In a state synonymous with its natural resources from the coast to the mountains, Maine residents have long valued environmental stewardship. Now, as resources like federal tax credits, state-funded rebates, and the growth of local professional services are invested in energy efficient home designs and solutions, more people than ever are doing what they can to build a sustainable environment inside and outside their homes.

The 2024 Green Home + Energy Show Saturday, April 6 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Point Community Center, 345 Clarks Pond Pkwy, South Portland 80 booths featuring leaders in Maine’s sustainable home and energy industries. From solar power to heat pumps, air quality to insulation, and sustainable home design, you’ll find endless inspiration for creating your energy efficient, green and healthy home—whether you are looking to build, buy or enhance an existing property. Additional show highlights include a Sustainable Landscape Expo for gardeners, the Maine Makers Fair featuring locally made, sustainable home goods, an Electric Vehicle Expo to test drive multiple makes and models and 20 workshops on efficient and accessible design, pre-fab construction for high performing homes, permaculture, solar, indoor air quality and much more, all included with admission. Electric Vehicle Expo from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Workshops from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tickets: $10 in advance, $15 day of show. Free attendance for children under 18 with adult and students with valid ID. Proceeds benefit the Wild Seed Project. More details and ticket sales at

“These are all good trends,” said Heather Chandler, owner/founder of the SunriseGuide, which publishes Green & Healthy Maine HOMES magazine. “We are reducing our carbon emissions, Mainers are saving money on heating costs and we are all benefitting from cleaner air.”

To meet this growing consumer interest, Chandler and the Green & Healthy Maine team are producing the Green Home + Energy Show on Saturday, April 6 in South Portland. This one-day expo will feature industry leaders
in the worlds of solar power, heat pumps, air quality, green building and design, electric vehicles, sustainable home products and more.

“If you have questions about any aspect of your home and future improvements, this is the place to be,” said Chandler. “Whether you are looking to build new or upgrade an existing property, you won’t find a better collection of Maine businesses that specialize in healthy, efficient and high-performing homes.”

For people looking for resources and inspiration, here are the top energy efficiency trends in our state.


Maine residents have fully embraced heat pumps. In fact, the state met an installation goal set by the Governor’s Office two years early and installed 100,000 new heat pumps as of September 2023. Now the goal is to get another 175,000 installed by 2027. This goal includes pumps used for supplemental heating, but a growing number of single-family homes in Maine are heated solely with heat pumps, which saves the homeowner money and reduces emissions. According to Efficiency Maine, homes heated with ductless heat pumps have an average annual cost of $1,698 compared to $3,373 for homes heated by an oil boiler and $3,751 with an oil furnace.

Julia Bassett Schwerin, a green realtor with Advisors Living Real Estate, found that of all new construction properties from 2023 that were listed publicly for sale, 23% showed heat pumps as the sole heat source. These homes didn’t spend more time on the market and had the same list-to-sold price ratio compared to homes heated with fossil fuels.


We’re also seeing skyrocketing growth in homes powered by solar electricity. According to data from the Governor’s Energy Office, the solar produced statewide in 2015 was enough to power 2,100 homes. Last year, the amount of solar produced was enough to power 130,000 homes. Meanwhile, according to the federal Energy Information Administration, wind power provided 23% of the state’s net renewable energy generation in 2022.

Between electric and solar, this means fewer and fewer Maine homes are heated with fuel oil, which is important because Maine has the highest rate of heating oil use in the country. As of December of 2023, 56% of all homes in the state used it as a primary heating source (compared to 4% nationwide). This is down from nearly 65% in 2015.


Electric vehicle use has also seen enormous growth in the last eight years. In 2015, there were 802 registered electric vehicles in the state. At the beginning of this year, there were 13,364, which has also led to increased home charger installations that add longer term value to homes. For those concerned with powering up on a road trip, Maine will be installing nearly 600 high-powered charging stations across the state in the coming years, using a federal grant of $15 million.

The earth’s climate is at an inflection point and the stakes for the future are high. With federal tax credits for investments in home energy efficiency on the table through 2033, and the ongoing availability of state-level rebates, “going green” is a powerful home-building trend that will soon become the standard we expect and from which we will all benefit.

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: