Now, Aldie, I believe I could throw a cat through that crack under your door. That’s right nice of you, heating the neighborhood like that, but the way oil’s going you might want to tighten ‘er up just a dite.

Efficiency / Conservation Posts

ENERGY EFFICIENCY: OUR NUMBER ONE PRIORITY

We all waste more energy than we like to think about. Because wasted renewable energy is still wasted energy, we need to maximize our energy efficiency before we invest in renewable energy sources for our homes & businesses. The cheapest unit of energy is the one we don't need to burn at all. Read on to get started.

 

Efficiency / Conservation Blog Posts

01/23/2016 - 1:54pm

The assembly listening to awards being given out at the 2016 Efficiency Maine Symposium photo  by Kay MannOn January 8, 2016, Efficiency Maine held its annual symposium, "Investing in a Sustainable Energy Future: Recent Success of Energy Efficiency in Maine."

12/26/2015 - 11:38am

greater portland council of governments logo courtesy of gpcogAre you interested in learning more about the many benefits that renewable energy can provide to your farm or business and finding some grant money to get you started?

12/22/2015 - 9:20pm

The net positive Viridescent Building of Tidesmart Global in Falmouth Maine image courtesy of Tidesmart GlobalWith the recent international signing of the Paris Accords, the need for renewable energy to source society's electricity needs is ever clear.

12/21/2015 - 6:02pm

On December 12, 2015, the Maine Chapter of the Sierra Club convened the Maine Grassroots Climate Action Conference at the University of Maine in Augusta. This was their second climate conference; the first was held in December of 2014 at Bowdoin College. At the first conference, a number of local, climate action teams (or CAT’s) were established.

11/22/2015 - 11:37pm

Senator Angus Kind speaks at the Island Energy Conference on November 6 in South Portland by Tom Redstone"We are in an energy revolution, and the islands are Bunker Hill," Senator Angus King proclaimed on

11/22/2015 - 5:07pm

Suzanne MacDonald Energy Director of the Island Energy Institute photo by Kay MannOn November 6, 2015, the Island Institute of Rockland, Maine held its annual Isla

10/27/2015 - 8:52am

The Friends School in Cumberland Maine is net zero photo courtesy of the schoolThe Friends School’s new 15,000 square foot facility in Cumberland, Maine opened its doors to students on Sept

10/26/2015 - 4:32pm

GrowSmart Maine Director Nancy Smith photo by Kay MannGrowSmart Maine held its annual meeting on Tuesday, October 20th, 2015 in the lovely old mill building called the Pepperell Center in Biddeford, Maine.

10/26/2015 - 11:58am

People attending the inaugural E2Tech Expo on October 1 2015On October 1, 2015, the Environmental and Energy Technology Council of Maine (E2Tech) held its first clean tech expo at USM in Portland.

Efficiency/Conservation News Posts

Brunswick Junior High Students Explore Energy Efficiency with Evergreen Home Performance
02/02/2016 - 3:34pm

Evergreen Energy Advisor Cree Krull (right) prepares BJHS students for a blower door test. The bright red blower door has a calibrated fan that measures a building's air leakage.Brunswick Junior High School 7th graders competed to see who could build the most energy efficient “home” last week, with some pretty surprising results. The structures started with cardboard from the cafeteria, and the insulation and air sealing options were limited to paper, aluminum foil, plastic wrap, blueboard, tape, and glue, but the improvements helped students connect the science of heat transfer to the real-life challenges of weatherizing Maine homes.

“The kids can unequivocally confirm that well-taped plastic wrap is great at reducing air leakage but not so great at stopping heat loss,” said Cree Krull, who led the activity and helped students test their structures with fans and infrared cameras. “And we can extend that observation to explain why homes need air sealing and insulation.”

Krull should know; as an energy advisor at Evergreen Home Performance, he uses the same tools to assess real homes for air and heat loss. “Using an infrared camera is pretty straightforward, so it makes sense to have kids work with the real thing,” said Krull. “Interpreting what you see and knowing what to do about it is what takes expertise.”

The BJHS students may not be ready for careers in energy efficiency yet, but they’re much more informed thanks to a month-long interdisciplinary project that highlights the science, economics, and politics of home weatherization and introduces students to the need for lower reliance on home heating oil and greater emphasis on energy efficiency.

“Weatherizing Maine’s old homes reduces our dependence on the fossil fuels used to heat them, which in turn reduces heating expenses and environmental impacts” said BHJS teacher Cris Lavigne. “When kids learn how weatherization works and how they can be a part of it, they make things better for their community. It’s a powerful service-learning opportunity.”

Students will share what they’ve learned by creating a bank of weatherization materials, along with instructions on how to use them, and using those weatherization materials to seal drafty spaces in their lives. In March, they will share the results of their learning at a community-wide event.

Photo and article courtesy of Evergreen Home Perfomance.

Maine National Guard Battalion Opens Solar Facility
11/25/2015 - 4:35pm

The readiness center of the Maine National Guard 133rd Engineering Battalion photo courtesy of Maine National GuardThe new, LEED Silver readiness center for the 133rd Engineering Battalion of the Maine National Guard at Brunswick Landing opened in September 2015. Following new National Guard regulations to build energy efficiency and renewable energy into all new projects, the $23.5 million building boasts 38 KW of solar capacity, geothermal heating wells, LED lighting and a living roof growing blueberries.

Read more about it in the Sun Journal.

E2Tech Hosts its First Expo Oct. 1
09/28/2015 - 9:45pm

Environmental and Energy Technology Council of Maine E2TechThe Environmental & Energy Technology Council of Maine (E2Tech) and its partners are pleased to host the inaugural E2Tech Expo on October 1, 2015. Events include keynotes from a Fortune 50 company and a venture capital firm; its first-ever “E2Tech Talks” on Maine’s local and global food movements; a high-level plenary panel on cleantech markets, technologies, and public policies; workshops on energy policy, workforce development & career connections, sustainability in the supply chain, and cluster development and seed funding; and dozens of tables featuring environmental and energy companies, products, services, and resources.

You may see the agenda and register here.

Legislature Overrides Veto to Help Restore Efficiency Maine Funding
07/01/2015 - 8:31pm

And image courtesy of Maine Association of Building Energy Professionals.L.D. 1215, the bill that restores the missing word "and" that was omitted from the 2014 Omnibus Energy Bill and reverses the ruling by the Public Utilities Commission to cut Efficiency Maine funding by $38 million, is now law.

On June 23, 2015, the governor vetoed the bill. First the House voted 144-0 to override the veto, then the Senate voted to do the same, 35-0. The Public Utilities Commission will be asked to reconsider its vote in light of the new legislation and set the funding level at the intended $60 million.

Read the full story in the Portland Press Herald.

Image credit: And image courtesy of Maine Association of Building Energy Professionals.

Bowdoin College Earns EPA Award for Energy Efficiency Efforts
07/01/2015 - 4:42pm

Solar panels atop Bowdoin's Farley Field House and Watson Arena Image courtesy of Bowdoin CollegeOn July 1, 2015, Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine was recognized by EPA with a 2015 Energy Star Combined Heat and Power (CHP) award. CHP technology produces electricity and useful heat simultaneously from a single energy source, such as natural gas, oil, or biomass. For hospital systems and universities, CHP systems can also provide reliability benefits which ensure that these facilities’ operations can continue in the event of power outages.

This award recognizes Bowdoin College for the superior efficiency of its CHP system that produces 630 kW of electricity and steam that provides space heating and hot water to 1.4 million square feet across 56 campus buildings. Bowdoin’s CHP system, designed by RMF Engineering, includes an oil or natural gas-fired boiler and a 630 kW steam turbine. With an operating efficiency of nearly 87 percent, the CHP system requires approximately 12 percent less fuel than grid-supplied electricity and conventional steam production. The system also avoids emissions of air pollutants, including an estimated 1,000 tons of carbon dioxide annually, equal to the emissions from the generation of electricity used by nearly 130 homes.

Follow links for more information about EPA’s Combined Heat and Power Partnership or on Energy Star CHP awards.

Image: Solar panels atop Bowdoin's Farley Field House and Watson Arena. Image courtesy of Bowdoin College.

Efficiency/Conservation Job and RFP Posts

Bangor
01/01/2022 - 5:00am

Penobscot Home Performance is currently hiring experienced Weatherization Technicians service Penobscot, Piscataquis, Knox, Waldo, and Hancock Counties. Responsible for on-site renovations identified during energy assessments that will reduce energy use in homes.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities include the following. Other duties may be assigned.

Bangor
12/31/2021 - 11:00pm

Penobscot Home Performance is currently hiring experienced Home Energy Evaluators to service Penobscot, Piscataquis, Knox, Waldo, and Hancock Counties. Visits homes of customers to test and identify conditions that cause energy waste and recommends actions to improve comfort, health, safety, and energy efficiency.