Portland to spend $9.5M to convert schools, buildings to natural gas

Posted Aug. 18, 2011, at 3:28 p.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — Portland is spending $9.5 million to convert 10 schools and eight other buildings to natural gas. Once it’s completed, natural gas will represent 85 percent of the fuel load in Portland.

Ian Houseal, Portland’s sustainability coordinator, tells WCSH-TV that the city will save about $900,000 a year if heating oil remains at $3 a gallon.

The schools will be finished in September, with other municipal buildings wrapping up in November. WCSH-TV says most of the buildings switching to natural gas will be duel fuel, so they can switch back to oil if they need to.

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