Update: Vinalhaven CEAT

Karol Kucinski
Posted 2015-09-15

This post is from Karol Kucinski of the Vinalhaven Energy Club. He provides an update on the work going on with the affiliated Vinalhaven Community Energy Action Team (CEAT), one of five teams pioneering intergenerational education and leadership around energy issues in seven year-round island communities in Maine.

The Vinalhaven Energy Club seeks to improve energy and resource efficiency for residents of the Fox Islands. Energy education and awareness are essential if we are to maintain affordable, warm, and well lit homes and buildings. We have helped promote energy efficient projects such as utilizing smart grid technology, encouraging use of electrical thermal storage units, weatherizing, and installing interior storm windows. Our members are Bill Alcorn, Patrick Trainor, Naill Conlan, Karol Kucinski, and Del Webster.

Some information about our island: Vinalhaven is an island 15 miles into Penobscot bay. It has the largest population of the 15 inhabited islands in Maine with approximately 1,250 residents. Due to Vinalhaven’s ragged coastline, you are never more than a mile from the coast. Vinalhaven has great natural beauty, but its housing stock is the oldest in the state of Maine, and its population is growing grey.

The Energy Club began about five years ago. Our main activities have been helping neighbors construct interior storm windows and having their homes winterized through a Weatherization Week program sponsored in part by Efficiency Maine and with support from the Island Institute. We have worked with the Fox Islands Power Coop on a variety of initiatives, including the Fox Islands Wind project. Currently we are working to retrofit and install solar hot air panels to help homeowners lower their heating costs.

We are working on a $5000 Community Energy Action Team minigrant proposal from the Island Institute for three projects: to provide materials and curriculum on energy education and climate change to island students in the middle school; to fund LED lighting retrofits at the Church and the Legion Hall; and to fund support for further weatherization efforts on Vinalhaven this October.