufactured homes.

Speaking at F.W. Webb on Postal Service Way in South Portland, Mills emphasized the need to address the high and volatile energy costs that have burdened both residents and businesses in the state.

The Biden administration’s $10 million grant is part of its mission of expediting the adoption of clean energy in rural and isolated areas nationwide. Maine’s initiative, chosen among 17 community-led energy projects, seeks to reduce energy expenses for families while propelling the state toward its clean energy objectives.

“I am pleased to announce today that Maine has been awarded another significant federal grant to help us achieve our newest goal,” Mills said. “Along with the Efficiency Maine Trust and Maine State Housing Authority, our energy office and the office of policy and innovation in the future applied for a grant from the energy improvements in rural areas. Energy improvement in rural or remote areas.

Mills said that heat pumps are affordable heating and cooling appliances. “They work well in cold climates,” she said. “They are heat pumps.”

Mills said Maine has reduced its independence on fossil fuel by 10% since she took office. She said 56% of Maine homeowners still rely on oil for home heat. By comparison, just 4% of homeowners nationwide rely on oil for home heat.


“To reduce our dependency on fossil fuels and to support energy efficiency and jobs, I set a goal several years ago of installing 100,000 heat pumps in 2025,” Mills said. “Well, guess what? We have already met that goal.

“Today I am proud to announce that Maine will receive $10 million through that program, to fund whole-home heat pump solutions for mobile and manufactured homes. With this new funding, Maine will be installing heat pumps in approximately 675 mobile and manufactured homes in rural areas in our state. Heating costs are a top concern for folks who live in those homes.”

Mills acknowledged the contribution of distributors like F.W. Webb and the 500 certified installers trained in recent years, which enabled Maine to achieve its goal two years ahead of schedule.

“Thanks to the Biden administration for providing the significant federal funding that we use to offer rebates to consumers to make the switch to heat pumps,” Mills said. The governor then announced a new goal of installing an additional 175,000 heat pumps in Maine in the coming years.

Mills talked about Kathy Hezleton, a Freeport resident, as an example of someone who succeeded in transitioning to heat pumps. According to Mills, Hezleton, a retiree who lives in a mobile home park, said she was hesitant to try out a heat pump during the pilot project last year because she heard they didn’t do so well in winter. Mills said Hezelton completely changed her mind after heat pumps made her home warmer in the winter, and less expensive to heat.

U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, ranking member of the House Appropriations Interior and Environment Subcommittee highlighted the state’s leadership in addressing climate change and reducing dependence on oil. Pingree said she has had success with heat pumps heating and cooling her home. She said her electric bill is only $15.

“I’m so happy to be here today,” Pingree said. “These are some of my favorite topics. I love to talk about renewable energy. I love to talk about sending federal dollars to Maine. I’m so proud that Maine has put together the proposal to receive this grant.

“We feel confident that the federal government will come through. Maine has been the perfect example of a state that is taking the issue seriously. Maine has put itself in a great position to take advantage of these grants. Thanks to this significant investment for Efficiency Maine, hundreds of rural Maine communities will not only see lower energy costs but will be part of the clean energy revolution, helping fight climate change and achieving carbon neutrality by 2045.”

Governor Janet Mills and Congresswoman Chellie Pingree celebrate the new grant for the heat pump project. Rebecca Richard photo

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