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March 20, 2015

GOP leader seeks to overturn PUC decision

House Republican Leader Ken Fredette and other state lawmakers said they want to overturn the Maine Public Utilities Commission’s decision this week to cut funding for Efficiency Maine.

The Maine Public Broadcasting Network reported that Fredette seeks to achieve this through legislation. However, the Natural Resources Council of Maine is expected to ask the PUC to reconsider its Tuesday decision to cap Efficiency Maine’s funding to $22 million, less than half of what was expected. If that doesn’t work, the council may challenge the PUC in court.

State Sen. Dawn Hill, D-Cape Neddick, told the public radio station she thinks the PUC should reconsider its decision. Hill is a member of the state Legislature’s Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee. The committee said in a bipartisan letter to the PUC earlier this year that the intent of the 2013 law giving the PUC authority over Efficiency Maine’s funding was meant to be capped at $60 million, not $22 million.

PUC Chairman Mark Vannoy said he supported the new funding cap because it was based on a clear reading of the 2013 law, which bases the organization's funding on 4% of "total retail electricity transmission and distribution sales.” Efficiency Maine advocates have said the law should have been written as “total retail electricity AND transmission and distribution sales,” a change that could be sought through legislation this year.

Source: Maine Public Broadcasting Network

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Quick fix for Efficiency Maine funding unlikely

Groups ask PUC to reconsider Efficiency Maine cut

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