Beginning in September, we had our home insulated under the Efficiency Maine program, (www.efficiencymaine.com). We then had a highly efficient, inverter-type heat pump installed under the program. The required energy audit cost $350 out of pocket. There was no other out-of-pocket cost.

By using the heat pump from Sept. 13 to Dec. 13, we saved 46 percent of our annualized heating oil cost for that period, (total cost of oil for the year divided by 12). Our heat pump alone heats effectively for us during all the time the outside temperature is above 10 degrees Fahrenheit, which is usually almost all daylight hours. During the summer, savings also will be realized because we no longer will use window and portable air conditioner units that are so costly to operate.

We are paying the full cost from our fuel oil savings, and adding nearly $50 a month to our pocket. The cost to Maine was a $1,500 rebate and to the federal government a $300 tax credit. What we give back to society is a reduction in our carbon foot print (carbon dioxide) by 46 percent.

Increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is forming a blanket high above and holding in warmth from the sun, thus having a radical impact on our weather, and worse, on our environment.

Jim ChiddixWaterville