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Energy workshop planned in Bath

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Energy workshop planned in Bath

BATH — A workshop on ways to save energy will be held in the Bath City Hall auditorium from 2-4 p.m. Wednesday, March 25.
The free workshop is geared toward educating small business owners and farmers on how to reduce energy costs, boost the viability of their businesses or farms, and create their own "green power." The event will be hosted by the Time & Tide Resource Conservation & Development Area Organization, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Agency, Cool Bath and Beyond and the city of Bath.
The USDA's Rural Energy for America Program, one topic to be discussed, offers grants, guaranteed loans and a combination of both to aid rural small businesses and agricultural producers buy and install renewable energy systems and make improvements in energy efficiency.
"Energy conservation improvements could include anything like refrigerator doors for a mom and pop grocery store, or it could involve on-demand hot water systems," Ron Desrosiers, coordinator with Time & Tide, said last week.
Energy conservation measures on dairy farms could include heat-recovery systems. "As the milk comes out of the cow it's at 98 degrees," Desrosiers said. "You need a lot of hot water, so it's recovering the heat from the milk and transferring that to the water that you're heating up."
Desrosiers also mentioned ways that wind and solar energy could be used. A restaurant using hot water for washing dishes, for example, could install panels in order to benefit from solar thermal energy, he said.
Another topic to be discussed, the Value-Added Producer Grant Program, supplies grant funds – with a 50 percent match required – to agricultural producers in order to plan activities and working capital expenses to develop an agricultural product project with added value.
Desrosiers said it would be good, once a business installs an energy-saving practice and reaps financial savings, for that business to reinvest its savings into further efficiency improvements. "It's pouring (the money) back into additional savings," he said.
Since seating in the auditorium is limited, people interested in attending are asked to RSVP by Monday, March 23, by contacting the Time & Tide office at 622-7847 ext. 4 or carl.perry@me.usda.gov.

Alex Lear can be reached at 373-9060 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net.
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