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USM Open House in Energy “Test House”

A USM program to give students and working professionals hands-on experience in evaluating energy conservation measures will hold an open house and demonstrations from 5 to 7 p.m., this Thursday, June 6 at 19 College Avenue, Gorham.

This event is free and open to the public. RSVP to Assistant Research Professor Daniel Martinez of the USM Department of Environmental Science at daniel.m.martinez@maine.edu or 207-780-5444. Martinez, who manages the house, is interested in talking with the general public, students as well as with energy conservation professionals about possible ways to partner in the testing, research, and education of affordable and new energy-saving technologies.    

The 19 College Avenue site is a university-owned building on USM’s Gorham campus built as a private home in the late 19th century. USM’s Applied Energy Program uses the building as a test site for the installation and monitoring of weatherization programs and other low-cost energy conservation measures on an older residential structure.  

Martinez  stresses that there has been insufficient focus on houses built before the energy crisis of the 1970s. He adds that most residential-level energy research is conducted in controlled laboratories outside of New England.  “We need the ability to research and teach using an actual, energy inefficient Maine house, rather than a controlled laboratory,” said Martinez. “We need to know what works best here under actual conditions.”