June 21, 2018
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Houlton considers town energy audit

By Jen Lynds, BDN Staff

HOULTON, Maine — The Town Council is formulating a plan to be greener without giving out the green stuff.

The councilors are considering authorizing Town Manager Doug Hazlett to sign a letter of intent with Honeywell International to allow it to conduct an energy audit as part of the municipality’s Energy Retrofit Project.

The initiative aims to save taxpayer money by making town buildings more energy efficient.

Over the past few years, town officials have been taking steps to button up buildings by replacing doors and windows and putting in new boilers and furnaces to replace older, less efficient models.

If the town inks a deal with Honeywell, company employees will look at all of the town’s buildings and suggest projects the town could undertake to save money on energy bills. If the municipality makes plans to follow any of the recommendations, the energy audit is free. If it doesn’t, it must pay the company for its work, which would cost $6,000.

“Honeywell will look at everything, including lights, windows and doors,” Hazlett said earlier this week. “They will find us energy savings.”

He added that the town did not have to take all of the suggestions and could pick and choose what projects to complete.

Councilor Walter Goodrich said he felt the town had a responsibility to become more energy efficient.

“It will be good to save money on energy in the long term,” he said.

Councilor Sue Tortello agreed, saying the “forward-thinking project” would point the town in the right direction.

Other councilors, however, wanted more information about the proposed agreement and suggested postponing a decision on the matter until a Honeywell representative could attend a meeting and field their questions.

“We need to be more energy efficient,” said Councilor Paul Romanelli, “but if we don’t know what they are doing it makes me uneasy.”

The group tabled the matter until its next meeting.



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