LEWISTON — An effort to spread the word about home energy efficiency is looking for volunteers.
Local organizers of the Green Sneakers project hope to send up to 40 volunteers walking around the Twin Cities on Oct. 2 telling homeowners about ways to cut energy costs and how to qualify for state efficiency grants.
The effort has about 20 volunteers so far, according to Auburn organizer Jim Wellehan. He and other organizers touted the program at a news conference Friday.
Statewide, organizers hope to mobilize 150 volunteers to visit 2,000 homes in South Portland, Bangor, Thomaston and Bar Harbor. Each resident they talk to will get a reusable shopping bag with the Green Sneakers logo and information about energy saving, efficiency and state programs.
Wellehan, president of Lamey Wellehan Shoes, said he's worked hard to make his stores energy efficient.
"We used to just pay our energy bills without studying them," he said. "Then we looked and found out we could cut our spending on energy 10, 20, 30 percent."
Wellehan said one of his newer stores in Southern Maine uses 25 percent of the energy that a store built six years ago uses. Homeowners can see the same kinds of saving in their homes, he said.
Spreading that message is the Green Sneakers goal. A group of 40 volunteers will spread out across Lewiston and Auburn on Oct. 2, focusing mostly on middle-income neighborhoods with average home values between $100,000 and $200,000.
Volunteers can sign up to participate at either Lewiston or Auburn public libraries, at Lamey Wellehan in Auburn or online at www.coolmaine.org/green-sneakers-volunteer.
Project Chair Sandy Amborn said volunteers need to take an hour-long class online at the Coolmaine.org website. The online course was designed by an energy auditor that participated in the projects first canvassing in Rockland last year.
The Green Sneakers Project is a joint effort of the Sierra Club, Maine Council of Churches, Physicians for Social Responsibility and Cool Communities Maine.