February 22, 2011

Chevrolet deal drives Maine low-income weatherization

The MaineHousing effort is the first project unveiled under Chevrolet's new carbon reduction program.

By Beth Quimby bquimby@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

click image to enlarge

Jim Boilard, a weatherization tech for Weatherize Northeast, sprays foam on basement walls at a Yarmouth home under a program offered by the Maine Housing Authority.

Gordon Chibroski/Staff Photographer

click image to enlarge

John Morrison, project manager for Weatherize Northeast, directs his foreman, Josh Marriner, during the weatherization of a home owned in Yarmouth.

Gordon Chibroski/Staff Photographer


TONS OF CARBON DIOXIDE emissions avoided through Chevrolet’s purchase of Maine State Housing Authority carbon offsets: 40,000

NUMBER OF HOME weatherization projects financed by the deal: About 170 homes

ESTIMATED VALUE of Chevrolet’s Maine investment: Slightly under $1 million

NUMBER OF NEW Chevrolet vehicles sold in Maine in 2010: 14,057

NUMBER OF NEW Chevrolet vehicles sold in Maine in 2009: 12,898

The Maine weatherization effort was the first project unveiled under Chevrolet's carbon reduction program, which is looking to make similar investments in all 50 states.

McCormick said the deal will help the state take a big step toward its goal of making all its 476,729 single-family dwellings energy-efficient by 2030, which would save consumers an estimated $7.5 billion.

Progress toward that goal got a boost in 2009 and 2010, thanks to the federal economic stimulus, when Maine received an infusion of $6 million for home weatherization. MaineHousing used it to insulate 4,427 homes. But with that money now used up, the authority has enough to do about 230 housing units this year. The Chevrolet deal will pay off next year, McCormick said.

McCormick said the agency's carbon offsets command high prices because of their associated economic benefits, called "multiplier effects" in the world of carbon offsets. The money saved by low-income families on fuel bills will be spent on other purchases, which will stimulate the economy as well. "When we talked about our carbon offsets at conferences, people were drooling over our multiplier effect," said McCormick.

Staff Writer Beth Quimby can be contacted at 791-6363 or at: bquimby@pressherald.com


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