After a long cold winter that lasted a bit longer than usual, many residents and business owners have spent a lot more on fuel than previous years. Over the weekend alternative sources of energy were highlighted at NMCC. The college hosted the 3rd Aroostook Partnership for Progress Alternative Energy and Biomass Fair. News Source 8’s Angela Christoforos has more on the potential for substantial savings with converting…
President of Aroostook Partnership for Progress Bob Dorsey said, “About 6 years ago I was burning between 1 thousand and 11 hundred gallons of oil a year, and by converting to pellets I’m saving about 2 thousand dollars a year. My system paid for itself within 4 years.”
He’s talking about using wood pellet biomass as an alternative energy source. Wood pellets are plentiful in our part of the state, and so is the supply for manufacturing them. And according to the Aroostook Partnership for Progress, nearly 100% of biomass funds stay right here in the County.
Executive Director of Maine Pellet Fuels Association Bill Bell said, “It’s not only cutting your heating bill in half, but it’s supporting local people in the area and Aroostook really is setting a great example for the rest of the state.”
But since there is no one-size-fits-all, several local distributors of alternative energy sources including wind, solar, propane, oil, and heat pumps were all represented at the energy fair as well.
President of NMCC Tim Crowley said, “If we can reduce our energy costs and become more efficient and have our own sustainability in terms of energy then it makes living here less expensive and for the business community it’s vital that they’re able to reduce their energy costs.”
And over the past year, Efficiency Maine has introduced a 5 thousand dollar rebate system on pellet boilers that could make the cost more affordable for consumers in the County.
County Universities and colleges have taken advantage of the substantial savings associated with biomass energy. The University of Maine at Fort Kent is heating 13 of it’s buildings with a biomass heating system, and Northern Maine Community College also heats several campus buildings with biomass energy as well.