Yesterday, Efficiency Maine’s board voted unanimously to adopt a new 3-year plan and budget, which will save consumers more than $870 million on energy bills over the lifetime of the efficiency measures. The plan now goes to the Public Utilities Commission for a formal review, expected to take at least four months, before it can be implemented.

Though the final plan includes less funding for home weatherization and efficiency than the plan as originally drafted, it maintains energy efficiency, alternative energy, and conservation programs that help homes and businesses cut their energy costs.

Though development of second Triennial Plan has long been slated for this year, last spring’s political battle over the agency’s funding drew attention to the planning process. The draft, developed by Efficiency Maine staff with input from the board, stakeholders, and the public and released in September, included annual budgets of $45 million for electricity savings programs and $15 million for oil savings programs. Though funding for the Home Energy Savings Program was reduced at the urging of the LePage Administration, the 3-year, $209 million budget approved by the board offers a strong support for Mainers looking to reduce their energy use and expense.