WESTBROOK – Mainers heard about state-administered weatherization programs funded with millions of federal dollars during a workshop Monday hosted by U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine.

The Maine State Housing Authority has received about $34 million to go toward weatherization projects for lower-income residents, said director Dale McCormick. And Efficiency Maine has received $9 million in stimulus funds, with the goal of weatherizing 4,000 homes.

Homeowners can get up to $3,000 in incentives for energy-efficiency projects under that program, and there are no income requirements, said John Kerry, director of the Governor’s Office of Energy Independence.

Representatives from both state organizations spoke to about 60 people who gathered for the workshop.

They included homeowners like Martin Donlon of Portland, who has an older house and was interested in learning more about tax incentives and weatherization programs.

“I’m just trying to make sure I get the biggest bang for my buck,” he said.

Tae Chong with the Maine State Housing Authority said his agency administers weatherization programs for income-eligible families.

Richard Meinking of Efficiency Maine said his organization’s new weatherization program is open to people of all income levels.

A homeowner must get an energy audit from a certified auditor. If they make modifications to cut energy use by at least 25 percent, they can get $1,500 from the federally funded program. If they decrease energy use by 50 percent, they can get $3,000.

Homeowners may also get additional, federal tax incentives for efficiency improvements, Meinking said.

“We want to help Mainers get rid of dependence to oil by having leaky homes become tight homes,” he said.

 

Staff Writer Matt Wickenheiser can be contacted at 791-6316 or at:

[email protected]