December 31, 2012

It's Cold Around these Parts

In keeping with tradition, all lifts at the Sugarloaf ski area are on wind hold this morning. Temperatures have been hovering around 10 degrees Fahrenheit with wind gusts of 100 mph at the top of the mountain.  Nobody is stirring outside, as the weather is fit for man nor beast. 

Meanwhile, inside the condo . . . 

Yes, we're still stuck in the condo this lovely New Years Eve day, but this year we're actually cozy and comfortable.  That's because my father-in-law had a revelation and asked the condo association if he could be the Guinea pig and get an energy audit.   After consulting with DeWitt Kimballof Complete Home Evaluation Services over the summer, it was apparent there were large gains to be made.  Per the audit report, Upright Frameworks did some air sealing and insulated the attic.  As a result, we're free and clear of ice dams this winter.

The Condo Opportunity in Maine 

Meanwhile, the rest of the ski condos in Commons II haven't made energy upgrades.  Check out the ice dams coming off our neighbor's roof, which might just impale some small dog scurrying around the parking lot. Why haven't more ski condo owners thought about home performance and energy efficiency?  Well, they should.


Maine has a multi-family rebate of up to $1,400 per apartmentor 50% of installed costs, whichever is less. It's unclear, though, whether condo associations qualify for the rebate, since individual families own the condos but associationsare typically responsible for the building enclosures.  From an efficiency standpoint, it's important to have continuous insulation around the building shell, which would require all condo owners to get retrofits.  A rebate for the condo association seems like a reasonable way to promote efficiency across all condo units.