Small changes make a
big difference.

Mission of the York Energy Efficiency Committee

Our mission is to respond to the global warming crisis by promoting energy efficiency, alternative energy, and environmental initiatives throughout the town of York, Maine.

To contact YEEC, please email contact info at yorkgoesgreen dot org

Previous topics

[Source: The US Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)]

CO2 Now

Current CO2 Level in the Atmosphere

Real food security

Anybody interested in solving, rather than profiting from, the problems of food production and distribution will see that in the long run the safest food supply is a local food supply, not a supply that is dependent on a global economy. Nations and regions within nations must be left free — and should be encouraged — to develop the local food economies that best suit local needs and local conditions.

— Wendell Berry

Once plants and animals were raised together on the same farm — which therefore neither produced unmanageable surpluses of manure, to be wasted and to pollute the water supply, nor depended on such quantities of commercial fertilizer. The genius of American farm experts is very well demonstrated here: they can take a solution and divide it neatly into two problems.

— Wendell Berry, The Unsettling of America : Culture & Agriculture

Article 3 to address potentially failing septic systems in York

On November 4, York voters will have the opportunity to enact a new ordinance that will require homeowners or buyers to have a septic system inspection done at the time of property sale or transfer. Some real estate brokers have objected to the ordinance, claiming that most buyers already get the septic inspected prior to buying a house.

However, according to a recent York Weekly article (Sept.10, 2014), “Town officials said what’s currently missing is having a report sent to the town for them to know which septic systems are failing. The ordinance would require a Maine Licensed Site Evaluator or Certified Septic Inspector to send a report to the local plumbing inspector within 30 days of the completion of an inspection.”

Below are more arguments in favor of the ordinance:

Cape Neddick River

Cape Neddick River

  • Article 3 protects our wells, our fishing industry, and tourism, the base of our economy here in York.
  • The impact from failing septic systems is a town-wide issue. We all live on a watershed. Every property in York drains into the York River, Cape Neddick River and all our beaches. A 2011 study showed human fecal bacteria in multiple sites on Long Sands and Short Sands Beaches on multiple occasions. It is very possible that this contamination traveled from failing septic systems miles away from the coast.
  • Water pollution from failing septic systems is DEVASTATING to York property values. Who wants to live on or near a polluted beach?
  • Article 3 protects our local economy. Beach related spending in Maine is estimated at $500 million per year.
  • Article 3 is about Personal Responsibility. We ALL pay for failing septic systems by funding clean up with tax dollars. Residents need to ensure their septic systems are not polluting the environment.
  • There are already 386 Certified Septic System Inspectors in the State of Maine (dozens in York County alone).
  • Septic system replacement grants are available through the State of Maine.

Update [Oct. 18, 2014]:  Here is a link to a report with the lengthy title, Maine Healthy Beaches Program Microbial Source Tracking Pilot Study 2011; Technical Report: Microbial Source Tracking to Identify Human Sources of Fecal Contamination in Coastal York County in Summer 2011. MHBP Final_Technical_Report_3-26-12

The 27-page scientific study goes into great detail about the methods used to monitor a number of sites where runoff flowed into Cape Neddick Beach, Short Sands Beach, and Long Sands Beach.

Among the admittedly preliminary findings was that  “96 % of the water samples evaluated in this study exceeded the Maine single sample advisory  limit of 104 MPN Enterococcus per 100 mL of water, and 12.5 % were over 130 times higher than this threshold.”

The study found signs of “serious potential human fecal problems” where fresh water entered all three beaches. Although the author of the study could not identify the actual sources of the fecal contamination, it is unlikely to be from the sewer district’s outflow because all sampling was done at either storm water discharge areas or at fresh water tributaries.

Also noted in the document was the conclusion that “fecal contamination is a serious public health concern, because wastes from humans and other animals often carry pathogenic organisms that can infect people who use the water for recreational purposes such as fishing and swimming.”

Protecting Our Well Water

There will be an important presentation on Oct. 5 on the subject of “Protecting Our Well Water.”

The date is Sunday, October 5, at 7 PM at the York Public Library.


Speakers will be Dr. Robert Marvinney, Director, Maine Geologic Survey and Gail Darrell, Director, New England Office of the Community Environmental Legal Defense.  Patty Hymanson, York resident and physician, will facilitate this event.

Dr. Marvinney and Ms. Darrell will talk about the origins of groundwater — the water we drink — and threats to the quality of our well water. Threats to our wells can include runoff from salted roads, fertilizer from golf courses, arsenic and other pollutants, and extraction of water for commercial use or sale.

Learn about what we can do to protect our wells from the effects of pollution and extraction.

Everyone is welcome.

Refreshments served.

To idle or not to idle

Cars are different now. It may be time to re-think a common misconception.


America’s solar revolution

Solar power is on the rise. From the Union of Concerned scientists:

From rooftops to landfills to large open spaces, harnessing the full power of solar energy will be a key part of our nation’s transition to clean, reliable and affordable electricity that can safeguard our environment, protect our health and power our economy.

The following infographic highlights some of this good news:




A guide to energy efficient lighting

The following infographic provides a good summary of some of the choices available for energy efficient lighting.

Source: WellHome

This entry was posted in Conservation Conversations Blog.

2014’s most promising alternative energy trends

According to, “The business world has recognized a need for viable alternative energy solutions, and investors are now pouring in their cash. Last year, a staggering $214 billion was invested in renewable energy worldwide.”

Below are a few of the most promising innovations in the area of renewable and clean energy.

Infographic from: . . . → Read More: 2014’s most promising alternative energy trends

York awarded $98,000 for renewable energy

The town’s Energy Steering Committee was informed this week that it was successful in its application for a significant grant that will be used primarily for a solar photovoltaic array on the York Beach Fire Station. From

York energy panel gets $98K for efficiency upgrades By Susan Morse , June 26, 2014

YORK, Maine . . . → Read More: York awarded $98,000 for renewable energy

Surfeur – a local business commited to sustainability while giving back to the community

At York Goes Green, we like to support local businesses that are both environmentally responsible and committed to helping people in need. Surfeur is a York business aiming to walk that line. From it’s website:

Surfeur, LLC started with the love of all things surfing. We wanted to build a brand that is known for . . . → Read More: Surfeur – a local business commited to sustainability while giving back to the community

York voters approve Article #43

York voters went to the polls at the annual budget referendum on Saturday, May 17, 2014 and approved Article #43, which appropriates $100,000 for capital improvements related to energy solutions and conservation at Town-owned properties.

Learn more about the Energy Steering Committee and how the Article 43 appropriation will be used to save energy and . . . → Read More: York voters approve Article #43

Reversing climate change through photosynthesis and biology

Rebuilding soil through organic methods and permaculture can sequester vast amounts of carbon and provide dozens of other benefits at the same time.

How Organic Farming Can Reverse Climate Change

By EcoWatch

Rodale Institute announced yesterday the launch of a global campaign to generate public awareness of soil’s ability to reverse climate change, but only . . . → Read More: Reversing climate change through photosynthesis and biology

Solar power for emergency shelters

The article below from and the Portsmouth Herald describes another step in the process of a unique blending of community need and opportunity.

Turning to solar power in case of an emergency By Deborah McDermott April 27, 2014 – 2:00 AM

York Middle School could be the pilot site in Maine for a . . . → Read More: Solar power for emergency shelters

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