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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 14, 2003

For more information please contact:
Muriel Mosher
Tel: 207-623-0680

Maine MEP Collaborates on Statewide Initiave:
Announces Plan to make Maine a Leader in Energy Efficiency


AUGUSTA, ME - Public, private and non-profit leaders have collaborated to unveil a new statewide initiative aimed at helping Maine companies become more competitive in the global economy and improve their bottom line through energy efficiency, energy management and conservation. “It is my goal to help make Maine a leader in energy efficiency,” said Rod Rodrigue, executive director of the Maine Manufacturing Extension Partnership (Maine MEP), a member of the national MEP network of manufacturing extension centers that provide business and technical assistance to small and medium-sized manufacturers. “And, the program I have the privilege of introducing today is the first step in making that goal a reality. By utilizing the expertise of several statewide groups and organizations involved in energy-based initiatives, we will make it possible for all Maine companies to develop an energy management strategy that makes sense for each company.”

This initiative calls for a series of workshops to be held in late May and throughout June on the campuses of Maine’s Technical College System in Wells, Auburn, Bangor, Calais and Presque Isle.

Sponsored by the Maine MEP, Maine Industries of the Future, Maine’s Industrial Efficiency Partnership, the Maine Technical College System and Efficiency Maine, the workshops will be led by Dr. Scott Dunning, Executive Director of the Advanced Manufacturing Center at the University of Maine and Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering Technology.

“These workshops will prepare Maine companies to adopt continuous improvements in energy efficiency through a training program that gives them the knowledge to understand how their manufacturing systems use energy,” Rodrigue said. “Company officials will also learn how to develop energy management systems specific to their operations, perform a step-by-step energy self-audit at their facility and factor cost benefits in relation to return on investment.”

The in-house energy audit will utilize a computer program developed under the supervision of Dr. Dunning and written by Dr. Bruce Segee and Evan Chowdhury at the University of Maine and provided by the State Energy Office at the Department of Economic and Community Development. “While major companies often have their own energy management teams, many Maine companies don’t have that luxury,” said Rodrigue. “These workshops, and the self-audit that will result, will give all Maine companies, no matter how big or how small, the opportunity to make the right choice when making decisions on an energy program.”

In addition to Dr. Dunning and representatives of the sponsors, project managers from the Maine MEP will be at each workshop to assist company officials and to offer their services during the follow-up phase.

The Maine MEP provides information, decision support, and implementation assistance to manufacturing firms in adopting new, more advanced manufacturing technologies, techniques, and business best practices, in the most cost effective and efficient manner. The workshops, which will begin on May 30 at York County Technical College in Wells, will cost $35 and run from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. The registration fee will include materials, lunch and breaks.

Other workshops will follow on June 6 at Eastern Maine Technical College in Bangor, on June 13 at Central Maine Technical College in Auburn, on June 20 at Washington County Technical College in Calais, and June 27 at Northern Maine Technical College in Presque Isle. Anyone interested in attending a workshop may register online at www.maineiof.org or by calling 775-1200.

The Maine MEP is an affiliate of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) under the U.S. Department of Commerce. The national MEP is a network of manufacturing extension centers that provide business and technical assistance to smaller manufacturers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Through MEP, Manufacturers have access to more than 2,000 manufacturing and business “coaches” whose job is to help firms make changes that lead to greater productivity, increased profits and enhanced global competitiveness. For more information on the Maine MEP program call 1-800-637-4634.


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