AUGUSTA (AP) — A Maine legislative committee is expected to vote on a proposal aimed at lowering the state’s high electricity and heating costs.

The compromise legislation incorporates ideas from at least nine separate bills.

The Kennebec Journal (http://bit.ly/10p08dI ) reported the bill would enable Maine to make financial commitments to encourage the expansion of natural gas pipelines, increase funding for energy efficiency efforts, and provide financial assistance to help low-income families switch to more affordable heating systems.

Democratic state Sen. John Cleveland of Auburn, co-chair of the Legislature’s Energy, Technology and Utilities Committee, said a “strong majority” of the panel backs the bill.

The administration’s energy director is concerned the bill would allow the Public Utilities Commission to add a fee to electricity bills to fund energy conservation measures.

The vote is expected Friday.


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