BY NHBR STAFF
Published: January 2, 2018
More than 50 New Hampshire businesses are calling for the NH 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.
“As businesses and employers invested in New Hampshire, we believe that transitioning to a clean energy economy will improve our own competitiveness and our state’s prosperity, health and security,” the letter begins.
It then lists the five principles:
• “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.”
One of the businesses signing on to the letter is Wire Belt Company of America in Londonderry, whose CEO, David Greer, said, “Clean energy is good for businesses and New Hampshire’s economy, and it is the right thing to do for our planet. Renewable energy helps businesses like ours compete with other states who have lower energy costs.”
In fact, Greer said, “We plan to almost double the size of our rooftop solar system because it helps cut our energy costs and gives us more predictability.”
According to Colleen Vien, sustainability director at Timberland, “access to renewable energy empowers businesses to make decisions and investments that benefit the environment, the economy and our bottom line.”
New Hampshire currently 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 argue.
Michelle Veasey, executive director of NH Businesses for Social Responsibility and an organizer of the statement, said the signatories “are encouraging lawmakers to adopt policies that position New Hampshire to be competitive and innovative. Lawmakers have an opportunity to follow the lead of the private sector and put the state on a sustainable path towards a thriving economic future.”
Another organizer of the statement, Alli Gold Roberts, senior manager for state policy at Ceres, a nonprofit that works with investors and businesses to promote sustainability initiatives and polices, said, “Investing in clean energy is good for business, and we applaud businesses for elevating their voices in support of strong clean energy policy.”
Among businesses signing the letter: 36Creative; 7th Settlement Brewery; 900 Degrees Pizzeria; Admix; Alnoba; AutoBeGreen; Bowst Interactive; Bruss Project Management; Dartmouth Hitchcock; Filtrine; FoodState; Gale River Motel; GDS Associates Inc.; Global Round Table Leadership; Good Start Packaging; Grappone Automotive; Gravity Group New England; Great Bay Community College; Green Alliance; Green Energy Options; Hannaford Supermarkets; Hanover Co-op Food Stores; Henry Whipple House; Hypertherm; Image 4; LighTec Inc.; Lucky & Me; Merritt & Merritt; MicroSpec Corp.; NEMO Equipment; NESG; New England Commercial Solar Services; Outdoor Industry Association; Pause, a Mindfulness Practice; Pax World Funds; Pete and Gerry’s; Petersen Engineering; ReVision Energy; Ridgeview Construction; Stephenson Strategic Communications; Stonyfield Farm; Strategic Potential LLC; The Hvizda Team; Throwback Brewery; Timberland; Velcro Companies; Wire Belt Company of America; W.S. Badger and Co.; Worthen Industries; and Yes! Ventures.
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**UPDATE: On March 15, 2018 the Clean Energy Principles were rereleased at the NH Energy Week breakfast and included additional signatories: Ashuelot River Hydro, Inc.; Autodesk; Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Northern New England; Concord Food Co-op; Eastern Bank; Froling Energy; Great Glen Trails; Littleton Food Co-op; MilliporeSigma, Mt. Washington Auto Road; PeopleSense Consulting; Portsmouth Brewery; Prism Energy Services; Rivermead; Saltwater, Smuttynose Brewing Company.