Council ponders energy program

13 years ago

By Elna Seabrooks
Staff Writer

    HOULTON — During a brief council meeting, Town Manager Doug Hazlett laid out broad parameters of the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program.
    If Houlton approves an ordinance for the town to participate, it can contract with Efficiency Maine to distribute PACE funds “with no liability or cost to Houlton.” If such an ordinance is enacted, according to Hazlett, it could help property owners borrow money to improve a home’s energy efficiency following a required energy audit. The loan could then be used to purchase improvements such as windows, insulation, a furnace, a pellet boiler or improvements indicated in the audit.
    If approved for the loan, the homeowner can pay off the PACE loan or allow it to transfer with the property when the house is sold. Also according to Efficiency Maine, the loan would not be a tax or part of a tax lien process.
    According to literature provided by Efficiency Maine, the state “has the highest dependence on Number 2 heating oil of any state in the nation” and annual consumption is half-a-billion gallons accounting for financial and job losses in the state.
    The councilors adjourned briefly prior to executive sessions regarding economic development issues and another session concerning a union issue.
    The next council meeting will be held in Council Chambers, 21 Water St., Monday, Oct. 11, 6:30 p.m.