Session Number: PR-16

Watch the program & get CEUs

There is no handout for this session.

Money Doesn't Grow on Trees

Julia Bassett - Caldwell Banker, Cape Elizabeth, Maine


Leanne Barschdorf Nichols - Keller Williams Realty

Freeport, Maine

David Gibson - CEM, LEED AP BD+C

ReVision Energy

Catherine Culley - Partner, Redfern Properties

Portland, Maine

Victoria Morales - State Representative, Chair of the Young People's Caucus, South Portland, House District 33

Rob Wood - Senior Policy Advisor, The Nature Conservancy

Troy H. Moon - Sustainability Coordinator,

City of Portland, Maine

Bryan Evans - Residential Program Associate

Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnership

About this program:

During a pandemic is not the best time to talk about how to fund the number and range of carbon reduction strategies we need to deploy in the housing sector.  Or is it?  Government, the private sector, and individuals have to figure out not only what to do about getting to Net Zero carbon emissions soon, but how to pay for it.  Veteran Green Broker and recovering economist Julia Bassett Schwerin follows the money for the cost effective energy savings, greenhouse gas reductions, and social justice of various proposals from the Green New Deal, the Green Bank, and Green Grants to established but underutilized mechanisms such as Federal tax credits, Efficiency Maine rebates, green mortgages and PACE loans.  This is a session for everyone who wants to move toward energy efficiency and renewable energy with intelligent financial support.


About the Presenter(s):

Julia Bassett Schwerin has been a Broker in Southern Maine Since 2005.  We all know what happened next.  She prevailed nevertheless and added Company awards such as top ten broker in Cape Elizabeth for 2019 where she just transferred from the Saco office of Coldwell.  Her High Performance and Smart Home 3 CEU class has been accredited by the Maine Real Estate Commission for the past 5 years and is produced by the Real Estate Learning Group.  She is a member of the York County Council and the Greater Portland Board of Realtors.  She serves the Great Portland Board on the Sustainability Advisory Group.  She is a Green Realtor designate by the National Association of Realtors since 2009, as well as a Luxury Broker, an Accredited Buyer Broker, a Commercial Broker and a specialist in Vacation, Investment and Second Homes.  She enjoys representing all types of buyers and sellers who love to be in Maine, and offers sound investment advice for all her clients.

Leanne Barschdorf Nichols is a graduate of the University of Southern Maine with a BA in Political Science, and is also one of the founding Realtor partners of the Keller Williams Realty franchise in Maine. She has been active in many facets of the Real Estate industry since 1992. She currently serves on the Maine Association of Realtors Board Of Directors, the Freeport Economic Development Committee, as an active Girl Scout leader of two Freeport Troops, has served as Maine Listings President and on their Board of Directors and was honored as Realtor of the Year for the Greater Portland Board of Realtors in 2016. She is also credited with starting the Sustainability Advisory Group to the Greater Portland Board of Realtors in the fall of 2019, following the lead of the National Association of Realtors. Originally from Lisbon Falls, ME she now lives in Freeport in her net zero home with her family.

David Gibson grew up in Fryeburg, and studied at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, where he majored in Civil/Environmental Engineering and minored in International Studies.  Following graduation, he became a LEED Accredited Professional for Building Design and Construction.

In 2009, he moved to Reno, Nevada to volunteer as an AmeriCorps VISTA with Envirolution, where he developed lessons and curriculum to teach middle and high school students about energy efficiency and clean energy. This includes activities where students assess the energy consumption of their homes and their school. This hands-on curriculum has been recognized by the National Science Foundation for its effective student outcomes.

David also worked for the Nevada Governor’s Office of Energy, where he developed and led energy efficiency programs statewide in Nevada. These included programs to help low-income seniors reduce their energy consumption, and developing ~$50 million in energy-saving projects for public agencies – cities, counties, school districts and colleges – throughout the state.

Additionally, David started a non-profit initiative,  Powered by Sunshine, to drive Nevada toward 100% renewable energy statewide. Specifically, he highlighted the economic benefits of shifting to local clean energy instead of importing $6 billion in fossil fuels from outside the state each year. In addition, he transitioned his home in Reno to net-zero energy, highlighting the savings and effectiveness of efficiency and clean energy on a home-owner basis.

David moved back to Maine in 2017, and has converted an old Maine farmhouse, built in 1828, to 100% clean energy with a combination of efficiency measures, air-source heat pumps, a heat pump water heater and solar array. He has been leading efforts to create a Green Bank in Maine, to make clean energy financing available to everyone who is currently being left out of the clean energy transition. He currently works for ReVision Energy designing solar and heat pump systems to help Maine’s citizens and businesses transition from fossil fuels to clean energy!


Carolyn Samo Goldthwaite oversees and coordinates NEEP’s programs to disseminate critical information between stakeholders, help drive the successful completion of program deliverables, and more efficiently utilize resources to achieve organizational outcomes. She manages NEEP's High Performance Buildings team, assisting states in improving energy code compliance and operational energy savings for retrofits and new buildings, and leads a project working to integrate solar PV and energy labels in Multiple Listing Services (MLS).

Catherine Culley is co-owner and founder of Redfern Properties with her husband Jonathan.  Redfern Properties is a leading real estate development firm committed to sustainable, infill development of multifamily and mixed-use projects in the Portland, ME Area.

Victoria Morales earned her JD from the University of Maine School of Law and her BA in Spanish Literature and Education from Boston College.  She currently serves as Representative, Maine State House of Representatives, District 33, since 2018.  She is a member of the Criminal Justice and Public Safety legislative committee, which was given the unaccustomed charge of evaluating the bills put forth to advance the building energy code from its stalled 2009 code to the current code.  This committee heard public testimony and expert witnesses. and held many working sessions to rise to the occasion, which they did and, having resolved the various bills, recommended they be enacted by the legislature, which they were. 

At the same time she has been serving on the legislature, she has been Executive Director, Quality Housing Coalition since 2018, and Land Use and Government Relations Counsel, Morales Law, since 2017.  Prior to this she was Associate Corporate Counsel, City of Portland, Maine, 2016-2017, Principal Attorney, Maine Department of Transportation, 2013-2016, and Litigation Attorney, Thompson and Bowie, Limited Liability Partnership, 2007-2013.

Representative Morales lives with her husband and three children in South Portland.

Rob Wood is the Director of Government Relations and Climate Policy for The Nature Conservancy in Maine. His team develops and advocates for laws and regulations that advance TNC’s conservation priorities at the state and federal level. He specializes in climate change mitigation solutions, building support for climate action through stakeholder engagement, community-based demonstration projects and in the halls of the Maine State House. Prior to joining TNC, Rob spent three years on the policy team for a state-based education advocacy organization, learning the ins and outs of policy advocacy strategies. He also worked in field organizing for two political campaigns. He holds a Master of Public Policy degree from Georgetown University.

Troy H. Moon has worked on environmental issues for the City of Portland since 1997.  He started his career developing and implementing solid waste management programs including the City's successful “pay as you throw” waste collection program and curbside recycling He has also managed the City’s parks and open spaces where he led efforts to expand community agriculture and adopt low impact land management practices.   Throughout his tenure with the City, Troy has been engaged in a broad range of sustainability projects.  He oversaw the completion of Portland’s greenhouse gas inventories in 2001 and 2007 and chaired the committee tasked with drafting the city’s Climate Action Plan in 2008.  He became the City’s Sustainability Director in April, 2016 and has focused on community resilience and energy efficiency. He co-led the creation of One Climate Future, the joint climate action plan for the cities of Portland and South Portland.

Bryan Evans is the Residential Program Associate at NEEP working on residential labeling, policy work, and the Home Energy Labeling Information eXchange (HELIX) project. In his role, Bryan supports the facilitation of the HELIX project to expand a database capable of populating residential solar PV data and home energy information in Multiple Listing Services (MLS). By supporting states with HELIX implementation and use, as well as providing research and reports for opportunities to advance knowledge and best practices, Bryan helps advance market transformation goals by accessing and integrating data into HELIX. He also provides support for tool development, outreach, and jurisdiction implementation for our joint tool, Energy Estimator – Powered by HELIX & ClearlyEnergy. Prior to his current role, Bryan was the Buildings and Community Solutions Intern at NEEP.  Bryan holds a BS in Environmental Economics and Business Administration from the University of Rhode Island.

Program Level: Intermediate

Content Areas: Energy Efficiency