Energy auditor Aaron Despres (right) inspects attic insulation with a homeowner.  Photo courtesy of Ellen Dooley
Energy auditor Aaron Despres (right) inspects attic insulation with a homeowner. Photo courtesy of Ellen Dooley
A free energy efficiency and weatherization workshop, sponsored by Maine Interfaith Power & Light (MeIPL) in cooperation with the Maine Green Energy Alliance, will be held at St. Margaret's Episcopal Church, 95 Court Street in Belfast, on Sunday, November 14, from 2 to 4 p.m.

The workshop is aimed at assisting local homeowners and faith groups to save money on energy bills while reducing their fossil fuel use.

Information on current federal and state incentives to help homeowners pay for energy improvements, including Efficiency Maine's Home Energy Savings Program, will be presented. Homeowners who start their projects before December 31 may be eligible for up to $4,500 back. Furthermore, Belfast residents will soon be able to tap into a state-sponsored revolving loan program that would give homeowners access to up to $15,000 in loans for specified energy improvements designed to save more on energy bills than is owed in loan payments. Opportunities for faith groups - including energy audits and rebates - will also be discussed.

The average Maine home uses 900 gallons of heating oil per year. "Through air-sealing and insulating, most Maine homes can save 25 percent or more on heating bills," says Jen Niese of MeIPL.

To illustrate the benefits of energy-efficiency improvements, case studies of St. Margaret's Church and a Belfast home will be examined during the workshop. Diane and Mark Cook, a Belfast couple, will discuss their recent experience with the Maine Home Energy Savings Program and their success in identifying up to 50 percent in energy savings.

MeIPL is a nonprofit organization. Started in 2000, it is one of 36 Interfaith Power & Light chapters nationwide. MEIPL engages the faith communities of Maine in efforts to counter climate change through education, advocacy, energy conservation and the use of clean, renewable power.

The Maine Green Energy Alliance is also a nonprofit organization, dedicated to helping Mainers dramatically improve the energy efficiency of their homes while saving money, strengthening the local economy, and sustaining Maine's environment for future generations.

The workshop is free and open to anyone who would like to attend. Light refreshments will be served. Those planning to attend are asked to pre-register by visiting www.meipl.org or calling 721-0444.