For Immediate Release
Contact: Deborah Turcotte
Public Information Manager
MaineHousing is joining three community colleges and technology centers statewide to recognize National Weatherization Day on Thursday, October 27.
The event is occurring just in time for winter. With heating fuel costs already up more than 80 cents a gallon compared to this time last year, homeowners and landlords throughout Maine are seeking cost-efficient ways to reduce their heating bills.
“It’s never too late in the fall to be looking at energy-efficient ways to prepare your home for winter,” said Dale McCormick, director of MaineHousing. “This winter is expected to be a tough one financially for many Maine families because of the higher costs for energy. A few steps to weatherize your home now will reduce the amount of money you spend for fuel in the coming months.”
This year, MaineHousing is celebrating four new Weatherization Training Centers in Maine, operating at three community colleges and a technology center thanks to a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Weatherization Assistance Program and matching funds from the four centers. Each weatherization training center has what’s called a “pressure house,” a mini-house that is equipped with appliances and water and heating systems similar to those found in most homes. With the aid of a smoke machine, students can see how energy flows through a house and learn how to keep it from escaping.
During National Weatherization Day, people can learn about what these “pressure houses” can do. United Technology Center in Bangor, Northern Maine Community College in Presque Isle and Washington County Community College in Calais are hosting open houses that include a demonstration on “pressure houses” at their Weatherization Training Centers as well as to promote their weatherization education programs. Southern Maine Community College, which also has a “pressure house”, will be celebrating “Sustainability Day” on Thursday.
At MaineHousing, weatherization of low-income homes is an important part of its mission. MaineHousing receives funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Energy and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (“the federal stimulus package”) and partners with eight community action agencies statewide to provide weatherization services to eligible low income households in Maine.
More than 4,900 homes have been weatherized using ARRA funds since April 1, 2009, and an additional 800 units are expected to be completed by March 31, 2012, when the ARRA funding period ends. Regular Department of Energy funds provided for 782 units to be weatherized between Jan. 1, 2009 and August 31, 2011.
MaineHousing statistics show that a weatherized home realizes energy savings of between 20-24 percent or approximately $500 annually. Since January 2009, 5,716 homes have been weatherized, and they’ll provide an estimated energy savings of $2.86 million annually.
“The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds for weatherization did what they were supposed to do: create jobs in programs that will save taxpayers money over time,” McCormick said. “The funding provided economic stability for contractors and energy auditors who specialize in weatherization, it reduced the overall financial energy burden for low-income households, it lessened a household’s dependence on foreign oil as well as its carbon footprint, and it improved indoor air quality because weatherization brings better ventilation and moisture control to a home.”
The National Weatherization Day open houses on October 27 are:
- United Technologies Center, Bangor: 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. at the center, 200 Hogan Road. MaineHousing Director Dale McCormick will be attending this event.
- Northern Maine Community College, Presque Isle: 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Northern Maine Center for Excellence in Alternative Energy Training and Education, 920 Skyway St. at the Skyway Industrial Park;
- Washington County Community College, Calais: Event starts at 11 a.m. with a demonstration and tour of the pressure house at the Building Construction Lab, followed at noon by the dedication of the Center for Construction Excellence, the former Barnes House on Route 1.
- Southern Maine Community College: Celebrating “Sustainability Day.” Please contact the college for more information.
The mission of MaineHousing is to assist Maine people to obtain and maintain decent, safe, affordable housing and services suitable to their unique housing needs. Please visit our Web site at www.mainehousing.org.
MaineHousing does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, age, physical or mental disability, or familial status in the admission or access to, or treatment or employment in, its programs, and activities. MaineHousing will provide appropriate communication auxiliary aids and services upon sufficient notice. MaineHousing will also provide this document in alternative formats upon sufficient notice. MaineHousing has designated the following person responsible for coordinating compliance with applicable federal and state nondiscrimination requirements and addressing grievances: Louise Patenaude, MaineHousing, 353 Water Street, Augusta, Maine 04330-4633, Telephone Number 1‑800‑452‑4668 (voice in state only),(207) 626‑4600 (voice), 1‑800‑452‑4603 (TTY in state only), or (207) 623‑2985 (TTY).