In Maine’s remotest island community, changing the lightbulb has far-reaching implications

Posted 2015-11-08

By Tux Turkel / Portland Press Herald

The Island Institute runs programs to support sustainability on Maine’s 14 year-round, offshore communities. Changing out power-hungry bulbs on Monhegan and Matinicus is a first step to reduce dependence on diesel and help make island living more affordable.

The 2,326 LEDs sent this year to Monhegan are expected to save utility customers a total of $15,000 a year. The 600 bulbs now on Matinicus could cut bills by a toal of $5,000. A second shipment planned for this winter of 400 bulbs could trim another $3,000 for the island.

Those savings are especially welcome on Matinicus, which lacks a store and relies on the ferry that arrives twice a month in the offseason. Anywhere from 15 to 60 people live here in winter, mostly lobstermen and their families.