Last weekend my family and I had an opportunity to attend the 3rd Annual 2008 Maine Green Home and Energy Show at the Augusta Civic Center in Augusta, ME. We arrived late Sunday morning for the second day of the two day show and spent time speaking to various exhibitors at the show learning about their products and services.
Overall I felt the show was worth the price of admission ($6 for Adults, $5 for Seniors), however, I was disappointed that some of the most promising alternative energy technologies including geothermal energy were not represented at all.
From a population standpoint, Maine is a relatively small market. However, its heavy reliance on fossil fuels to heat homes during the cold winter months creates an ideal market place for vendors of geothermal heat pumps and other advanced alternative energy technologies to promote their products and services.
Also missing from the show were vendors of wind turbine, and solar electric panel technologies. Being a “Green Home and Energy Show”, it was discouraging that these promising technologies were not on display.
On the plus side, solar water heaters, wood fired water boilers, and pellet stoves were well represented. There was also a promising new “air source” heat pump manufactured by Hallowell International that claims energy efficiencies similar to geothermal systems without the need for trenching, digging, or drilling in your yard.
My favorite exhibitor was Charlie Holly from Kennebec Home Performance. As a Maine Certified Energy Auditor and BPI Certified Building Analyst, Mr. Holly spent a great deal of time discussion the home energy audit process with me, and explained how he utilized advanced techniques and equipment to analyze and improve each home’s unique energy ratings with preapproved energy efficiency contractors.
More than 40% of all energy in the United States is used for heating and cooling living spaces, but with people like Mr. Holly in the business, that figure is likely to change.
I hope that the the show continues to grow in popularity and a wider field of alternative energy technologies is represented in the future. There is a need to bring public awareness to the great advances we have been making in our quest for energy independence and these shows are an excellent way to get the information out.
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