When our 1940’s oil boiler gave up, we converted our 1845 farmhouse to all-electric, taking out the old oil boiler and water heater. Our electricity usage went way up, but our oil bill went completely away. When a deer ran into us and totaled the car, we invested in a used plug-in hybrid car and installed a hybrid car charger, our electric bill went up again, but our gas bill just about disappeared. We still have our woodstove for the deepest of winter cold and for backup.

We were really happy to hear that the state of Maine has now directed power companies to offer a special rate to those homes with very high electric usage in the winter, like ours. I called CMP and picked “new service” from their phone menu, and the guy who answered knew all about the new rate and looked up my account to see if it would save me money. The special rate should save me hundreds of dollars each year, so I signed up right then. It will take effect on January’s bill. Efficiency Maine also has a calculator tool on their website for those who have Versant for their electricity supplier.

We can also thank the state of Maine for directing power companies to increase how much of their power comes from sources other than fossil fuels, so our electricity comes from cheaper and cleaner sources too.

Efficiency Maine has substantial rebates for energy efficient heating and also loan programs to help. There are also state and federal tax credits that many homeowners can use to help finance upgrades.

Mike Shunney