Businesses urge NH to adopt clean energy policies - Smart Energy Decisions

Energy Efficiency, Regulation, Regulation  -  January 8, 2018

Businesses urge NH to adopt clean energy policies

More than 50 New Hampshire businesses are calling for the state Legislature to advance clean energy policies that they say will support economic growth and business development.

Dartmouth-Hitchcock, Hypertherm, Hannaford Supermarkets, Velcro Companies, Timberland and Worthen Industries are among the businesses that have signed on to a series of "Clean Energy Principles," and sent a letter highlighting those principles to state lawmakers. With help from nonprofit sustainability organization Ceres, the signatories outlined the ways in which a transition to a clean energy economy will improve competitiveness and the state's prosperity, health and security in its Jan. 2 letter.

The group's five principles outlined as followed:

* Energy efficiency and clean energy solutions are essential to our businesses. Strengthening investments in market-driven clean energy programs will help New Hampshire businesses be more competitive and grow our workforce.
* Clean energy solutions help us protect the beautiful natural resources of our state, our tourism economy, our health and our way of life.
* Strong state policies to enhance access to energy efficiency and renewable energy will shift our economy away from imported fossil fuels, reduce energy costs and support locally produced clean energy resources — keeping our energy dollars in New Hampshire’s economy.
* Investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy make us more resilient by reducing exposure to fossil fuel price volatility.
* Developing clean energy systems and technologies to meet the needs of a changing global economy provides economic opportunities for the businesses and people of our state.

 Representing one of the businesses signing on to the letter, Wire Belt Company of America in Londonderry CEO David Greer noted plans to double the size of their rooftop solar system after realizing the significant cost savings and price predictability associated with the project.

"Clean energy is good for businesses and New Hampshire's economy, and it is the right thing to do for our planet," Greer said in a news release. "Renewable energy helps businesses like ours compete with other states who have lower energy costs."

According to Ceres, New Hampshire ranks last among the New England states in energy-efficiency investment, and lawmakers have an opportunity to do more to help decrease demands on the energy grid — helping to reduce overall energy costs for all consumers, the businesses argued in their letter.

Colleen Vien, sustainability director at Timberland, said access to renewable energy "empowers businesses to make decisions and investments that benefit the environment, the economy and our bottom line."

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