Environment New Hampshire Research & Policy Center
For Additional Information: Michelle McCarthy, [email protected], 518-956-2177
HAMPTON — Curbing dangerous carbon pollution can reduce the risk of global warming and benefit local communities at the same time, according to a report released today by Environment New Hampshire Research & Policy Center. The group notes that New Hampshire stands to benefit even more if a current pollution reduction program is strengthened.
“We can cut carbon pollution and build a clean energy economy —which is a win-win for New Hampshire,” said Michelle McCarthy, Campaign Organizer. “We’re proving it every day.”
The report, Carbon-Cutting Success Stories, details how businesses and organizations of all types and sizes are embracing clean energy as a way to create new opportunities and to save money. At the same time, they are helping states to achieve their goals for reducing dangerous carbon pollution. New Hampshire has a goal of reducing warming pollution across the economy by at least 35% percent by 2030. The report comes as New Hampshire officials discuss how to deliver on this promise.
“Climate change threatens Smuttynose on a number of different levels. Our coastal headquarters means we’re vulnerable to sea level rises, which all modeling shows to be true,” said Peter Egelston, President and Co-Founder of Smuttynose Brewing Co. “More directly, we can’t brew beer without malting quality barley and hops, two specialized agricultural products that need consistent growing conditions.”
The report highlights seven cities, businesses and institutions that have made groundbreaking progress in energy efficiency and renewable energy that dramatically reduce their contributions to global warming, while also helping their bottom lines. These projects were supported by revenue from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative – a program that limits carbon pollution from power plants and makes polluters pay for the privilege of using the sky for waste disposal. Much of the revenue is then invested in clean energy programs.
The report also looks at two exciting projects built to capture opportunities for new markets created by the increasing need for pollution-free energy.
Here in Hampton, the report highlights that Smuttynose Brewery in New Hampshire installed new, energy-efficient brewing equipment, saving more than $1 million in energy costs and preventing carbon pollution equivalent to that would be produced by driving a car for almost 13 million miles.
“I know Smuttynose can’t stop climate change single handedly, it takes a lot of businesses all moving in that direction. That’s why I support RGGI incentives,” said Egelston. “They made a difference in my decision-making for our LEED Gold-certified brewery and they’ll continue to have that effect for others if our elected officials continue to support greenhouse gas reductions.”
Other projects covered in the report include:
- The towns of Swampscott and Wenham in Massachusetts installed energy-efficient street lighting, saving the towns more than $100,000 per year, and preventing as much carbon pollution as contained in 28,000 gallons of gasoline.
- Oxford Networks in Lewiston, Maine, used funding generated by revenue from dirty power plants to upgrade its cooling systems – saving as much as $5,000 per year. This project was facilitated by Efficiency Maine, which in 2015 helped the state reduce its energy use by the equivalent of 26 million gallons of oil.
- Children’s Medical Center in Hartford, Connecticut upgraded its cooling, heating and lighting systems, saving $23,000 per year on electricity. The project prevents 140 metric tons of carbon pollution per year – comparable to the emissions of 30 passenger cars.
“In every facet of our economy, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative is working,” said McCarthy. “Whether you are a worker looking for a manufacturing job in Buffalo, a parent taking your child to the doctor in Connecticut, or a millennial having a craft beer in New Hampshire, climate protection programs like the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative are helping to save money and create new opportunities – while protecting our climate for generations to come.”
The projects highlighted in the report are just the beginning when it comes to potential to use energy more efficiently, and to generate more of our energy from pollution-free resources. Offshore wind energy alone could meet the electricity needs of the East Coast five times over, with zero pollution.
“We could power our whole economy with 100 percent renewable energy,” said McCarthy. “Governor Hassan should double down on programs to limit carbon pollution and accelerate clean energy deployment so that we can see more of these success stories.”
Officials from New Hampshire are currently undertaking a review of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, and are expected to propose changes to the program in the coming months. Advocates are calling for Governor Hassan to double the benefits of the program by doubling the pollution reduction goals through 2030.
Environment New Hampshire Research & Policy Center is a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting our air, water and open spaces. We investigate problems, craft solutions, educate the public and decision-makers, and help the public make their voices heard in local, state and national debates over the quality of our environment and our lives.