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Cold weather may be on its way, but so are home heating solutions. The new Home Energy Savings Program from Efficiency Maine offers rebates of up to $1500 to homeowners who undertake eligible efficiency upgrades like air sealing and insulation.

“We’re thrilled to have new authority to help Maine homeowners lower their heating bills through investments in energy efficiency, and we’re glad to launch the program before the upcoming heating season,” says Michael Stoddard, Executive Director of Efficiency Maine.

Stoddard hopes 3500 homeowners will take part in the new program, lowering their heating costs and reducing Maine’s fuel use by as much as 630,000 gallons of heating oil each year.

“Air-sealing and insulation work are typically the most cost-effective improvements,” says Richard Burbank, whose company, Evergreen Home Performance, is one of Efficiency Maine’s registered contractors. “Each house is unique, though, so our energy advisors and production staff are really trained to be detectives, tracking down the biggest problems and installing solutions that make the biggest long-term difference.”

Evergreen offers free one-hour consults to help homeowners understand how air sealing, insulation, and basement encapsulation can lower their heating costs and make their homes more comfortable year-round. Burbank reports that Evergreen customers realize anywhere from 25-50% energy savings and enjoy warmer, more comfortable homes.

That goal – warmer homes, lower heating costs – makes sense to Patrick Woodcock, Director of the Governor’s Energy Office. “Mainers are painfully aware that our population pays some of the highest heating costs in the country, which burdens our economy and undermines household budgets. Instead of simply providing heating oil subsidies to get through the winter, our state must facilitate the investment in lowering these heating costs for the long-term.”

Funding for the new Efficiency Maine rebates was approved under the Omnibus Energy Bill last spring, and the program reflects input from a variety of stakeholders. Homeowners can access rebates either by selecting from a menu of eligible measures or by developing a custom project that achieves at least 20% energy savings. Both paths require homeowners to work with registered contractors, and to co-invest at least double the rebate amount.

Interested homeowners can learn more from Efficiency Maine or schedule a FREE energy consult from Evergreen Home Performance at 594-2244.