An article in the online newspaper on Aug. 9 (“Natural gas choice not clear for all”) raised my ire.

It mentioned the role Efficiency Maine may have in assisting residents to convert to natural gas.

I do not like Efficiency Maine, because their programs have absolutely nothing for most of the poorer residents of Maine. These poorer residents are those who cannot afford to buy a house. Instead, they are renters. Contrary to popular opinion, not all renters get their heat included in the rent.

On a limited income, I pay approximately $2,000 a year for No. 2 oil to heat my apartment. Even if I got my landlord’s permission to convert my heating source from oil to gas, Efficiency Maine will not work with me, because I do not own my living quarters. Most poor people do not own their living spaces, so are excluded from any assistance from Efficiency Maine.

My apartment would benefit from some weatherization, and my heating bill would be lower.

Can I use Efficiency Maine’s weatherization program? No, because I don’t own the building. Because of its exclusionary policies, Efficiency Maine’s programs are mostly limited to the middle and upper classes of Maine residents — those who own their homes, not renters, even if the renter pays for their own heat.

Phyllis Hyde


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