Yarmouth council to consider funding for energy consultant

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YARMOUTH — The Yarmouth Energy Savers’ Climate Action Plan was accepted by the Town Council, but a request for funds to establish an energy coordinator is still in the air.

YES presented the Climate Action Plan to the council on Jan. 20. The plan was created in response to the 2010 Comprehensive Plan, which instructs YES to provide recommendations relevant to energy usage and reduction of the community’s carbon footprint. It outlines potential energy saving initiatives and priorities ranging from no-idling and street- and lot-lighting policies, to funding a waste-water treatment plant and school-building efficiencies.

But the first recommendation in the plan the energy coordinator. YES requested $15,000 in fiscal year 2012 for the position. The council will consider the request during its budget deliberations.

Town Manager Nat Tupper said he will roll out the municipal budget at a workshop on Thursday, Feb. 3, and the council, as the Operations Committee, will begin working on the budget as early as Monday, Feb. 7.

“It makes sense to have an energy consultant,” Tupper said. “But it’s also a good idea to see if that person could collaborate with other departments – the school, town engineering, building and facilities – to address other needs. There may be a more strategic way to utilize this position.”

While the council will consider allocating funds for the position, YES Chairwoman Marge Titcomb said the group will work to create a job description for the position and send out a request for proposals in the coming months.

At a YES meeting on Monday, Jan. 24, Titcomb said the goal of the energy coordinator would be to find $30,000 in savings in fiscal year 2013.

“This position is proposed as a consultant,” Titcomb said. “We’ve completed the low-hanging fruit and this person could help us move forward with the next level of work.”

Titcomb said she would like the consultant to start work in July.

In other business, YES members discussed hosting an interior storm windows workshop to help residents seal their homes. They suggested collaborating with members of the high school Green Voices group, the Maine Green Energy Alliance and Yarmouth Cares About Neighbors organizations to teach people how to insulate their windows. YES would buy the materials and homeowners would leave the workshop with an interior storm window to reduce drafts.

More information will be available about the workshop by next month. The next YES meeting will be on Monday, Feb. 28, at 7 p.m. in the Town Hall Community Room at 200 Main St.

Amy Anderson can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or aanderson@theforecaster.net