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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.

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

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Energy activists head to Augusta for Cool Congress

The Portland Press Herald is running a story today about the state’s first “Cool Congress,” where ideas will be shared on how to improve efficiency and boost funding efforts.

Activists who are fighting climate change in communities around Maine will gather in Augusta on Saturday for what’s being billed as the state’s first Cool Congress.

More than 50 towns and cities are now working to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions at their town halls, public works garages, schools, firehouses and other facilities. Twenty-five of them – so-called Cool Communities – have signed pledges to cut global warming pollution as part of a statewide program coordinated by the Maine Chapter of the Sierra Club, the Maine Council of Churches and other partners.

York is one of 25 Maine cities and towns that have signed the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement and pledged to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. The others are Auburn, Bangor, Bath, Belfast, Biddeford, Bowdoinham, Brunswick, Cape Elizabeth, Cranberry Isles, Cumberland, Eliot, Falmouth, Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, Kittery, Lewiston, Montville, Orono, Portland, Saco, South Portland, Topsham, Waterville, and Yarmouth. Over 1000 communities across the U.S. have signed the agreement.

More than 100 participants are expected to hear from each other and energy efficiency experts about ways to save energy and money, and how to get help and funding from the state and federal governments. Smaller groups will participate remotely via interactive television at gatherings in Presque Isle and Fort Kent.

Higher energy prices a year ago clearly added urgency to local energy conservation efforts. But the recession has made towns even more cost-conscious, and there is now much more government funding available to help pay for efficiency improvements and alternative technologies such as wind and solar…

Efficiency Maine, for example, is offering towns $10,000 grants to set up energy conservation plans and as much as $85,000 for conservation or renewable energy projects.

“People right now, instead of operating out of a crisis or fear mode, are really learning more about alternative energy and conservation,” Burt said.

“Not only is this right thing to do and (something that) can save money and energy, but there is funding available to do this.”

Read the rest of the Herald article or read more about what’s happening at the Oct. 3 event. The story is also covered in the Free Press Online.

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