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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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Eliot Saves Big with Solar Panels on Town Garage

The town of Eliot is already benefiting from an arrangement that both saves taxpayer dollars and is good for the environment.

Last summer, 150 solar panels were installed on the roof of the town garage on Route 236. Today, they are working so well that they power the garage and the transfer station, with enough left over to cover between one-third and one-half of the electricity bill at the police station.

…The town signed a contract with Maine-based ReVision Energy, which is paying for the $160,000 in upfront installation costs and will initially own the equipment and the electricity it generates.

In return, ReVision is charging the town 2 cents less than Central Maine Power charges, resulting in short-term modest savings to the town of about $1,000 a year.

The panels were installed in July, and Case said they have been performing unbelievably well since. Extrapolating three months’ worth of data, Case said the panels are expected to generate about 51,700 kilowatt hours of electricity a year. The garage uses about 20,000 kilowatt hours a year and the transfer station, 15,000 kilowatt hours. Under Maine law, Eliot is able to take power generated from one site and credit up to nine other meters that Eliot owns or in which it has a vested interest. Excess electricity from these panels is being used to defray the costs of the police station.

But the real savings for the town comes in six years.

ReVision Energy, under terms of the contract, agrees to sell the town the equipment for about 25 percent of the installation cost — or about $43,000 in 2019 dollars. “This is an exceptional deal,” Case said. In the meantime, the commission is going to ask the town to sock away $7,000 or so a year so it is ready with the purchase price when the time comes.

If the town buys the equipment, which has a 40-year life, the town will save $140,000 a year “if CMP’s rates remained the same for the next 34 years. If prices go up 2 percent a year, which is not unreasonable, we’ll save $300,000 a year.

Read the rest of the Oct. 28 Seacoastonline article, New solar panels on display in Eliot.

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