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One Week After US Withdrawal From Paris Climate Accord, Twelve NH Cities and Towns Lead the Way on Clean Energy

PORTSMOUTH, NH – One week after President Donald Trump announced the United States’ withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement, local leaders in the New Hampshire seacoast are rapidly expanding a community clean energy initiative to save money and help save the planet, one home at a time.

Energize 360 brings together twelve New Hampshire cities and towns in a first-of-its-kind campaign to help residents take control of their energy future by leveraging the power of group discounts and funding clean energy projects in the local communities. The program combines public education with personalized site visits by local clean energy professionals to help people in the participating towns lower their energy use, drive down energy costs, and transition to clean energy in their homes, businesses, and public institutions.

“People are really concerned about the high cost of energy in New Hampshire and our continued reliance on imported fossil fuels,” said Charles Forcey, chair of the Durham Energy Committee and a volunteer coordinator of Energize 360. “While Washington politicians refuse to address the climate crisis, Energize 360 is giving folks the tools they need to lower their carbon footprint and save money through energy efficiency and renewables.”

Every participant in Energize 360 receives a free site visit, a Home Heating Index score, and a comprehensive analysis of their energy use. Depending on the results, they can then choose to install insulation, solar systems, heat pumps, or all of the above at special Energize 360 discounts, and receive help qualifying for available rebates and incentives. The program is open to any resident or business/organization in the participating towns.

Launched in March 2017 by local energy leaders in Durham, Dover, Lee, Northwood, and Portsmouth, Energize 360 this week announced the addition of seven more towns in response to high demand from citizens concerned about the cost of both energy and climate change. The newly-confirmed towns include Exeter, Hampton, Newmarket, Madbury, Rye, and Strafford, and Stratham.

“This program is about educating and empowering communities to bring about the energy transition from the bottom up,” added Energize 360 coordinator Henry Herndon of Dover. “It has been so inspiring to see the groundswell of leadership at the community level.”

In order to encourage widespread participation, Energize 360 provides tiered discounts for consumers and pledges to fund clean energy projects in each community. The discounts and funds available for community projects both increase as participation in the campaign increases. Program participants will have the opportunity to select the free clean energy projects in their towns. Residents of the original five towns must complete their project agreements by July 31st while those in the second seven towns have until August 31st.

Energize 360 is a partnership between Seacoast Regional Energy Hub, Seacoast Area Renewable Energy Initiative (SEAREI), ReVision Energy, and Yankee Thermal Imaging. The participating program vendors were selected by an independent committee through a competitive bidding process that took into consideration competence and cost. Energize 360 discounts cannot be combined with other discounts.

“With the cost of solar panels down 75 percent over the last decade, anyone with a roof or lawn and a clear view to the sun has the potential to generate their own electricity,” said Dan Clapp, General Manager at ReVision Energy. “And thanks to complementary technologies offered by Energize 360, you can now use that power to heat and cool your home, provide hot water, charge your vehicle, and power your daily life.”

Tori Martin of Yankee Thermal Imaging added, “Energy efficiency is by far the cheapest energy resource. Every dollar we invest in energy savings helps to stem the economic drain of energy dollars leaving our state to pay for imported fossil fuels. Energy efficiency is about stimulating our local economy and making New Hampshire more energy independent.”

Energize 360 was not the only local response to President Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris accord. Portsmouth Mayor Jim Blalock, a champion of Energize 360, this week joined 278 other US Climate Mayors, including the mayors of Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Boston, and Nashua, NH in pledging to adopt, honor and uphold the Paris Climate Agreement goals.

Residents can learn more about Energize 360 or sign up for a free consultation at www.Energize360.org.

New Hampshire Delegation Strongly Opposes Governor Sununu’s Decision Not to Join U.S. Climate Alliance

Delegation writes to Sununu to express support for
New Hampshire joining U.S. Climate Alliance

(Washington, DC) – Today, New Hampshire’s Congressional Delegation wrote to Governor Chris Sununu to express their support for New Hampshire joining the United States Climate Alliance. The Alliance, which has grown to include 12 states, governed by both Republicans and Democrats, is committed to upholding the goals of the Paris Climate Accord. In the letter, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02), Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH), and Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01) highlighted the importance of striving to meet the ideals of the Paris Climate Accord for the benefit of both the environment and economy in New Hampshire. Yesterday, Governor Sununu said that New Hampshire would not join the U.S. Climate Alliance.

“Governor, we write in support of New Hampshire joining the U.S. Climate Alliance. It is vital that the Granite State continues to be a leader on climate change and clean energy,” wrote the members. “Just as the United States’ withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord cedes American global leadership, New Hampshire’s refusal to acknowledge the clear consensus on climate science will similarly damage our state’s reputation.”

The members continued, “New Hampshire can strengthen its commitment to combatting climate change by joining the United States Climate Alliance, which Republican and Democratic governors from 12 states – including Massachusetts and Vermont – have already joined.  We believe that Granite Staters would be best-served if New Hampshire joins this coalition and upholds the standards of the Paris Climate Accord for the benefit of our environment, our economy, and our future.”

The states that have joined the U.S. Climate Alliance include California, New York, Washington, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, Oregon, Hawaii, Virginia, Minnesota, and Delaware.

The full text of the letter is available here and below:

June 7, 2017

Dear Governor Sununu:

On June 1, 2017, President Donald Trump announced that the United States will begin the withdrawal process from the Paris Climate Accord, a historic agreement signed by 195 countries to undertake the important effort of combatting the dangerous effects of climate change. This reckless decision threatens America’s credibility abroad and puts us on the wrong side of history as the Granite State, the nation, and the world continue to experience the negative impact of a changing climate. Yesterday, we learned that you followed President Trump’s example when you declined to join the United States Climate Alliance – a new coalition of states that are committed to upholding the standards of the Paris agreement. Governor, we write in support of New Hampshire joining the U.S. Climate Alliance. It is vital that the Granite State continues to be a leader on climate change and clean energy.

Just as the United States’ withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord cedes American global leadership, New Hampshire’s refusal to acknowledge the clear consensus on climate science will similarly damage our state’s reputation. In your statement on why you would not commit the Granite State to the principles of the Paris accord, you said that you did not know what the impact would be on our environment or economy and that it was not your job to know. We respectfully disagree and believe it is all of our responsibilities to safeguard New Hampshire’s natural resources and prepare our economy for the future. Furthermore, our state’s colleges and universities are blessed with some of the top scientists and economists in the country who agree that climate change is real and has a real economic impact on New Hampshire.

We are proud that New Hampshire is already a national leader in efforts to reduce greenhouse gas pollutants through participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).  By placing a regional cap on the amount of carbon pollution that power plants can emit through the issuance of tradeable allowances, RGGI’s market-based approach has improved energy efficiency efforts in the Granite State, invested in clean and renewable energy and reduced power sector carbon pollutants by more than 45 percent in all of the partnering states.

The negative impacts of climate change are already being experienced in New Hampshire. From last year’s extreme drought that hurt our agriculture sector to rising sea levels and heightened smog levels, climate change is a threat to our local communities, our families and our economy.  President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord puts America at a competitive disadvantage with foreign nations who are committed to transitioning to a clean energy economy and undermines our collective ability to mitigate the effects of climate change. 

New Hampshire can strengthen its commitment to combatting climate change by joining the United States Climate Alliance, which Republican and Democratic governors from 12 states – including Massachusetts and Vermont – have already joined.  We believe that Granite Staters would be best-served if New Hampshire joins this coalition and upholds the standards of the Paris Climate Accord for the benefit of our environment, our economy, and our future.

Sincerely,

 

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