DEXTER, Maine — A Dexter couple has offered to pay the local match should the town receive a $50,000 energy efficiency grant to install solar panels on the Police Department’s roof.
Ron Apel said Saturday that he and his wife, Ruth Fogg, figure it’s better to help offset electrical costs and thus reduce taxes than continue to pay escalating power costs. They have offered to pay the 25 percent local match if the town gets the Energy Efficiency Grant administered by the Public Utilities Commission. The grant application will be submitted by the town this week.
“We’re both very into energy efficiency and renewable energy,” Apel said. “We just want to spread the word that even in Maine when the sun doesn’t shine every day, it’s still a viable source of energy.”
Apel and Fogg have been fixtures on the town’s energy committee since its formation two years ago. They first had offered to pay for a windmill at the skating rink but residents in the area worried about the noise, so the couple withdrew that offer. Apel said they don’t want to force anything on residents, but instead they want to tap into natural energy sources for taxpayer savings.
The couple also is working with town officials for a small hydropower facility in the community.
Apel and his wife originally had offered to donate a solar panel that would generate 2.5 kilowatts a day for the police station but later learned of the state grant for energy efficiency demonstration projects. Those funds would allow panels that produce 8 to 10 kilowatts a day, enough to power the station completely and have some extra left over for other municipal buildings, he said.
Apel wondered aloud what better place there could be to have a demonstration site for solar panels than on the police building located on the intersection of the Moosehead Trail.