Incentives driving Mainers to energy audits

Posted Aug. 15, 2010, at 9:01 a.m.
Eric Theriault, of Cash Energy Co., makes a heating oil delivery Tuesday, July 27, 2010 in Portland, Maine. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, heating oil prices are expected to climb gradually this winter with no wild price spikes projected. (AP Photo/Joel Page)
AP
Eric Theriault, of Cash Energy Co., makes a heating oil delivery Tuesday, July 27, 2010 in Portland, Maine. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, heating oil prices are expected to climb gradually this winter with no wild price spikes projected. (AP Photo/Joel Page)

PORTLAND, Maine — Though it’s been a hot summer, plenty of Maine residents are focused on cold winter, and taking advantage of state rebates and federal tax credits for weatherization projects.

Eligible homeowners who have an energy audit by Sept. 30 and make improvements by year’s end that cut energy use by specific amounts can get up to $5,500 in rebates and credits. Requests for audits have jumped fivefold since June, and some contractors say they’re struggling to meet demand.

Some see that as a sign that Maine can reach its ambitious goal of cutting heating oil use by 20 percent in 10 years and weatherizing all homes by 2030. But other contractors told the Portland Press Herald they worry business will stall if the incentives are pulled back.

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