Welcome from the Community Energy Team

Harry Podolsky
Posted 2015-08-24

Do you want updates and insights from the world of energy action in New England’s island communities?

You can easily filter the blog posts by program. From the blog home page, select “energy” from the drop down menu to read pieces by the Island Institute’s Community Energy team; Suzanne, Brooks, Harry and Ben; as well as islanders who are leading energy initiatives.

What we do

The Island Institute’s Community Energy Program supports island communities in reducing their energy costs and increasing the reliability and sustainability of island electricity and heating infrastructure.  We do this by investing in people in these communities, helping them access the tools to organize and create dialogue around improving outdated and expensive energy use practices. We also support projects designed to lower energy costs—such as the highly successful Weatherization Weeks that have helped weatherize over 300 homes in the last three years—conduct feasibility studies for locally-owned renewable energy projects, and host the region’s biggest and baddest Energy Conference, to name a few.

We believe that creating a local knowledge base around energy issues leads to greater community action toward energy independence. One of the programs we will be featuring here is the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-supported Community Energy Action Teams (CEAT). The five teams are pioneering intergenerational education and leadership around energy issues in seven year-round island communities in Maine. With support from the Island Institute and $25,000 in competitive grant funds to implement projects, they are building resilience and ownership in local energy solutions.

These teams are partnering with local groups such as schools, libraries, and existing clubs dedicated to environmental and community action to build support for their work. They collaborate and share resources and advice in monthly inter-island video conferences. They will also be present to share their work at the Island Energy Conference, to be held in South Portland on November 5th and 6th, 2015, and will be contributing updates and perspectives to this blog.

We will also feature energy musings from the Diesel Island Fellow, Ben Algeo, who reports on efforts on Matinicus and Monhegan to lower electricity usage and the burning of expensive diesel fuel in their aging diesel generators. His personal blog, the Diesel Island Post, is packed with unique stories and information on these efforts, and we will be cross posting it here.

We are excited to get this blog started! If you have suggestions for topics to cover, or would like to share your own perspective on island energy, please contact us.