Boardman Cottage

Many elderly islanders eventually must move out of their homes and live with family or in an assisted living facility. If there is no such facility on their home island, they must move away from family, friends, and lifelong familiarity of their small island community. Residential care facilities already operate on Vinalhaven, Chebeague, and Islesboro,… Read more »

Bulk purchase of LED bulbs

Residents of Monhegan rely on diesel generators to produce electricity for their island. As a result, ratepayers on the island pay some of the highest electricity rates in the nation, at $0.70/kWh. Residents asked an Island Institute Fellow, Ben Algeo, to help them analyze and reduce their energy consumption. Ben followed the same process on… Read more »

Interior storm windows

HOW IT WORKS While it makes sense to pay a contractor to complete weatherization work like air sealing (and take advantage of the rebate), sealing and insulating leaky windows for the winter can be easily completed with inexpensive materials and a few friends. With a few basic tools (think: electric drill, saw) you can build… Read more »

Bulk purchase of heat pumps

  HOW IT WORKS Sam Saltonstall, a resident of Peaks Island in Casco Bay, Maine, had spent years trying to lower his own energy costs. #2 heating oil and propane are very costly on Peaks Island, making the winter heating season a financial hardship for many year-round residents. Sam organized a group of Peaks Island… Read more »

Fox Islands Wind

North Haven and Vinalhaven have been connected to the mainland via a submarine cable for decades, purchasing power from mainland utilities and distributing it through the Fox Islands Electric Co-op (FIEC). Despite being connected to the grid, distributing power and maintaining infrastructure on the island made electricity costs extremely high. Costs were also traditionally volatile,… Read more »

Student-led LED retrofit

High energy costs are a persistent issue across island and remote coastal communities, and addressing them presents multiple challenges. Finding funding and professionals willing to deliver energy services in these communities can be difficult. A crucial first step is bringing the community together in order to raise awareness of opportunities and increase demand for energy… Read more »

North Haven Sustainable Housing

Nearly every solution to the lack of housing requires the purchase or creation of new units, either for rent or for purchase. Additionally, most island housing organizations have included some legally binding restrictions on acquired or constructed property in order to ensure that it is both affordable and available for year-round use by islanders. On… Read more »

Matinicus Volunteer Community Recycling Program

Matinicus Island had a junk car problem as well as a trash problem: old cars were rusting where owners left them in the woods and on the roadsides. Trash washed up on beaches, and the two biggest recent island structure fires were caused by out-of-control trash fires. In 2002, Eva Murray decided Matinicus needed a… Read more »

Peaks Island Transfer Station

As part of the city of Portland, Peaks Island provides weekly curbside trash pick-up and built a transfer station in 2001 to compact and transport waste from the 1,000 homes on the island. Its $597,050 (2017 fiscal year) operational budget, which covers personnel, barge transportation, electricity and water, among other expenses, is paid for by… Read more »

Vinalhaven Transfer Station

In 1996, Vinalhaven decided to close its landfill and convert its waste management system to an on-island transfer station that would gather, compact, sort, and export solid waste from the 1,300 year-round residents, a population that, at a minimum, triples during July and August.   HOW IT WORKS Residents can dispose of household waste and… Read more »