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February 8, 2012 | last updated February 9, 2012 9:46 am

Grant to fund Blue Hill energy monitoring study

Efficiency Maine has awarded PowerWise of Blue Hill an $88,267 grant for a program that will test whether homeowners use less energy if they know more about their energy consumption.

PowerWise, an energy monitoring services company, will install electricity-monitoring systems in 50 homes in Blue Hill Peninsula communities at no cost to the homeowners, according to a press release. Homeowners will track their energy use for one year, and PowerWise and a team from the University of Maine will analyze and report on the data. Joanne Steenberg, vice president of PowerWise, said the study is the first controlled study in the country with that many participants that includes detailed data. Steenberg said the research could be used as a model for reducing energy use on a wide scale.

The units, made by Powerhouse Dynamics of Newton, Mass., can monitor 22 individual circuit breakers as well as the total power used in the home. The study is expected to identify residential energy usage patterns, such as areas and times of heavy use and what the excess energy is used for.

The study is funded by Efficiency Maine through its Energy Efficiency Innovation Grant program.

Editor's note: This article was corrected to remove the reference to Bangor Hydro Electric Co., which officials say is not participating in this program.

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