Calls PUC’s Approval of Maine Trust Energy Efficiency Plan Unlawful
July 26, 2016 (PORTLAND, ME) –Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) appealed to Maine’s highest court today, the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) approval of Efficiency Maine Trust’s energy efficiency plan. The Maine PUC formally approved a settlement agreement on July 6 putting in place a three-year plan that falls far short of achieving the full promise of energy efficiency. CLF contends the settlement violates the law, and the organization will push for a better deal.
“From saddling Mainers with a one billion dollar bill for a wasteful gas pipeline to approving this unlawful plan, the Public Utilities Commission has failed Mainers time and time again,” said Ben Tettlebaum, Staff Attorney, Conservation Law Foundation. “It’s the PUC’s duty to work for the best interests of the people of Maine, not the self-interest of Governor LePage.”
Efficiency Maine Trust provides low-risk, high-value energy efficiency resources to Maine businesses and residents. State law requires that the PUC provide funding for Efficiency Maine that maximizes savings for all consumers. But the PUC approved slashing funding for cost-effective energy efficiency programs by 30 percent, in clear violation of the statutory mandate.
CLF has been increasingly critical of the LePage-appointed commission for continually reaching unlawful conclusions that result in higher costs to Maine consumers and take a substantial toll on Maine’s environment. Earlier this week, CLF released a statement following the PUC’s decision that forced Maine consumers to bankroll a massive, high-risk, low-value natural gas pipeline.
CLF experts are available for further comment. CLF’s appeal can be read here.