BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Bangor city officials are hoping to save homeowners money on the cost of heating their homes, and at the same time, go green.

A new energy efficiency incentive being unveiled could make it cheaper to bring homes up to the green standard and modernize the housing market.

Homeowners who weather or insulate their homes are already eligible for rebates from Efficiency Maine, but Bangor is offering a plan to pay residents for their green efforts.

Energy-saving moves like an energy audit or home weatherization could cost $600, but with this new plan, it could cost as low as $100.

Heating an older home, like the ones in the housing market in Bangor, can be costly.

“My husband just retired and I'm getting close to retirement, we're looking ahead to living on a fixed income and fuel prices can fluctuate wildly and can be a major part of people's expenses in our older years so we wanted to have more energy security,” said Karen Marysdaughter, a Bangor resident.

There are some long-term ways to save money like Karen and her husband.

“We added insulation to the walls and to the ceiling, we had some vents that were taken out and sealed up, and we improved the insolating value quite a bit,” said Marysdaughter.

The city of Bangor plans to unveil an energy efficiency incentive so homeowners can make their homes more eco-friendly at a low cost. Getting an energy audit and air sealing, for instance, that could cost hundreds, may only cost $100 after rebates from Efficiency Maine and the city.

“A lot of times you might get some sticker shock with the possibility of doing weatherizing, even though you know in the long run it's going to save you money. With the city of Bangor energy-efficiency incentive, it won't take as long to make that money back and therefore make it worth your while,” said Bangor Mayor Sean Faircloth.

They also hope to modernize old homes to make Bangor a more attractive place to live, without the huge expense of heating in the winter months.

“This offers the opportunity to take what is in many cases a beautiful old housing market stock but weatherize it so that when people are buying homes in the Bangor area they don't get sticker shock when they look at their winter heating bill,” said Faircloth.

The city said global warming is also a good reason to update houses on a local level.
“Let's have some leadership here simply because we have to if we care about our next generation,” said Faircloth.

The city will be holding a public forum in July for residents to learn what the best option would be for their home. Mayor Faircloth is asking any community groups interested in buying bundled packages or spreading the word about the incentive to reach out to the city and come to the forum.