WindowDressers Wins 2018 Energy Saver Award!
Research done by the University of Maine shows that the nonprofit, which earns the Source Award for Energy Saver, helped save more than $2.2 million in fuel costs.
BY MEREDITH GOAD STAFF WRITER
Sometimes it takes only a little help to make a big difference.
That’s the philosophy behind WindowDressers, a Rockland-based nonprofit that is the winner of our Energy Saver award.
SOURCE SUSTAINABILITY AWARDS
The fourth annual Source Maine Sustainability Awards will be held Wednesday, April 4, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at Pineland Farms in New Gloucester.
Tickets are $25 and include dinner and cocktail hour. More information here.
The organization helps Mainers build low-cost, window-insulating inserts for their homes, which, in turn, reduce both fuel bills and carbon dioxide emissions. They keep drafty homes warmer and protect the environment at the same time.
Here’s how it works: Volunteers come to your home to measure your windows with laser precision. Homeowners buy and install the custom inserts, which are simply two layers of clear plastic that are wrapped on pine frames with foam weather stripping. (The average price per pine insert this year will be $28, according to the organization’s director, Laura Seaton.) Homeowners who take advantage of the program are then expected to attend a community workshop, to help build inserts for other households.
“These inserts are not difficult to build,” Seaton said. “What we do mainly is provide the training to show people how to do it, and the materials for people to build it with. So instead of each household running around and having to buy the lumber and find a place to get plastic that’s going to work well and figure out which are the right kinds of tape to use and what length of screws they need, we provide all of that ready to go. And we’ve bought it in bulk so we get a good price on it.”
In 2017, more than 2,000 volunteers at 27 community workshops build 6,214 inserts. Based on research done by the University of Maine, those inserts saved 880,000 gallons of heating fuel and more than $2.2 million in fuel costs.
Michael Stoddard, executive director of Efficiency Maine, said that as long as the window inserts are properly stored and then re-installed over multiple winters, they offer a simple, cost-effective way for Mainers to save money and make their homes more comfortable.
“Helping Mainers on fixed incomes to affordably get through our long, cold winters is a tall task,” he said. “Programs from Efficiency Maine and MaineHousing offer some assistance, but we have limited budgets so it is great to see WindowDressers mobilizing volunteers to reach out and help their neighbors with this low-cost way to save energy.”