ENH Power & North Country Chamber Present Energy Panel

On October 22nd, the North Country Chamber of Commerce and ENH Power teamed up for a presentation and panel discussion on how to bring down electricity electricity costs and conserve energy in other areas.

On October 22nd, the North Country Chamber of Commerce and ENH Power teamed up for a presentation and panel discussion on how to bring down electricity costs and conserve energy in other areas.

With winter coming, Eversource/PSNH, Unitil, and Liberty electricity supply costs will be going up.   One of the goals of the discussion was to provide an insight into why New England electricity costs are high and what you can do now to reduce your electricity bill.

Panel experts included:  Candace Sanborn – VP of Marketing Provider Power/ENH Power, Stacy Sand, Energy Auditor-Go Green Energy Audits, Chris Miller from Rockingham Electric, Roland Berthium – Foam Insulator of North Country Spray Foam.

The next stop for the energy panel will be as part of the Mount Washington Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Meeting (October 29, 2015).  For details about this event, visit the Mount Washington Chamber’s website.

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Electricity Maine & Maine Apartment Association Energy Panel

Electricity Maine discussed plans to offer a new Nights and Weekends plan that will allow residential and small business owners as well as property managers to pay a substantially lower rate during off-peak hours.

On October 15, 2015, Electricity Maine joined energy experts from Central Maine Power (C.M.P), Efficiency Maine, and Wesco Distribution for a discussion about managing energy costs. Sponsored by the Maine Apartment Association, representatives talked about emerging technologies, efficiency lighting, rebate opportunities, and energy management and monitoring opportunities.

Electricity Maine discussed plans to offer a new Nights and Weekends plan that will allow residential and small business owners as well as property managers to pay a substantially lower rate during off-peak hours.  If you were not lucky enough to join us for the discussion, feel free to flip though some of the information that was presented.

Additional Energy Panels are planned in the coming months.  The next energy panel will be as part of Maine Biz’s Momentum Convention on November 11th and include representatives of ReVision Energy, Central Maine Power, Summit Natural Gas, and of course Electricity Maine.

 

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Energy Panel: Energy Efficiency & What It Means for Your Properties

With electricity rates likely to increase this winter we are teaming up with energy experts to provide a forum to discuss energy conservation, energy management tools and the importance of shopping for electricity plans.

With electricity rates likely to increase this winter, Electricity Maine is teaming up with Central Maine Power, Wesco Distribution and Efficiency Maine to provide a forum for property owners and facility managers to discuss opportunities for energy conservation, energy management tools and the importance of shopping for electricity plans.

Sponsored by the Maine Apartment Association, topics will include lighting and appliance upgrades (whose costs can be off-set by Efficiency Maine rebate programs), smart grid technology offered through CMP and information about electricity choice in a deregulated market.

 

Fall Education Seminar

 

To purchase tickets or other information visit The Maine Apartment Association’s website.

Panelists scheduled to appear are Mark Whitney from Wesco, Rick Meiking from Efficiency Maine, Brianna Pierce from CMP’s Energy Management Program and Emile Clavet, Co-Founder of Electricity Maine/Provider Power.

This energy forum is just the first of several Electricity Maine will be participating in over the next few months.   Future energy panels will include similar discussions around energy choice, conservation, and rebate opportunities.  Panels are planned for Augusta/Kennebec Valley area, Mid-Coast, Bangor, Lewiston/Auburn and York County.

 

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Green Living Business

4 Strategies for Starting a Company Recycling Program

A huge portion of the country’s waste paper comes from offices, so starting a company recycling program is a great way to reduce waste and encourage environmentally conscious practices. This could even be a selling point to potential employees who want to work for an environmentally-aware company.

A huge portion of the country’s waste paper comes from offices, so starting a company recycling program is a great way to reduce waste and encourage environmentally conscious practices. This could even be a selling point to potential employees who want to work for an environmentally-aware company.

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Here’s a look at strategies to get you started.

  • Start small. If your municipality offers single-stream recycling, then you may not need to worry about separating cardboard from plastic or glass. But if your recycling must be separated, then your employees may get overwhelmed by separate receptacles for paper, soda cans, plastic containers, compost and more. Start with paper—which likely makes up the bulks of your company’s recyclables anyway—and once employees get into the habit of recycling paper, add additional receptacles based on your company’s recycling needs. If your company uses a lot of printer ink, you might recycle ink cartridges. Or if your employees drink a lot of soda, consider bins for recycling cans (or put a soda-maker in the break room, so they can make their own soda without piling up disposable cans).
  • Make it easy. Some staff members are unlikely to recycle if it requires a hike down the hall or to another floor (though on the other hand, more zealous recyclers might even take recyclables home if their office doesn’t support recycling!). Remove this potential obstacle by placing recycling bins in easily accessible areas. Some companies even place a paper recycling bin at every employee’s desk so it’s just as easy to recycle paper as it is to toss it.
  • Get employees (and others) involved. Employees who are passionate about the environment can champion the program to their colleagues or even serve on a recycling committee to discuss recycling plans. Employees who aren’t as gung-ho about recycling might need more encouragement. Consider incentives such as a friendly competitive where the department with the least amount of trash over a given time period gets a prize. Or reward everyone with a pizza party with the proceeds from soda can recycling. But don’t assume the materials you gather for recycling will magically migrate to the recycling plant. In an Inc. magazine article, Seth Goldman, founder of Honest Tea, mentions how janitorial staff combined recycling and trash into one bag until he notified them of the company’s office-wide recycling program. Some buildings already have recycling programs your office could use.
  • Show appreciation. Thank employees and reinforce positive behavior on a regular basis. You can do so through your company newsletter or create a monthly or annual award for employees who go above and beyond in recycling efforts. If you can quantify the amount of material you’ve diverted from the trash (so many pounds of paper, for instance), that’s a great stat to share with employees or in press materials.

For more information on starting an office recycling program, check out the EPA’s resources for green workplaces and the Mother Nature Network.

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Business, Green Living Business

What Does It Take to Get LEED Certified?

For any business that cares about sustainability, the environment, or making the world a greener place, having its facilities LEED certified is a great way to do their part.

If you’re in the midst of a new construction or renovation and are considering LEED certification, here’s a primer on how to successfully complete the process, and why it’s worth considering.

Why Take the LEED?

LEED stands for Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, and is essentially a green building certification program for building projects. In order to earn a LEED certification, the project earns points based on the environmental impacts and human benefits of using particular building practices. There are different levels of certification depending on the number of points earned, and as a business owner, you must choose the type of LEED program that best fits your construction project. Your choices are:

  • Building design and construction (BD + C)
  • Interior design and construction (ID + C)
  • Building operations and maintenance
  • Neighborhood development
  • Homes

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To get certified, you must earn 40-49 points; silver certification requires 50-59 points; gold needs 60-79 points; and platinum is for those that earn 80+ points.

 

If you need some bottom-line motivation as to why it’s worth going through the process and expense of becoming LEED certified, three key points to keep in mind include:

  1. LEED-certified buildings cost less to operate, reducing energy and water bills by as much as 40 percent, as per the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).
  2. LEED buildings have higher air quality and more comfortable work spaces for employees, creating a healthier and more comfortable environment that can increase productivity.
  3. Over 60 percent of corporate leaders believe that sustainability leads to market differentiation and improved financial performance, according to USGBC.

The Path to LEED

The first steps of the LEED process can be completed online, beginning with registration. You’ll have to submit a registration form and your flat registration fee of $1,200, which will open your LEED Online account. The certification fee will be based on the size of the project and the rating system under which you register, with pricing beginning at $2,750. Naturally, the higher the level of LEED certification you’re trying to achieve, the more expensive it will be.

From there, you’ll be able to access various tools, and given step-by-step instructions on the documentation you’ll need for your application. If you’re working on BD+C and ID+C projects, you will have the option to split the LEED review, in which you will submit your application in two parts: one for design credits, and the other for construction credits.

Once you’re ready to begin working on your project, be sure to choose professionals – from engineers to consultants to architects — who are LEED-accredited to ensure that the job gets completed according to LEED specifications, recommends the National Resources Defense Council.

All in all, investing in a greener business will have long-term benefits, can help you operate more efficiently, and will set you apart in the eyes of your customers and clients. LEED certification is a proven path toward sustainability.

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CMP Warns Customers About Scam Phone Calls

Numerous media outlets are reporting that CMP residential and businesses customers are receiving call that they have missed a payment or a payment wasn’t processed properly.

Numerous media outlets are reporting that CMP residential and businesses customers are receiving call that they have missed a payment or a payment wasn’t processed properly.

Customers are told to buy a prepaid debit card and call another number with the card information.

Electricity Maine customers who have Central Maine Power should remember the following:

  • Neither CMP or Electricity Maine would ask customers to purchase debit cards to make payments. Any instruction involving such payment schemes should be considered a red flag.
  • To get a current account balance Visit http://www.cmpco.com and click on “Your Account” to get started. Complete information about payment options for your CMP account can be found here.
  • Do not make any payments over the phone to anyone who asks you to dial a different number.
  • Electricity Maine customers with questions about their account hould constact us at customerservice@electricityme.com or call 1-866-573-2674

Here are links to recent news stories:

Portland Press Herald

Maine Public Broadcasting

WCSH TV

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Are Automatic Bill Payments Driving Up Energy Use?

A recent study suggests those who use auto bill pay programs tend to not pay attention to how much power they use. The result, higher consumption and higher energy bills.

Across the Provider Power family of companies (Electricity Maine, ENH Power, Provider Power Mass) we take great pride in sharing ideas, tips and techniques to help you reduce energy consumption around your home and office. Let’s face it, regardless of how much you are paying per kilowatt for electricity, using less power is the best way to save on your power bill.

When was the last time you looked at your electric bill, do you know how how much power you are use every month? If you don’t know or haven’t looked at your electric bill, I wonder if it is because you participate in an automatic payment program.

A new study released by The Review of Economics and Statistics suggests customers who use automatic bill payment programs use more energy, and accordingly have higher bills, than those that aren’t.

While there is convenience for both the consumer and businesses, there may be an energy downside. More than 14 million monthly bills for 684,000 accounts (both residential and business) were reviewed. Those who participated in an auto pay program experienced a 4% increase in consumption. Newer participants in auto pay programs had a 6% increase in consumption. Businesses on an auto pay program use 8.1% more power.

There are a myriad of benefits to electric utilities, supply companies (such as us) as well as consumers to continue with automatic bill payments. Should we eliminate automatic bill payments? No. Should we pay closer attention to how much power we are using? Yes.  We shouldn’t allow the benefits of auto bill payments to supersede our responsibility to pay attention to energy usage.

In the “old days” we used to open our bill from our power company, write out a check and drop it in the mail.   According to the research, the hands off approach to paying our power bills, not reviewing the details or even look at our bill, has led to an out of sight/out of mind mentality.

Most utilities, especially those with an automatic bill pay options, offer the opportunity to review your power bill on line, including day by day usage details.

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Thanks to smart meters and smart grids, some of us are able to review energy use in real time (or close to real time). Central Maine Power customers are able to take advantage of CMP’s “Energy Manager”, customers are able to monitor energy use for the previous day.

Just as it took time for consumers to embrace the idea of auto payments, we should become more comfortable with and utilize the online resources available to us to monitor and track our energy consumption.

 

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Provider Power Targets Businesses With New Website

Providerpower.com/business is designed to help businesses across Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts navigate the complex world of electricity choice.
Provider Power helps businesses, schools, municipalities, and organizations of all shapes and sizes by giving them competitive electricity rate plans to help them manage their bottom line.

Provider Power, the Maine based parent company of Electricity Maine, ENH Power and Provider Power Mass, is pleased to announce the launch of providerpower.com/business.

The new site is designed to help businesses across Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts navigate the sometimes complex world of electricity choice.

Candace Sanborn, Provider Power’s Vice President of Marketing, says it was important for Provider Power to keep in mind the unique energy needs of small to medium businesses.  “As a mid-size New England company ourselves, we have an appreciation for the challenges businesses face with higher electricity costs than other regions of the country due to our weather patterns and lack of natural gas pipeline infrastructure. We share their concerns and are doing what we can in this space to help educate businesses about energy options and resources, as well as keeping them informed about the discussions and decisions that impact our region’s energy costs.”

The new Provider Power business website is designed to make shopping for electricity easier through a short intake process. “By asking a few simple questions up front we are able to move the process along quickly” says Sanborn.  After assessing energy use, depending on utility, Provider Power typically provides a quote within 3-5 business days.

With more than 200,000 residential and business customers across the Provider Power family of companies, has the systems, technology, experience and partners to accommodate businesses of any size.

To learn more about Provider Power’s business capabilities, visit www.providerpower.com/business.

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