As the state legislature gears up for the 2018 session, over 50 New Hampshire businesses have united in calling for state lawmakers to support economic growth and business development through advancing clean energy policies. Dartmouth Hitchcock, Hannaford Supermarkets, Hypertherm, Velcro Companies, Timberland, Worthen Industries, and Wire Belt Company of America are among the businesses that signed on to a series of “Clean Energy Principles” and sent a related joint letter to legislators.
According to nonprofit groups Ceres and New Hampshire Businesses for Social Responsibility, which spearheaded the effort, New Hampshire has some of the highest energy rates in the country. Many businesses have found that investing in clean energy allows them to better control their energy costs and thrive. Stable state programs that are consistent and adequately funded will help more businesses make these investments, which provide significant long-term cost savings, the group add.
“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,” says David Greer, CEO of Wire Belt Company of America. “We plan to almost double the size of our rooftop solar system because it helps cut our energy costs and gives us more predictability.”
“Forward-thinking policies to reduce carbon emissions help provide certainty for companies,” says 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.”
Energy efficiency is also proven way for businesses to reduce energy use and save money. According to the organizing groups, though, 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 that signed on to the principles have set a high standard for clean energy leadership and urge lawmakers to do the same by defending New Hampshire’s clean energy future and opposing efforts to send the state backward.
“Through this statement, businesses are encouraging lawmakers to adopt policies that position New Hampshire to be competitive and innovative,” says Michelle Veasey, executive director of New Hampshire Businesses for Social Responsibility. “Lawmakers have an opportunity to follow the lead of the private sector and put the state on a sustainable path toward a thriving economic future.”
Alli Gold Roberts, senior manager for state policy at Ceres, adds, “Investing in clean energy is good for business, and we applaud businesses for elevating their voices in support of strong clean energy policy.”
The “Clean Energy Principles” and list of initial signatories can be found here.
Photo: New Hampshire State House