Today, Rockingham Electric is one of the most iconic businesses anywhere on the Seacoast – everyone knows the “big red barn” right off of Route 16. Founded in 1951, Rockingham’s steady growth and ever-increasing popularity were dealt a huge blow in December 1968, when a fire broke out at the company’s Portsmouth headquarters. Within hours the building – along with the inventory, company records, cash and accounts – were gone.
Former President Jim Pender – who also happens to be the father of the current President, 49-year-old Jim Pender, Jr. – decided to move the company to Newington, right next to the General Sullivan Bridge, where the company continues to thrive today.
While the recession has dealt a blow to the building and construction trades, Rockingham has remained successful in part due to its optimistic embrace of efficient lighting products and design strategies, getting out in front of the forthcoming efficiency benchmarks with great enthusiasm.
Pictured Left: Proposed Antrim Wind Energy Project viewed from Bald Mountain in Antrim, NH
From Seacoast Online
April 5 — To the Editor:
In most cases, properly cited wind projects are a win-win for the clean energy movement and for local towns. We at the Green Alliance love to see folks actively engaging in a dialogue about renewable energy. When it comes to wind power, we need to be wary of what is fact and what is fiction because saying "no" to large-scale solutions to climate change will have a negative impact on not only ourselves but on future generations. A letter by Ray Cunningham ("We have a right to protect our N.H.," March 29), makes a variety of inaccurate claims about wind power.
First, New Hampshire is not required by a federal mandate to purchase wind power. Rather, our nation's energy policy is a patchwork of many different state-based renewable standards combined with federal tax incentives. Massachusetts' and New Hampshire's energy policy choices are largely determined by their state legislatures and implemented by their state public utility commissions. Every New England state has enacted a strong policy in favor of advancing new renewable energy sources.
Second, wind farms are financially beneficial for rural communities. Ninety-eight percent of wind farms are built on private land and help landowners earn extra income through land lease payments. Also, comprehensive property value studies have found no evidence of persistent negative effects on surrounding properties as the result of wind power development. In New Hampshire, every utility-scale wind project must be approved by a state siting commission, known as the site evaluation committee. That process, while it could be improved, considers local impacts and includes substantial public and community input.
Third, since electricity is transmitted through a regional grid, wind energy generated in New Hampshire and other wind-rich states benefits all of New England. Wind power is already saving New Hampshire consumers money, because electricity generated from wind energy displaces the output of the most expensive, least efficient power plants — usually fossil fuel sources that pollute our air and contribute to climate change. And because wind power has no fuel cost and long-term, fixed-rate pricing, it protects consumers from volatility in the price of other fuels like natural gas, coal and oil, much like a fixed-rate mortgage protects homeowners from fluctuations in interest rates.
In short, wind power is a proven technology that is helping consumers save money and build a cost-effective clean energy future for New Hampshire. New wind projects that are carefully vetted in the states' siting process will build on this progress in the years to come. We could all be better and more active supporters of these large-scale solutions to climate change. What's stopping us?
With the arrival of spring each year comes the arrival of home-improvement season, including house painting. Thousands of people on the Seacoast this season will be scouring their local stores and newspapers searching for the perfect colors, finishes, and possibly painting companies to get the job done.
For those who are not the “do-it-yourself” type, proud GA partner Any Season Painting of Hampton provides interior and exterior painting services that have a strong emphasis on high quality, efficiency, cleanliness, and reliability. Any Season’s services can reach anywhere from York, Maine to the New Hampshire Seacoast to Newburyport.
With over 10 years of experience, owner Jay DeVincenzo strongly believes in taking the time to understand the homeowner’s needs and finding what will be the best fit for them.
That being said, another aspect of the business that really separates Any Season Painting from other painting services is its wide array of “green” paints, finishes, stains, and primers available for homeowners to choose from.
This does not mean paints in the color green—although that color is available—but instead means paints that have a minimal impact on the environment and human health. These products are deemed low- or no- VOC, meaning they contain limited or no levels of volatile organic compounds.
VOC in paints and finishes is released for eight years after application. This process, known as "off-gassing" is considered by the EPA to contribute to the fact that indoor air is three times more polluted than outdoor air and is one of the top five hazards to human health.
For those skeptical about the quality of low- or no- VOC paints, Any Season is happy to explain the long-term benefits they provide as well as their impressive durability.
For more information on Any Season Painting, please visit anyseasonpainting.com.
Green Card holders: remember you receive $350 off an exterior paint job (house and trim), or $350 off an interior paint job of four rooms or more, low or no-VOC options included with Any Season Painting! Or, book a job before April 29th, and have a tree planted in your yard for FREE, courtesy of Holistic Tree Resources!
With the remains of Winter quickly diminishing, people are using spring, the season of new beginnings, as a time for proactivity.
Tomorrow, major U.S. Businesses are making there progress by taking action against climate change in Washington with the signing of the “Climate Declaration”, a document which asserts that climate change is one of the greatest American economic opportunities for big businesses in the 21st Century. Amongst over 30 major corporations including, IKEA, Starbucks, and Timberland, will be Climate Counts. Climate Counts is a nonprofit organization and GA business partner based in Durham, NH that integrates consumers and high profile companies in order to address solutions to global climate change. The mission statement of Climate Counts is a clear reflection of what the “Climate Declaration” is urging; that is for people to be able to get an inside look at what major American businesses are doing to contribute to curbing climate change and create a more eco-friendly environment.
The signing of the “Climate Declaration” will serve as a precursor to the 100-day campaign in which these businesses call on the federal policymakers to take action on climate change. During the 100-day campaign, other major businesses will be encouraged to sign the Declaration and contribute to the fight for a more sustainable future. The Climate Declaration was initiated after the President revitalized his commitment to combat the threat of climate change. Since then, a majority of Fortune 100 companies have established renewable energy and greenhouse gas reduction goals.
What's more is that both sides of the political fence have addressed that climate change is in progress and that both corporations and government officials must do more to reach towards solutions.
The GA Green Tips campaign is designed to keep you informed about the many things you can do to lower your carbon footprint, while introducing you to our over 100 local, green-minded businesses throughout the region! This week’s tips come from EZ Bikes & Scooters, a family-owned purveyor specializing in electric bikes! Learn more at www.ezbikesandscooters.com.
1. Think green when cleaning your bike chain. If you don't keep them clean, you may end up having to replace the entire drive train. What a waste! Instead, make sure you regularly clean your chain using an environmentally friendly solvent. And be sure to dispose of the waste properly!
2. Take the time to pump! CO2 cartridges may be convenient, but they're nobody's idea of green. Use a floor pump with a gauge instead!
3. Don’t throw those tires out! Most inner tubes can be patched many times before they need to be recycled. Not sure how to fix a flat? Ask about classes at your local bike shop or cycling club.
4. Avoid overly-sugary sports drinks. If you’re out for a long ride, chances are you’ll need some electrolyte replenishment. But that doesn’t mean you need a sports drink! Instead, you can purchase flavored electrolyte tablets to put in your water. Less packaging, better for you – what could be greener?
5. Consider an electric bike! Electric bikes offer the best of both worlds – an electric boost when you need it, and pedal power when you want it. What’s more, they consume about 1 kilowatt hour of electricity for every 100 kilometers, while getting over 100 miles per gallon, making them the true green machine of the future.
Remember: Green Card holders save $100 on a new bike or scooter, $50 off a used bike or scooter, and 20% off parts for repair at EZ Bikes!
Have green tips of your own? "Like" us on Facebook, and share them on our wall! Better yet, join the Green Alliance; we can't do it without you!
As a part of the relationship that we establish with each of our business partners, Green Alliance conducts a sustainability analysis of the business, generates a Green Report Card and Score, and finally writes a Green Story outlining the background story of the business and the sustainable practices it incorporates into its daily activities and long term goals. These three documents create a level of transparency into the workings of each of our partners, giving local consumers the assurance that they are indeed supporting local and sustainable initiatives when they purchase the products and services these businesses provide. Below is the Green Story of AutoBeGreen, an Exeter-based provider of green alternatives to traditional auto parts.
Owing to an inter-generational family commitment to conservation, where recycling was a fact of life as far back as the 60s, Glenn Johnson launched AutoBeGreen with the aim of heeding his grandfather’s true blue New England ethos: never waste a thing.
Johnson spent the better part of 30 post-college years working in the automotive parts business. Upon leaving the business in 2008, Johnson decided it was high time he combined his love and respect for the environment with his deep automotive expertise.
Today, AutoBeGreen provides a number of green alternatives to every day automotive fodder, including lifetime air filters (never have to toss them in the landfill!), biodegradable cleaners, shines, and protectants, biodegradable motor oils (in biodegradable bottles, no less), an “eco meter” which allows drivers to visually monitor their fuel consumption in real time, and much, much more. By providing green alternatives for something nearly all Americans depend on – their cars and trucks – AutoBeGreen is doing their part to show that any business can take steps towards helping make their industry a little more eco-friendly.
“No matter how green you are – whether you’re composting or recycling or whatever – everyone drives a car,” exclaims Johnson. “So what we’re trying to get people to realize is you can make these small changes, be a little greener, and it won’t cost you any more than the stuff you’re already buying.”
Spring is here, and we want to make sure our members get the most out of our Green Card. Check out the incredible discounts below, and get more for your GA membership in the month of April. Not a member? Join today!
1. Choose green motor oil & get $5 off oil changes at Kerner's Quick Lube in Exeter, Dow’s Automotive Service in Portsmouth, or Keegan Auto in North Hampton, NH with your Green Card. Send your receipt from the oil change along with AutoBeGreen's coupon (on their website or at the mechanic's location), & get up to $10 back in the mail!
Note: If you have a late model vehicle choose the Green Synthetic Motor Oil, and earlier model vehicles should ask for Green Conventional Motor Oil.
2. Need your house cleaned, but don’t have the time or the means? Green Maids has a great deal for new customers! Become a Green Maids customer & receive 25% off your first cleaning when you use your Green Card!
3. If you’ve been thinking of going green in a big way and delving into the hybrid world, now is a great time to do so! Seacoast Volkswagen is giving all Green Card holders a $1,000 discount under invoice on all TDI and Hybrid vehicles purchased in April!
4. Earth Day only special: Looking to have a fun night out complete with delicious, locally-sourced food and whistle-wetting libations? Stop by Riverworks Tavern in historic downtown Newmarket, where you'll receive 20% off all food when you use your Green Card on Earth Day (April 22nd)!
After redeeming your 3 amazing GA discounts this month, roll up your sleeves and give back by joining 3 GA Business Partners in recognition of Earth Day for a beach clean-up! Visions Kitchens and Design, Green Maids, and Green Realtor, Hillary Gaynor, are teaming up to clean up on Saturday, April 20th at 10am at the Seacoast Science Center. This goes along with Seacoast Science Center's Earth Day Celebration which includes kid's crafts and games, special eco programs, vendors, and more, so be sure to check it out!
As a local solar company, invested in the business of clean, sustainable energy, ReVision Energy is already a leader in ‘paying it forward.’ But being a business that continues to redefine the standards of the industry, ReVision is announcing a new discount that is not only more savings for GA members but also benefits the nonprofit community!
Offering all Green Alliance members a $250 direct discount on a solar energy system (PV or solar hot water), ReVision will award $250 to "pay it forward" to a GA nonprofit! Among the Green Alliance 115+ local, green businesses, there are several outstanding nonprofits in which members can choose to be the recipient of ReVision’s “Pay It Forward” program, Conservation Law Foundation, Great Bay Stewards, York County Shelter Programs, Climate Counts, Gundalow Company, and the W.I.L.D. Center & Zoological Park of New England!
Save on solar and support these local nonprofits all with your Green Alliance or Green Families Club membership! Not a member? Join the GA or Green Families Club here!
Find out more about ReVision's "Pay It Forward" program here!
To learn more about ReVision Energy visit here!
We may be lucky enough to live in a democracy, but that doesn’t mean the majority always wins – particularly when the issue at hand happens to be a polarizing one.
It's a scenario all too familiar to the team at Eolian Renewable Energy, a Portsmouth firm specializing in wind farm development. Last month, Eolian was informed by the State’s Site Evaluation Committee (SEC) that a project undertaken in Antrim, New Hampshire would be shelved because of purported visual impacts, despite having garnered impressive public support.
Eolian, in partnership with Westerly Wind, was tasked with the construction, operation, and eventual decommissioning of ten separate wind turbines, each just under 500 feet tall, in what is known as the Antrim Wind Energy (AWE) project.
However, after four years and over $4 million in investments, the project has been denied – at least for now.
“We designed a project that met or exceeded all prior wind projects in New Hampshire in terms of the substantive criteria evaluated by the state and also in terms of additional benefits and demonstrated local support,” said Eolian CEO Jack Kenworthy. “So this decision was a surprise in terms of the departure from precedent, as well as a disappointment in both the process and outcome.”
According to documents provided by AWE, the project was expected to reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 60,000 tons a year, while saving upwards of 17 million gallons of fresh water annually.
Additionally, according to Kenworthy the project would have resulted in the permanent conservation of over 800 acres of land.
“AWE worked for several years with numerous private landowners and conservation NGO’s to put into a place a series of binding agreements to permanently conserve over 13 times as much land as the project would ever impact,” Kenworthy noted.
Governor Maggie Hassan to deliver keynote address at the Fifth Annual Local Energy Solutions (LES) Conference on Saturday, April 13th at Winnisquam Regional High School in Tilton, NH.
Brought to you by the New Hampshire Local Energy Work Group, the annual LES conference provides critical resources, information, and guidance for local governments and school districts across the state seeking to implement an energy reduction project in their municipality.
More than 250 people attended the LES conference in 2012. The conference provides an ideal forum to meet and learn from other New Hampshire residents who have successfully implemented an energy project, hear best practices, identify financing options, and much, much more! We look forward to seeing you there!
The Green Alliance is also giving away a pair of tickets to the first 2 GA members to contact Tricia!
James Petersen, 49, began his career in engineering in 1986, founding the Portsmouth-based Petersen Engineering, Inc. six years later. Passionate about energy and the environment, Petersen has expanded his expertise from his roots in HVAC and plumbing design to include building science, enclosure design and integrated design. A broad view of buildings, energy and the environment has significantly changed Petersen’s practice, and the success of the sustainable design movement has created new opportunities and has elevated his role on projects as the mechanical engineer.
Petersen is a trailblazer in pushing the importance and viability of sustainable building design, having mastered the art of the kind of cross-collaboration required to get all of the players in a build team to prioritize efficient building techniques and materials. By constantly making the low-waste argument and professionally proving the superiority of mechanical systems that do this well, Petersen often can contribute to other sectors of a project that traditional engineers don’t have a part in.
But sustainable engineering isn’t merely a job for Petersen; it’s a passion. Petersen is proof that going green is something that only the rare few pursue in every aspect of life, whether it’s undertaking complete renovations to his company’s 200-plus-year-old headquarters, spearheading efforts to improve the efficiency of the Portsmouth community pool, or riding his bike to work through all kinds of weather.
What do you like most about your job?
I like running a business. The challenges never cease and the opportunities are endless. There's nothing to hold you back except for the artificial constraints you impose on yourself.
Owner Bridget Sprague of Be Good Branding works with socially responsible entrepreneurs and small-business owners, helping them develop a “brand strategy” to grow their business. A brand strategy “defines a business’s core target audience and determines the messages that will resonate most with that audience,” says Sprague.
To get a business’s message out to its audience, Sprague helps it develop “brand tactics” that differ from traditional marketing tactics such as advertising in magazines and on radio and sending direct mail.
The fact is traditional advertising provides businesses increasingly diminishing returns, and Be Good Branding differentiates itself from the archaic practice by building relationships between businesses and customers.
Sprague wrote her master’s thesis on “referral marketing” while studying industrial and organizational business psychology with a focus in consumer psychology, researching, she says, “essentially why people buy.” She has extensive marketing experience promoting SUVs, cell phones, credit cards and other products for large companies while working at a large advertising agency. She worked as the retail marketing manager at Stride Rite Corporation, crafting its marketing for 600 retail stores. And she worked for a brand strategy company “where I really learned how to create brand strategies that make a difference to the outcome of an organization's marketing.”
Be Good Branding focuses on three elements when helping a business develop a marketing strategy. The first element is determining what makes the business authentic, an area many marketing companies do not focus on. Differentiating from the competition is the second element. The third element identifies which people are motivated to buy what your business is selling.
Over the years, the business industry has begun to recognize the importance of socially responsible and sustainable business practices. New Hampshire Businesses for Social Responsibility (NHBSR) is among the leading networks offering businesses the resources and learning opportunities to strategize and implement these practices of social accountability
The NHBSR’s Annual Spring Conference combines a morning of innovative ideas with an afternoon of discussions around compelling topics to inspire and educate passionate business leaders.
Offering a morning of innovative presentations and following with an afternoon of discussions and networking. A panel of leaders will share 8-minute, TED-style presentations with interactive, real-time polling technology to engage audience participation. The Spring Conference will feature keynote speaker, Jay Friedlander, to impart valuable insight on the new wave in business innovation.
Register here for the NHBSR Spring Conference!
Register by April 15th and get the Early Bird Discount!