AUGUSTA (AP) — Carbon credits are often associated with utilities and other big fuel-burning industries, but now the Maine State Housing Authority is getting into the act.

“We are making history,” said Dale McCormick, director of the agency known as MaineHousing. It is now one step away from being able to sell carbon emission reductions earned from its home weatherization program.

MaineHousing’s method for measuring carbon savings from weatherization has been approved by First Environment, an independent, third-party validator, after two years of research showing that buttoning up homes to make them more energy efficient avoids two tons of carbon emissions per year per home, McCormick said.

McCormick said she’s confident Maine’s approach will achieve a second, final validation, as early as this fall.

Maine’s methodology, which is being watched across the nation, is the first protocol approved to measure carbon savings resulting from weatherization. MaineHousing would be able to sell the carbon savings created by weatherizing homes and apartments to weatherize more homes.

“This validation is a game-changing event,” McCormick said.

How much revenue the sale of carbon reductions would generate is not known because of fluctuations in the market, but MaineHousing expects it will raise enough money to contribute significantly to Maine’s long-term goal of weatherizing all residential housing in the state.

Maine Housing is seeking a federal Energy Department grant to help other states to utilize the same methodology to expand their own energy efficiency programs.

Carbon credit trading is an approach toward curbing carbon dioxide and other climate-changing greenhouse gas emissions. While most carbon trading is done in Europe, the fastest-growing market last year was in the 12 U.S. states and Canadian provinces participating in a carbon trading scheme, market analysis company Point Carbon said.

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