AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) -- Maine's U.S. senators are offering a proposal to help businesses that want to invest in energy-efficient technology.

Independent Sen. Angus King and Republican Sen. Susan Collins say the move would benefit businesses in rural states such as Maine. Their proposal is called the Combined Heat and Power Support Act.

The senators' proposal would reauthorize and fund the CHP Technical Assistance Partnerships program for five years. They say the program has helped numerous businesses install energy-efficient equipment in Maine.

The program allows higher education facilities to provide assistance to businesses that want to invest in the technology. University of Maine is one such facility. Collins says the university has "already been a major asset to the forest products industry" in the state.