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‘Weatherize MDI’ program returns to Mount Desert Island

Published: Dec. 13, 2021 at 5:31 PM EST
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BAR HARBOR, Maine (WABI) - ‘A Climate to Thrive’ is a nonprofit on MDI working to make the island energy independent by 2030.

The organization is partnering with Penobscot Home Performance to launch its “Weatherize MDI” program in February, offering free consultations and incentives on making the home safer and more energy efficient.

Penobscot Home Performance has been in the business of maximizing home energy use for fourteen years, so working with A Climate to Thrive on it’s Weatherize MDI program is a good fit.

“We come to the house,” said Penobscot Home Performance Co-owner Paul Shepherd. “We do a walk-through energy consult where we advise homeowners on the best things they can do to make the house more comfortable and energy efficient.”

“The wonderful thing about a weatherize program is that it’s a win-win-win,” said Johannah Blackman, A Climate To Thrive’s Interim Executive Director. “Where you’re reducing energy, you’re reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but you’re also reducing the cost of energy- the cost of fuel to homeowners. At the same time, you’re improving the safety and comfort of their homes. So its just such a no-brainer of a program. And with the incredible rebates from Efficiency Maine and a discount through the Weatherize Program, homeowners can afford this more than ever.”

The program includes saving hundreds of dollars on air sealing, and thousands on insulation. David Gibson, College of the Atlantic’s Director of Energy, said COA is happy to already be doing both for its newly acquired student housing.

“We’ve put two feet of cellulose insulation in these attics, so about 50 or 60m percent above current building codes” Gibson said. “The idea being we’ve put a nice big blanket over these whole buildings, keeping the heat in, keeping the students comfortable all winter long, and it reduces our bills going forward.”

According to Blackman, while the program is for MDI residents only, A Climate To Thrive hopes to be the catalyst for other communities to work toward warmer, more efficient homes.

“We’re really eager to share what we learn with those communities and help them launch their own weatherize program as easily as possible.”

For more information on the Weatherize MDI Program, visit aclimatetothrive.org

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