Maine Interfaith Power & Light was formed as a nonprofit organization and licensed electricity aggregator by a group of individuals representing Maine’s faith communities who shared a concern about protecting Maine’s environment from pollution created by electricity production.
MEIPL’s first Board of Directors, was seated in June, 2000, and included representatives from a variety of faiths and denominations. Over the years that followed, our green electricity customer base grew to about 2,500.
In 2006 MEIPL acquired pre-release copies of the ground breaking film on climate change, An Inconvenient Truth, showing it at many places of worship around the state.
Starting in 2008 when oil prices approached $5 a gallon, MEIPL began to present workshops around the state in collaboration with Efficiency Maine aimed at helping congregations and homeowners become better stewards of the environment and save money by reducing their energy use.
When climate and energy legislation was being considered by the U.S. Congress in 2009, it became clear that mobilizing faith groups to support governmental polices which counter climate change should become a new and ongoing direction for us.
We joined the Maine Global Warming Action Coalition and partnered with our Interfaith Power & Light parent organization to mobilize faith groups around climate and energy issues, both state and national.
That same year, our electricity provider withdrew from the residential market in Maine and Wind Watts (renewable energy certificates sold by us) became too expensive to source. MEIPL honored all its contracts until they expired. Around that time, the Maine State Legislature mandated the creation of a green standard offer. The provider has been identified by the Public Utilities Commission as 3Degrees Group, Inc.
In 2010 we celebrated our tenth anniversary with a birthday party attended by about 80 supporters. The event featured Angus King, who spoke on the need to diversify our energy supply. We continued to work with Efficiency Maine in 2011, publicizing PACE loans and other EM energy efficiency incentives for homeowners, small businesses and congregations.
In the spring of 2011, MEIPL hosted a summit in Hallowell called Awaken to Action for 80 lay leaders and clergy interested in sustainability issues. That conference led to the creation of three working groups, one on the relationship between food and climate, one on de-motorization e.g. the need to rely less on the internal combustion engine for getting around, and one on the need to involve young people in sustainability efforts.
In 2012, MEIPL rolled out its new Cool Congregations membership program and its corporate sponsorship program. A new partnership was forged with WindowDressers, an organization devoted to helping Mainers save energy through the construction and use of inexpensive inside storm window inserts. MEIPL's first community build took place on Peaks Island, where 271 inserts were wrapped by over 30 volunteers for 22 households.
In 2014, MEIPL was a key collaborator in organizing the Climate Solutions Expo, which brought together people from around the state who are working to mitigate the impacts of climate change on humans and on the ecosystems we inhabit. We also completed our first community window insert builds organized solely by MEIPL for MEIPL member congregations in collaboration with our sponsors, Osher Environment Systems.