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Mission of the York Energy Efficiency Committee

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Report urges Mainers to move to solar

An environmental group says off-the-shelf solar hot water technology could save more than 7 million gallons of oil in Maine at a time when oil prices are rising.

As Oil Prices Soar, Report Finds Solar Hot Water Would Save Mainers $, Oil

Portland, ME – As oil prices rise steeply, an Environment Maine report released today finds that Mainers could cut oil and other fossil fuel use and reduce pollution through the deployment of off the shelf, cost-effective solar hot water technology.  By taking advantage of this ready-to-go technology to produce hot water for homes and businesses, Maine could save more than 7 million gallons of oil and reduce global warming pollution by the equivalent of eliminating the pollution from 27,700 cars on Maine’s roads.

“We need to do everything we can to get Maine off oil, and installing solar hot water systems is one of the no-brainers.  We have long had the technology and know-how to harness the zero-cost heat of the sun to produce hot water, while at the same time cutting pollution and putting people to work in our communities.  And more than ever we have a workforce that is ready to install these affordable solar systems on roofs across the state,” said Environment Maine Field Associate Nathaniel Meyer, speaking in front of Senator Justin Alfond’s East End home, which has a rooftop solar hot water system.

“Solar hot water is one of the safest investments you can make – with relatively small upfront investments, the financial and environmental return is guaranteed,” said Phil Coupe, owner of ReVision Energy, a company that has installed over 2,600 solar energy systems since 2003, and currently employs 35 people.  “Maine is ripe for this technology.  We get 33% more sun than Germany, the world leader in solar installations.  On a sunny 20-degree day, a solar hot water system can generate water that’s 130 degrees – water that’s too hot to shower in.”

. . . “Not only would expanding these kinds of technologies create jobs and drive Maine’s economy, but it’s critical to our national security,” said Andrew Campbell, an Iraq war veteran.  “Continuing to rely on oil means handing the keys to America’s energy future over to the anti-American governments of Saudi Arabia, Russia, Iran, and other countries that benefit greatly from our addition to oil.  Solar hot water is part economic growth and job-creation, part environmental stewardship, and part national defense.”

The report, Smart, Clean, and Ready to Go: How Solar Hot Water Can Reduce Pollution and Dependence on Fossil Fuels, is based primarily on a study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and provides conservative national and state-by-state estimates of our potential to use residential and commercial solar water heating and the savings in fossil fuel, electricity, and global warming pollution if that potential is fully realized.

Read the rest of the article.

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