Testimony of Nancy Smith, Executive Director of GrowSmart Maine in support of Public Transportation Components in LD 1101, An Act to Support Lower Home Energy Costs by Establishing a Home Energy Scoring System
March 30, 2023
Senator Lawrence, Representative Zeigler, and Honorable Members of the Joint Standing Committee on Energy, Utilities, and Technology,
My name is Nancy Smith and I am the CEO of GrowSmart Maine. We are a statewide non-partisan non-profit organization helping communities navigate change in alignment with smart growth. We advocate for comprehensive policies and funding for smart growth practices and outcomes.
We have partnered with Build Maine to guide a transparent crowd-sourcing of policy proposals that began a year ago, and has drawn together over a hundred people from across Maine and beyond. Policy Action 2023 has resulted in sixteen proposals from eight working groups, all addressing this goal, “to address barriers to and create incentives for equitable, sustainable growth and development that strengthens downtowns and villages of all sizes while pulling development pressure away from productive and open natural areas. We do so acknowledging that Maine has urban, rural, and suburban settings for which any solution may/not be a fit and a variety of people who deserve to be welcomed to their communities.”
LD 1101 is the bill that came out of Working Group #8, Decarbonization of Buildings, thanks to the significant work done by passivhausMAINE. I’ve attached the fact sheet for this bill, which outlines the merits of the proposal and provides context within Policy Action 2023.
I also appreciate this bill personally, having sold and then purchased a home last year. I invested over $10,000 in energy efficiency in the house I sold, yet there was no way to highlight that value in the real estate listing. And when I was seeking a new home, I found only minimal reference to what it might cost to heat and cool each house as I compared options. I’m proud of the energy efficiency investments I made in my Monmouth home, and have accepted that I now have to make similar improvements to my new home in Ellsworth, having spent my first winter here.
This bill is a critical component of Policy Action 2023. GrowSmart Maine and Build Maine will assist the committee in any way that is helpful as you consider LD 1101.