AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A non profit group created to convince people in eight maine communities to invest in home weatherization projects and energy audits is losing its federal grant money. The Maine Green Energy Alliance started work in August, and says it has helped 50 homeowners complete audits and energy retrofits -- with another 200 currently applying for the program.
The $3 million grant to the Alliance is administered by Efficiency Maine. But now that agency is taking the money back, and will use it to extend a home energy rebate program instead.
Efficiency Maine says it likes the community outreach project of the Alliance, which educates people about the benefits of home weatherization. But they say the rebate program has become very popular and is in danger of running out of money. In the same time the Alliance completed 50 homes, Efficiency Maine says it helped with 1,700 homes.
"We could see while their program was delivering results this other program with the rebates was delivering much faster results," said Michael Stoddard of Efficiency Maine. "And we felt we owed it to the people of Maine to get the funds out to those rebates as quickly as possible."
"It became clear to us their intention was to grab our year two and three funding and we couldn't argue against that. I think from a long term perspective we think there's still a need for the education and outreach," said Tom Federle of the Maine Green Energy Alliance.
The Maine Green Energy Alliance has spent more than $350,000 so fae, out of the original grant of $3 million. Efficiency Maine will now take most of that grant money. Stoddard says anyone who is currently applying for the rebate program through the Alliance will be taken care of through the Efficiency Maine staff.