News Feature

Originally published in Compass, May 15, 2014
OneHancock to lead energy initiative May 22

The OneHancock group will lead an energy-saving home heating initiative on Thursday, May 22, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Ellsworth City Council Chambers. This will be a two-part information and discussion meeting for all interested Hancock County municipal officials. The public is invited.

Part one is to inform municipal officials about and to encourage adoption of a privately funded, municipally managed heat and power program as an extra tool with which the town official assessing local heating assistance claims under General Assistance can help those most in need. Given the limited funds available—a $10,000 grant awarded to the Hancock County Planning Commission by the Hancock County Commissioners—the OneHancock initiative is a pilot project. Its “energizing” factor is matching private donations to a town’s heat and power funds 50 cents on the dollar. No tax monies are involved.

The Planning Commission filed the grant application on behalf of OneHancock. Grants are awarded from Community Benefit Fund monies derived from $315,000 in annual fees paid to the county by the First Wind power company for operation of its wind powered electrical energy generating farm on Bull Hill in Township 16.

Part two of the all-town meeting is to present an proposal that would address an important root cause of the fuel assistance crisis experienced this past heating season by too many Hancock County families—the need for weatherization of homes plus the repair of leaking roofs of many homes so that they can be weatherized.

The depth of the need for weatherization and repair as a critical step in saving energy is a situation brought to light by Washington Hancock Community Agency representatives at a fuel assistance forum held in January by OneHancock, according to a press release.