LEWISTON — The city hopes to tap the public’s imagination next month in its hunt for energy- and money-saving ideas.

The Lewiston Energy Savings Committee plans to host a brainstorming session at 5 p.m. April 15 in the Lewiston City Council chambers.

Ian Houseal, special assistant to the city administrator, said the committee is looking for new ideas

“They just want to identify as many ideas as possible and get them all out on paper,” Houseal said. “Then, they can go through and sort through them and come up with some things the community wants and start making some concrete goals.”

The committee was formed in 2008 to look for ways to reduce the city’s carbon footprint. According to a report filed in December, the city spends about $1.87 million a year on energy — about 4 percent of the city’s overall budget.

About 40 percent of that goes to power, heating and cooling city buildings, including fire stations, the library and schools. Twenty-four percent goes to power streetlights and 22 percent to run city vehicles.

Houseal said he expects the brainstorming effort to focus on all of those areas: ways to foster building and vehicle efficiency, cutting down on indirect costs and changing city policies to save energy. Houseal said he hoped the group would consider ways to cut down on fugitive emissions — things that release excess carbon and fluorocarbons into the atmosphere.

Houseal said the committee is writing a five-year plan aimed at reducing energy use and energy costs citywide.

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