ORONO — Save money, help keep people warm and protect the environment — these are all benefits of low-cost, easy-to-construct window inserts that can help insulate people’s homes in the cold months of a Maine winter.

From Sept. 30 to Oct. 4, a team of students and volunteers led by Sharon Klein and Shantel Neptune will hold a community workshop to build window inserts at the Senator George J. Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions, 107 Norman Smith Hall on the University of Maine campus in Orono. The workshop is part of the recently launched project, Addressing Energy Justice Through Community Energy, in which Klein and Neptune are working with the Penobscot Nation Housing Department and Window Dressers to collectively build insulating window inserts for Penobscot Nation citizens. Window Dressers is a Maine-based nonprofit dedicated to helping Maine residents reduce heating costs, fossil fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions by lowering the amount of heat loss through windows.

According to the research team, energy justice seeks to make sustainable energy solutions such as energy efficiency more accessible to traditionally underrepresented groups. Community energy involves a group of people coming together to solve an energy issue. 

Klein is an associate professor in the School of Economics at UMaine and a faculty fellow with the Mitchell Center whose research focuses on the technical, economic, environmental and social tradeoffs inherent in energy production and use. Neptune is a Penobscot Nation citizen who works with the Wabanaki Youth in Science (WaYS) program at UMaine.

Volunteers interested in building inserts are welcome at the workshop. Sign up here or contact Sharon Klein at sharon.klein@maine.edu. 

Please note that face coverings are required for all persons — students, staff, faculty, visitors and others — when indoors at a University of Maine System facility. For the latest health and safety guidance, please see umaine.edu/return.