Phil Bartlett, Maine State Senate District Six  

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Utilities Committee Unanimously Endorses Bartlett Energy Bill

March 14, 2006

AUGUSTA-State Senator Philip L. Bartlett II (D-Cumberland) issued a statement today after the Utilities and Energy Committee unanimously supported an amended version of LD 1931, "An Act to Encourage Energy Independence for Maine". "I am very pleased that all members of the committee, as well as stakeholders, came together to support the amended version of this bill. It will benefit all Maine people," said Senator Bartlett, the bill's sponsor.

The bill charges the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) with developing a plan to expand the success of the Efficiency Maine Program to lower energy costs for all consumers. They are to report to the Energy and Utilities Committee next year with their findings, recommendations and proposed implementing legislation.

The bill also requires the Office of Energy Independence to examine the state of home heating in Maine and report back to the Utilities Committee by November of this year. This report must include the total statewide and average Maine household annual consumption of heating energy, by fuel type and recommendations for policies and programs to reduce home heating bills. Additionally, the bill will help schools use less energy by providing school facility managers with training through the Efficiency Maine program.

"Recent increases in energy costs clearly demonstrate that we must invest in conservation and energy efficiency measures now," said Bartlett. "Maine people simply cannot continue paying these high prices. Their incomes are not increasing at the same rate. People and businesses alike are falling further and further behind," the Senator continued. "We have to step in and make sure that these trends do not continue. "

Anyone wishing to share concerns or comments about these, or any other, issues should contract Senator Bartlett at the State House at 1-800-423-6900 or 287-1515.

Senator Bartlett is Chair of the Utilities Energy Committee, and represents the communities of Gorham, Scarborough and Westbrook.