August 19, 2010

Maine getting more weatherization money

By Tux Turkel
Staff Writer

Maine will receive $7 million in federal stimulus money to continue its low-income weatherization assistance program, state and federal officials announced today.

Maine has weatherized more than 2,000 homes using money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The state has been a national leader in weatherization, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

“We appreciate the support of the federal Recovery Act in helping Maine achieve our goals to weatherize our old housing stock, conserve energy and grow jobs,” said Gov. John Baldacci. “Maine has taken a leading role in weatherization because we know that conservation is the most cost-effective way to reduce our dependence on oil."

The weatherization program is creating thousands of jobs, putting carpenters, electricians, and factory workers to work installing insulation, upgrading appliances, and improving heating and cooling systems.  According to state reports, the program supported more than 13,000 jobs in the second quarter of this year, including nearly 175 jobs in Maine.

In addition, Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced today that six high-performing local weatherization agencies in Maine have been selected to receive $7 million to install solar hot water systems, hot water heat pumps, replace inefficient washers with Energy Star-qualified models, and perform select heating system upgrades. The award selections were part of $120 million in awards announced nationally to complement and expand existing weatherization programs.

The agencies are:  Aroostook County Action Program in Presque Isle, Community Concepts Inc. in South Paris, Kennebec Valley Community Action Program in Waterville, Penquis Community Action Program in Bangor, Waldo Community Action Partners in Belfast, and Western Maine Community Action in East Wilton.



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