A Look Into Maine’s Renewable Energy: A GrowSmart Maine Breakfast Forum


Are you a Maine resident or business owner looking to learn more about your electricity options? Do you wonder about how Maine’s electricity system works, and what that means for you? Our February forum was all about how it all works, what it means to residents and businesses, and options to get involved! We heard from experts about existing renewable energy programs Maine has and learn what works, what doesn’t, where they are, and what they cost. We found success stories on how to act locally and affect change in your community.

$5 billion leaves Maine each year in the purchase of fossil fuels.  This is a cost to Maine businesses, residents and communities.  The health and environmental benefits of reduced fossil fuel uses are significant.  With our focus on community-level tools to manage growth and change, GrowSmart Maine draws attention to the costs for Maine communities, and the resources available to those who live and work here to keep more of those dollars here, through energy efficiency and production of renewable energy.

Breakfast from Wild Oats Bakery and Deli. Thanks to CEI for providing the venue!

Thursday, February 25th, 8am-10am

Materials from this event!

Solar Stakeholder Bill draft (pdf)


CEI  30 Federal St, Brunswick The entrance is on the parking lot side (not Federal Street). We ask that guests please park in the public parking lot adjacent to the building (accessible from Bank Street and Center Street- it is well marked and there is plenty of parking available).


​Hazel Onsrud, ​Maine Green Power
Tim Schneider​, Public Advocate Public Utilities Commission
Glen Brand​, Sierra Club​, Climate Action Team
​Moderator: Nancy Smith, GrowSmart Maine


8-8:15am  Networking and breakfast
8:15 – 10am  Program
10am  Tour of CEI’s new LEED certified building!

Cost: $25 for members, $50 for non-members. Not a member?  Join today!


Panelist Bios:

Hazel Onsrud is an Associate Partnership Manager at 3Degrees Inc. In Maine she manages Maine Green Power, a program developed and overseen by the Maine Public Utilities Commission which lets Maine residents and businesses support 100% Maine-made renewable energy on their electricity bill. She also enjoys volunteering with her community and exploring new recipes, crafts and hiking paths with her family and friends.

Tim Schneider was appointed as Maine Public Advocate by Governor Paul LePage, and confirmed by the Maine Legislature in May of 2013 for a four year term. As Public Advocate, Tim heads the Office of the Public Advocate, which advocates for consumers on electricity, gas, water and telecommunications customers before the Maine Public Utilities Commission, the Legislature, federal agencies and regional bodies, and provides information regarding utility services to Maine consumers.  Since becoming Public Advocate, Tim has taken a leadership role in ensuring that utility bills for low income customers are affordable, promoting expansion of broadband access throughout Maine, and exploring equitable mechanisms to compensate distributed generation.  Prior to becoming Public Advocate, Tim practiced law in Portland, Maine, where he represented clients in a wide range of matters before the Maine Public Utilities Commission and FERC, focused primarily on natural gas and electricity. Tim received his B.A. from Harvard University and his J.D. from New York University School of Law. He may be reached via email at tim.schneider@maine.gov.

During his more than twenty-year career as an environmental leader and advocate, Glen Brand has served on the staff of several national and state environmental and labor organizations, including Greenpeace, AFL-CIO, and the national Sierra Club.  In 2012, he became the Director of Sierra Club Maine, the state’s largest grassroots environmental organization with more than 14,000 members and supporters.

Glen has been a guest speaker on global warming, clean energy, air quality, land use, grassroots organizing, and environmental politics at many venues throughout the country, as well as in Denmark and Brazil on a U.S. State Department co-sponsored trip.  He has been quoted on a wide range of environmental issues in regional and national media outlets including the New York Times, Washington Post, Christian Science Monitor, Los Angeles Times, and the Discovery Channel.

A graduate of the University of Florida and the University of Houston, Glen is an avid gardener, kayaker, and amateur jazz musician, and each summer he eagerly looks forward to spending magical time at his family’s cabin on Moosehead Lake.