Dave Harbison, owner of Harbison Plumbing and Heating in Houlton, shows how a heat pump can work to both heat and cool a home. With winter fast approaching, many are seeking alternative heating options. Credit: Joseph Cyr / Houlton Pioneer Times

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This time of year is when we typically call local oil companies to fill up our oil tanks. Maine families know that home heating oil is always expensive, which is not eased by the fact that many homes and buildings are heated by old, inefficient oil tanks that suck up more and more of their income each year. Clean and high-efficiency heat pumps offer a cost-saving solution, but the installation payments can be daunting.

Fortunately, the state of Maine offers a rebate of roughly $2,400 for low and moderate-income residents, as well as $1,200 for all residents, to help Maine families switch their heat pumps.

This can be a gamechanger for many households that experience high heating costs in the winter, saving them money and burning less oil.

There is a further incentive to upgrade household heat pumps — as part of its contract with Maine, the NECEC Corridor is obligated to pay the state $15 million into a general heat pump fund. This extra money can result in almost 10,000 extra Maine families getting rebates for upgrading their oil tanks.

This additional funding could, however, be taken away if Question 1 is passed this November.

This referendum was bankrolled by oil and gas companies who apparently want to keep taking money from hardworking Mainers — of course they don’t want us getting extra funds to upgrade heat pumps.

Voting no on Question 1 this November will ensure that we can all spend a little less on staying warm this winter.

Cody Porter

Old Town

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