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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  
June 01, 2009
 
MEREDA Conference Focuses on Maine’s Green Energy Future
 
PORTLAND, Maine – The Maine Real Estate & Development Association’s annual spring conference this year took a timely look at Maine’s green energy future with two panels of energy experts moderated by former Maine Governor Angus King.

“Energy Solutions for an Ever-Changing Market” was held on Thursday, May 28, 2009, at the Abromson Community Education Center on the University of Southern Maine campus in Portland and via video conference at WBRC Architects-Engineers in Bangor.

Former Governor King opened the discussion by noting that 50% of Maine’s electricity is generated by natural gas, 80% of Maine homes are heated with oil, and nearly 100% of the fuel used for transportation is petroleum-based. It is a “scary vulnerability that Maine faces,” King said, referring to the state’s dependence on fossils fuels.

The conference featured two panels of energy experts, as well as more than a dozen exhibitors of green energy products and services.

Panelists agreed that energy efficiency continues to be a great investment for owners of commercial and industrial properties, businesses who lease space, and homeowners. However they said that programs to help property owners take advantage of energy efficiencies and alternative energy systems – especially in the area of financing – need to be simplified and streamlined.

While no one was willing to predict where energy prices are headed, panelists felt strongly that Maine property owners and consumers need to remain focused on energy conservation and energy alternatives regardless of where the price of oil is at any given time.

“The major things we learned from Governor King and our panelists,” said Ray Cota, MEREDA president, “is that energy efficiency is always a smart investment, that we need to make it easier for property owners to take advantage of energy system improvements, and that while there is no single “silver bullet” solution when it comes to reducing energy costs, there are many different energy strategies and technologies that property owners can and should be pursuing.”
 
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