By Ramona du Houx

January 20, 2010

03c72fa5dfc1ab29-wdsc_0022-copy1-300x201Governor Baldacci greets winners of the annual energy savings tips contest in his office. Photo by Ramona du Houx

Governor John E. Baldacci today joined Maine Public Utilities Commission Chair Sharon Reishus to recognize six Maine students at the seventh annual Governor’s Energy Savings Tips Contest Award Ceremony.

“In the last year we’ve helped 10,000 Maine students participate in learning curriculum focused on energy efficiency,” said Reishus. “Today students are being honored for their innovative energy saving tips, and it reflects the seriousness that surrounds energy issues today.”

The Governor said that the efforts of the young participants in the contest bolster the Administration’s efforts to reduce energy use statewide. Each winner was presented with an iPod Nano and a special backpack that contains a solar powered panel charger for the iPod.



PUC Commissioner Sharon Reishus joins Governor Baldacci and five of the students that won the energy saving tip contest. Photo by Ramona du Houx

“My brother car pools when he goes to a math competition,” said Tais Ferreia of Bangor. “That’s where I got the idea that more people could car pool.”

Megan Haney, whose father served in the National Guard had an idea to create a patrol of students that would turn off computers and lights at the end of each day. Riley Bartash recommended using the sleep mood for printers and photocopiers.

3f49d1dc7ea2a259-wdsc_0114-copy-286x300Megan Haney accepts an ipod and the solar powered backpack from Gov. Baldacci that she won in the energy tips contest. Photo by Ramona du Houx

Two laundry tips won praise. “Just wash your cloths in cold water,” said Libby Cook. Dylan Fitzhenry, wants people to use natural air drying methods.

And Michaela Jordan said holidays would be brighter using LED Christmas energy saving lights.

“I commend these youngsters for helping to remind us all that we have opportunities every day to save energy and make our world a better place. The more people know about these ideas, they greater the possibility that they will be implemented in communities across the state,” said the Governor. “The competition has a great future. Our young people look for innovative ideas that will keep Maine competitive into the future.”

The students, their schools and winning energy tips:

4th Grade School Student: Tais Ferreira
School: All Saints Catholic School, Bangor
Winning Tip: “Instead of using your car every single day to go to school or your job, try to carpool with someone like your friend or take a bus. So we don’t pollute the earth that much.”

4th Grade Student: Michaela Jordan
School: Jewett-Hanson School, Buxton
Winning Tip: “Don’t give up your holiday lights because of the high energy usage, use instead solar powered LED Christmas lights. They automatically turn on as it gets dark and off again in the morning.”

5th Grade Student: Riley Bartash
School: Mattanawcook Junior High School, Lincoln
Winning Tip: “Put printers and photocopiers on sleep mode instead of leaving them on.”

5th Grade Student: Libby Cook
School: Morison Memorial School, Corinth
Winning Tip: “Use cold water when washing clothes.”

6th Grade Student: Megan Haney
School: Central Middle School, Corinth
Winning Tip: “Start an Energy Patrol at school. Vote 4-5 responsible people to turn lights off, and shut off computers at the end of the day.”

6th Grade Student: Dylan Fitzhenry
School: Bay Ridge Elementary School, Cutler
Winning Tip: “Hang out laundry or buy a laundry rack.”