October 29, 2012

Weatherization program results in hot savings

A sustainability conference will be held Saturday in Fairfield.

By Amy Calder acalder@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

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Alice and David Anderman of Waterville participated in an energy-efficiency program. They took out a 15-year home equity loan to complete the project.

David Leaming/Morning Sentinel

OTHER OPTIONS SOUGHT

Sustain Mid-Maine has been working on that idea for more than a year and continues to look at alternative energy options for not only energy savings, but also for encouraging economic development, Roy said.

The Andermans took out a 15-year home-equity loan to complete their weatherization project, which took about two months of on-and-off work by contractors.

Their home, built in 1900, got a new, energy-efficient hot-water heater and furnace that may be converted to natural gas in the future; a new thermostat system that is programmable and covers four zones of the house; insulation in both the cellar and attic; and radiator replacements.

David Anderman, pastor of the First Congregational United Church of Christ in Waterville, and Alice Anderman, pastor of Winthrop Congregational United Church of Christ, said they highly recommend weatherizing a home.

"And we want to do whatever we can to take care of the environment," Alice Anderman said. "I'd say to people that it's a very good investment, and the contractors were all just top-notch. They knew what they were doing and they were very, very easy to work with."

Karen and Peter Newkirk of Winslow weatherized their 150-year-old, eight-room farmhouse by investing close to $20,000 in the project. They blew insulation into the basement, replaced a dozen windows in the house, stripped the house's exterior, installed insulation board around the outside and resided it.

"The floors are warmer when you walk on them," Kate Newkirk said. "We also have an outdoor wood boiler, which we got five or six years ago for $7,000 or $8,000. We've probably got that paid off, and more."

Like the Andermans, the Newkirks are energy- and environment-conscious.

"We believe that oil is not a good basis for running the economy," Kate Newkirk said. "That's our mantra here -- be as sustainable as possible."

'MONEY OUT THE WINDOW'

The cost of oil and electricity is going to continue to increase, and old houses are going to continue to deteriorate, said Kate Newkirk, an organic certifier and associate director of processing and handling for the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association. She also has a consulting business that does inspections for other certifiers, and her husband works for the state Department of Environmental Protection.

"You're throwing money out the window, basically," she said, of living in a leaky home. "I think it's worth it, economically if nothing else. My soul feels good because it's economical if you're using less oil -- and you're paying for less oil, which helps your pocketbook."

Sustain Mid-Maine last year received the prestigious Hastings Award from the Efficiency Maine Trust for its efforts to further Maine's goals of energy efficiency and environmental enhancement.

Woods said a sustainability conference will be held from 8:15 a.m. to about 5 p.m. Saturday at Kennebec Valley Community College in Fairfield. The event is free and open to the public.

Those wanting more information may go to the website: www.sustainmidmaine.org.

 

Morning Sentinel Staff Writer Amy Calder can be contacted at 861-9247 or at:

acalder@centralmaine.com

 

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