Island Communities Warm Up to Energy Savings
Volunteers in five of Maine's year-round island communities have built nearly 100 interior storm windows this winter for an estimated savings of more than $6,000 in annual energy costs. Assisted by staff from the Island Institute's Community Energy program and several of the Institute's Island Fellows, residents on Monhegan, Isle au Haut, Long Island, Chebeague: and North Haven have ensured that homes and community building will stay warmer and use less energy in the future. In many cases, storm window workshops have led to more substantial weatherization efforts such as the Weatherization Week program.
These workshops were made possible by support from several local and regional partners including the New England Grassroots Environment Fund, AmeriCorps, the Vinalhaven Energy Club, the Peaks Environmental Action Team, and the Isle au Haut Community Development Corporation. They were inspired by workshops inspired by the Damariscotta, Maine-based Midcoast Green Collaborative.
Maine island residents pay some of the highest energy costs in the nation as they depend on imported fuels for heating and transportation and must either generate electricity locally or cover the costs of power cables to the mainland. As these costs continue to rise, they are threatening the ability of families and businesses to remain on-island. The window-building workshops held in each community trained volunteers on how to measure and assemble the windows and were part of an effort launched in 2011 to support a wide range of community energy projects. To date, more than 225 interior storm windows have been constructed for homes and community buildings, with many more being built in follow-up workshops in several communities.
Click here for instructions on how to build affordable, easy-to-construct interior storm windows. For more information on this project, please contact Brooks Winner, community energy associate at the Island Institute, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 207-594-9209 x148.