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Brunswick Times Record

1/23/2004

To the editor:

A major milestone for Maine passed quietly on Dec. 29 at 6 p.m. when 10 million kilowatts of clean green electrical power had been used by Mainers. This was power from Maine companies. Green power is produced by environmentally responsible hydropower and a few clean biomass installations. Maine has a surplus of green power. It replaces, on our power grid, electricity produced by fossil fuels and nuclear power. This is significant since some estimates say that around 30 percent of our current energy pool is used to produce electricity.

Green energy is truly a grassroots movement. It started right here when Erika Morgan of Brunswick and Edna Smith of Manchester applied for a grant from the national Episcopal Church. Both ladies had experience in power production. The stated purpose of the grant was "to protect God's creation." They approached the Maine Council of Churches. Electrical production was different from its usual undertakings, but because of the world crisis looming from global warming, the council agreed. Materials were mailed. Volunteers spoke at services. All churches of all denominations were contacted and many agreed to help. The organization was then named Maine Interfaith Power and Light.

The challenge was to keep the cost competitive with the current cost of fossil fuel electricity; $10 a month seemed to be the threshold. Maine Renewable Energy, a Portland firm was able to come in with a premium that would cost the average family about $7 a month. This is the cost of one movie ticket and acceptable.

Almost to a man, Americans would like to reduce our dependence on Middle East oil. The reasons are obvious. As a country we are doing little to stop global warming. Recently, scientists said we will lose an enormous amount of species in the next 50 years. Often we lay such responsibility on our children. This is imminent. As individuals we often feel helpless in global situations. This is a perfect example of how working together we can make a difference.

Probably, not one person in a thousand reads the fine print on their electric bill after the initial bill. If you were to read Page 3 of your next bill, you would see, "Go 100% renewable and 100% Maine!"

Constellation Power Source Inc., a leading electric supplier in New England, and Maine Renewable Energy now offer green power from Maine's renewable sources. For information, contact Maine Renewable Energy at 772-6190 or visit www.energymaine.com. Brunswick area citizens can call the office at 729-9665 or with electric bill in hand (for your consumer number) visit the Web site for more information and sign up right over the computer. Everything else stays the same. You will still have the same maintenance and billing from Central Maine Power.

If you do decide to become part of the solution, you will see this on your next bill. "Through your decision to buy Maine renewable energy, you are helping to clean Maine air, support Maine jobs and promote energy independence for Maine and the country."

Ellie Swanson,
Brunswick

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