Weatherizing Maine’s older home stock

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Cody Moreau, a worker from Horizon Homes, uses a hose to blow fill bays encased in a membrane with insulation in an attic in South Portland. Weatherizing homes will be necessary to reach Gov. Janet Mills ambitious climate change goals, but the industry is dealing with a tight labor market and the expense of some home projects. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

Energy efficiency remains the improbable dream

by Tux Terkel, Press Herald

In the battle over climate change, Maine will need an army of insulators willing to suit up in Tyvek and respirators, load their spray-foam guns and crawl into tens of thousands of dank cellars and sweltering attics.

Gov. Janet Mills and lawmakers have set a goal of slashing greenhouse gas emissions by 45 percent in 2030. To get there, the state’s aging, oil-burning housing stock will have to be made more energy-efficient, one attic at a time.

Careful weatherization can cut fuel consumption by a third or so, contractors say. Retrofitting the bulk of Maine homes could eliminate emissions from millions of gallons of oil, propane and natural gas every year.

But at the current pace of weatherization, there’s no way to reach enough homes in 10 years.

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