County nets grant for energy upgrades

Posted Jan. 14, 2010, at 7:45 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 11:36 a.m.

CARIBOU, Maine — Aroostook County will benefit from a $306,800 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy that will help pay for energy efficiency enhancements to County buildings.

The state’s congressional delegation announced Wednesday that the money is coming from the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program.

The funding will assist with energy audits and building retrofits in the residential and commercial sector, the development and implementation of advanced building codes and inspections, and creation of financial incentive programs for energy efficiency improvements.

“This is going to pay for more energy-efficient windows, doors and an energy-efficient boiler for the Sheriff’s Department building in Houlton,” Aroostook County Administrator Doug Beaulieu said Thursday. “This was something that we have always wanted to do, but we simply did not have the money to do it. Now, we can do it sooner rather than later.”

He added that energy improvements also would be made at the Aroostook County Superior Court buildings in Houlton and Caribou, and at the Fort Kent Registry of Deeds.

“This is also going to stimulate our economy by putting people to work on these projects,” he said. “I am very excited about this.”

He credited facilities manager Bryan Jandreau with helping to secure the funding, saying that he put a great deal of time and effort into bringing the cash to The County.

U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud was optimistic about the impact the funding would have on The County.

“The projects that will be made possible through this funding will help Maine’s local economies improve energy efficiency, save money and promote economic activity and job creation,” said Michaud. “Many Maine companies have already embraced energy-efficient technologies and practices because it is good for business. Other countries are moving fast to adopt these practices, and our country can’t afford to be left behind.”

U.S. Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins agreed, saying in a joint statement that “it is critical that we help foster locally developed and implemented energy saving and conservation programs.”

“The funding is welcome news,” they added.

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