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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 seacoastonline.com:

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

YORK, Maine — The York Energy Steering Committee is getting $98,000 from a former revolving loan program that is closing out its funds, according to Wayne Boardman, who heads the town committee.

Boardman said the Energy Steering Committee found out on Wednesday that it is getting $98,000 of an estimated $150,000 requested for such efficiency upgrades as installing a solar array on the roof of the York Beach Fire Station.

A condition of getting the funds is that they be spent by Sept. 15, he said. BeachFireStation

Boardman brought the issue to the attention of the Board of Selectmen on June 23, saying he would soon be back to ask for approval to send out requests for proposals for the work.

First the committee needs to determine which projects can be done with the money being received, Boardman said on Thursday. That plan is expected to be presented to selectmen at the board’s next meeting of Monday, July 7, he said.

“We have to decide where that money goes,” Boardman said Thursday. “We hope to figure that out in the next week or so.”

The money is from a former Seacoast Energy Initiative program of $500,000 funded by federal stimulus funds, according to Boardman.

For the past four years, homeowners and small business owners in the towns of Kittery, Eliot, York, South Berwick, Ogunquit and North Berwick could apply for a low interest loan of up to $10,000 to make energy improvements such as weatherizing their buildings and making furnace, electrical and hot water system upgrades.

The account was administered by the quasi-governmental Efficiency Maine.
“It was quite successful, they ended up awarding $474,000,” Boardman told selectmen. “Of that, $127,000 was awarded to loans for York residents.”

There is an estimated $350,000 left in the account.

Boardman said other towns have also applied to get the remaining funds.

“The decision was made that what was left in the fund was to be returned to the towns,” Boardman told selectmen. “They decided to award it to energy upgrades to communities who (brought in) proposals in a short time.”

“To be as ready as possible,” Boardman said, members of the Energy Steering Committee has come up with proposals they consider “good for the long-term energy costs of the community.”

These include a solar array on south-facing roof of the York Beach Fire Station and more efficient lighting there. Also proposed is a pump to help in both heating and cooling the second floor, which is used for community events.

During the summer, “they run the fans all day and it’s still unbearable at night,” Boardman told selectmen.

Source: http://www.seacoastonline.com/articles/20140626-NEWS-140629762

 

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