“Time and money go a long way in a little community and that is exactly what A.E. Robinson and Energy Kinetics have been able to offer.”
The conversation begins in the backroom of the Piscataquis Regional YMCA in Dover-Foxcroft, Maine. It might seem like it is in the middle of nowhere when the first topic of conversation is about the increasing population of bears. You might be wondering why the MEMA MAG is running an article about the YMCA in Dover-Foxcroft and what that could possibly have to do with Maine Energy or why we would be willing to drive so far to hear the story of a little non-profit organization housed in the northern woods of Maine.
Before we get too far into the heart of the story, let us bring to your attention that in the State of Maine there are hundreds of licensed fuel dealers. As you can imagine this is a rather important job here in Maine, especially in northern Maine where below 0 thermostat readings are not uncommon. This is one story of many stories that take place across the State. An example of the generosity and commitment to their communities that our members continue to show again and again.
The story begins in the fall of 2018 when Jim Robinson of A.E. Robinson was servicing what YMCA Facility Manager Tracy Redmond calls “dinosaur heating units.” Jim explains, “It had gotten to the point where we didn’t dare touch it.” A.E. Robinson had been servicing the same unit for the YMCA since 1988 when the organization first opened their doors.
“A.E. Robinson has been a great contributor to the YMCA throughout the years,” explains Bill Rayfield, Board President of the YMCA. “There are a lot of people in our community here that support our YMCA and A.E. Robinson is one of the biggest ones. They’re a huge supporter. That’s what it takes for a YMCA in a very small community like ours to stay afloat. We are humbled by their generosity.”
Although, it was not a feasible option for the YMCA due to budgetary constraints, Mr. Robinson knew the installation of a new Energy Kinetics boiler would pay for itself within a few years’ time. So, he made a suggestion: that the YMCA partner with A.E. Robinson to replace their boilers and four water tanks with two new EK3 model System 2000’s. This, in essence, would take care of ALL the YMCA heating and hot water needs. Not what we would call a small feat for this one building that services all of Piscataquis County.
Janna Loureiro, Executive Director YMCA, tells us, “To know that we would have a new and efficient system that would allow us to push some of our fuel savings towards our programming was really just an invaluable opportunity for our Y and our members.” She explains that there are not a lot of YMCAs left in rural communities like theirs and that they take their roll supporting the people of their county with health and wellness programming, educational services for their kids, aquatic services to teach people to swim, and therapeutic classes in the heated pool. “We feel very fortunate to know that we have community partners like A.E. Robinson who are behind us making sure that we are going to be here for a long time to come.”
The story is larger than A.E. Robinson or the YMCA. The story is of the people of Piscataquis County that take advantage of the incredible programs the Y has to offer. A.E. Robinson financed the system to the YMCA for $0 down at 0% interest “We would not be able to do it without A.E. Robinson’s generosity,” Loureiro says,
In the first six months following the installation, the YMCA went from 144 gallons per degree per day of fuel to 86 gallons per degree per day. This in addition to the projected $2,000 annual electricity savings the EK3 has created and the time of Mr. Redmon that can now be allocated towards other issues in the facility creates huge savings up to 10K per year that will be distributed to the members of Piscataquis County. The overall projection of 40K in savings during the 0% down interest phase has made the YMCA a happy place to be.
It’s not just the savings that make this experience for the Y and their members such a “dream.” Redmond tells us: “these new boilers run really well. They require very little out of me and my time.” The Y has received nothing but compliments about the heat and hot water, even during times of very low temperatures since the installation took place last year.
Time and money go a long way in a little community and that is exactly what A.E. Robinson and Energy Kinetics have been able to offer.
A big thank you to all who took their time to share this amazing story:
Bill Rayfield, Board President YMCA
Janna Loureiro, Executive Director YMCA
Tracy Redmond, Facility Manager YMCA
Jim Robinson, A.E. Robinson
Bill Robinson, A.E. Robinson
Jim Pike, Energy Kinetics