Efficiency Maine is offering extra funding to smaller municipalities to pay for heat pump installations.
Utilities could prove useful partners in the projects, which involve drilling, trenching and laying pipe to bring underground heat into buildings.
A consultant’s report on decarbonizing the heating sector emphasizes efficiency and renewables, but not heat pumps.
Cities in California and Massachusetts are advancing bans on natural gas hookups in new buildings.
Under a new state law, Maine will need to average 20,000 installations per year over the next five years.