Saturday, July 24, 2010

Efficiency Maine Home Energy Savings Program-- EXTENDED!

Efficiency Maine ( has been offering an additional incentive ($1000) to get homeowners to improve the efficiency of their homes (air sealing, insulation, and space or water heating improvements).

What is it? If you follow the program and make improvements to achieve either 

1) at least 25% increase in efficiency (annual thermal energy savings) you receive 30% of the total project cost up to $1500*.
2) more than 50% increase in efficiency (annual thermal energy savings) you receive 50% of the total project cost up to $3,000*.

*Both of these are increased by $1000 if you sign up by 8/31/10, then complete the energy audit and the Incentive Application Form ( must be received by September 30, 2010, and complete all work and the Completion Form ( submitted by December 31, 2010.

Step 1. You get your house audited ($400-$500). This typically entails inspection of insulation, air leakage (blower door test), mechanical heating/cooling systems evaluation. Sometimes auditors also use infrared imaging to evaluate your home. The auditor will produce a report  to guide you in determining the cost/benefit of  energy improvements you may wish to make by calculating projected savings and payback information. Note this step must be completed by a Participating Energy Advisor  (listed on the Efficiency Maine website).

Step 2. Work with a contractor of your choice to do the work. Remember that you want to get to at least 25% improvement to meet the minimum rebate criteria.

Step 3. Auditor returns and inspects the work and completes the form documenting the improved efficiency in your home.

Bottom line: if you make improvements to your home that result in a 25% increase in the efficiency of your home you can get up to $2500 back from efficiency Maine.

I have done a lot of weatherizing and made improvements to minimize waste. I was skeptical that I could make improvements for less than $5000 that would result in 25% improvement in efficiency.  So, I contacted Mary at Warm Tech (207-883-9722) for a Home Energy Analysis. This is not a home inspection, but a visit that includes a walk through of your home to give you an idea of what the audit will likely find. I had a coupon from the Sunrise Guide ( for a free Home Energy Analysis. Mary and Roland spent nearly an hour with us and pointed out a lot I could do. They are GREAT!

As a result of their visit, I contacted Erik North (Free Energy Maine, LLC; 207-329-7219; to schedule an audit. Not surprisingly, he is quite busy doing audits. I scheduled our audit for August 6. 

I will post another blog about our audit and the results.