SMCC Offers Free Weatherization Classes to Ease the Burden of LIHEAP Cuts, Spike in Heating Oil | Business

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SMCC Offers Free Weatherization Classes to Ease the Burden of LIHEAP Cuts, Spike in Heating Oil

With a recent spike in oil prices and cuts to the Low Income Heating Assistance Program (LIHEAP) threatening to leave many Mainers out in the cold, Southern Maine Community College (SMCC) is offering free weatherization courses to help ease the burden of the Maine winter. The classes, offered through SMCC’s Continuing Studies Department, will be taught at the Sustainable Energy Alternatives Center (SEA Center) on the South Portland campus.
 
The workshop will be offered on two dates: the first on Tuesday, January 24 (6pm-8pm) and the second on Saturday, January 28 (9am-11am).
 
The federal government recently announced that funding for Maine’s LIHEAP program would be reduced to $23 million, a $33 million cut from previous levels. In addition to reduced aid, Maine families are facing rapidly increasing fuel costs, with the price of heating oil increasing by $.13 a gallon during the month of January.
 
Dr. Ron Cantor, President of SMCC said, “Our college’s mission is to empower people with skills to respond to a changing world. By offering a free weatherization workshop, we give people the opportunity to stay warm at a time when oil prices are rising and heating assistance and temperatures are dropping.”
 
During the 2-hour class students will learn how heat escapes houses and what cost-effective measures maximize energy efficiency. The workshop will focus on no- or low-cost improvements and include a discussion about financing opportunities for larger-scale solutions. Participants will also learn installation tips and techniques for using basic weatherization materials. 
 
“People will learn very low cost ways to reduce their energy consumption by up to 25%,” said John Brautigam, Director of SMCC’s SEA Center. “For a lot of families, that could be the difference between staying warm this winter or having their oil tank run dry.”
 
While the classes are free and open to the public, advanced registration is required.  People may register for the free course by calling (207) 741-5862, Monday – Friday from 8am to 5pm or by emailing mcox@smccme.edu. Space is limited so people are encouraged to sign up quickly.
 
More information about the course can be found on SMCC’s website at www.smccme.edu/free-weatherization.
 
The Continuing Studies Department at SMCC offers professional development, personal interest and workforce training programs at the College’s South Portland and Midcoast campuses, the Bath Center, and online. Courses are offered weekdays, weeknights and on weekends, with many options available for professional certification. 
 

 

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