Maine First District Congresswoman Chellie Pingree led a bipartisan group of national and state officials Monday in heralding the groundbreaking carbon purchase arrangement between Maine State Housing Authority (MaineHousing) and General Motors’ Chevrolet Division. The event was held at a home in Freeport that had been weatherized under a federal Department of Energy program administered by MaineHousing.
MaineHousing has developed a process to record and verify the carbon emissions reductions resulting from energy efficiency work. In a first of its kind deal, Chevrolet is purchasing those reductions as part of its goal to displace up to 8 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions by investing in U.S. clean energy projects.
Congresswoman Pingree called it “a creative program that will be a big win for Maine families. Bringing in private investment by working with Chevrolet means more homes will be weatherized and more homeowners will save money on their heating bills next year. This is exactly the kind of innovative thinking we need here in Maine.”
Bill Devine, Cross Brand Marketing Manager at Chevrolet, detailed his company’s commitment to a clean energy future.
“GM is dedicated to reducing its environmental impact, and our Chevrolet carbon-reduction program allows us to take these efforts a step further,” Devine said. “We are interacting with customers on programs that directly impact them.”
Other dignitaries attending the event included Ken Fletcher, Director of the Governor’s Office of Energy Independence and Security; LeAnn Oliver, Program Manager for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy with the federal Department of Energy; Dale McCormick, Director of MaineHousing; and representatives from the offices of Senators Snowe and Collins and Second District Congressman Michaud. They were joined by Fred Pape of Pape Chevrolet and Jack Quirk of Quirk Chevrolet and representatives from Community Concepts, Inc. and Peoples Regional Opportunity Program, agencies that offer MaineHousing’s Weatherization Program.
Ken Fletcher, Director of the Governor’s Office of Energy Independence and Security said, “The Governor’s Office supports the creative public private partnership that will help Maine people lower their energy costs through improved energy efficiency. Investing in energy efficiency is a good business decision.”
Dale McCormick of MaineHousing thanked everyone involved and said, “We are very excited about our partnership with Chevrolet and the first use of our tools to measure, report, and sell carbon savings. MaineHousing will use funding from Chevy to expand weatherization efforts in the homes of families who can't afford the fuel to stay warm. It’s a partnership that benefits everyone. We’re reducing energy costs for low-income Maine residents, we’re reducing carbon emissions, and we’re raising private capital to help us weatherize more low income homes.”
MaineHousing began the Carbon Quantification Project in 2008 in collaboration with the New Jersey and the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agencies and with financial support by the Ford Foundation. Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) provided technical assistance as well as financial support. Financial support also has been provided by the U.S. Department of Energy and the participating housing finance agencies.