“There is confusion about energy supply choices, a lot of headlines about energy markets in the news, and people are wondering if they should switch to a competitive supplier. The answer is that switching makes a lot of sense for many consumers.”
— Christophe Courchesne, Conservation Law Foundation
RYE — Christophe Courchesne of Conservation Law Foundation and Julie Lapham of ENH Power will be making a presentation, “The Power to Choose: Your Options for Electricity” on Thursday March 6th at the Rye Public Library, starting at 6:45 p.m. Sponsored by the Rye Energy Committee, the presentation will aim to help attendees make choices about their energy use and suppliers with information regarding how they can save money and take advantage of new, cleaner options.
Courchesne is an attorney at Conservation Law Foundation. CLF has been working to protect New England’s environment since 1966, using law, science, policymaking and the business market to create innovative solutions to our region’s most pressing environmental challenges.
As part of its work to advance a clean energy future for New Hampshire, CLF helped initiate the EmpowerNH campaign, which is encouraging New Hampshire residents to consider making the switch to a competitive electricity supplier and provides supplier-neutral information resources on consumer options. EmpowerNH partners include environmental groups like CLF and competitive suppliers like ENH Power. The coalition also includes the Seacoast’s own Green Alliance, a green business union and consumer co-op that works to educate businesses and consumers on sustainability, and local renewable energy company ReVision Energy. EmpowerNH believes that choosing a competitive supplier benefits New Hampshire residents, businesses, the state’s economy, and its environment.
Did you know that every business/organization in The Green Alliance undergoes a full and transparent Sustainability Certification? GA takes a look at what makes the business green and where they have room to improve. Check out Chinburg Properties' Green Story below and learn more about what makes them green! To read all of Chinburg Propertie's certification documents, click here.
Founded in 1987 by University of New Hampshire graduate Eric Chinburg, Chinburg Builders has since grown to become one of the Seacoast’s most trusted and recognizable building companies in the areas of residential and commercial construction. Over 25 years the company has expanded into land development, general contracting and property management. The company recently changed its name to Chinburg Properties, with the tagline: Develop, Build, Manage, to more accurately reflect the expansion of the business. Along the way, the company has embraced a decidedly green ethos and progressive development philosophy oriented to the region’s unique history and local heritage.
In 2002, Chinburg began devoting more attention to building Energy Star homes featuring myriad efficiency-guided measures and features. In 2010, the company made a commitment to begin rendering all of their new homes to Energy Star standards. The latest green milestone was the successful development, build out and sale of 19 homes at Laurel Court, Portsmouth’s first 100% high performance home neighborhood. These homes earned an average of 52 points on the HERS rating system, with an average energy savings of $1,200 per year per home.
In 1997 Eric Chinburg developed a vision and a passion for the redevelopment of New Hampshire’s crumbling mill buildings. Chinburg Properties has now recycled historic treasures paramount to the Granite State’s unique industrial and architectural legacies, including Newmarket Mills in Newmarket, Millport in Portsmouth, Washington Mills and Cocheco Mills in Dover, and Canal Street Mill in Somersworth; 11 mills in all. “We’ve learned a lot in the process of saving these buildings,” says Jen Chinburg. “Newmarket Mills is the culmination of this knowledge, fixing abandoned buildings that are falling apart but have inherent beauty and restoring them to a place of usefulness and importance in the community.”
Green Cocoon offers eco-friendly and energy efficient insulation products for clients around New England. Launched in 2007, Green Cocoon found a niche in an industry not known for being kind to the environment. By offering innovative insulators such as soy-based spray foam, cellulose and denim, Green Cocoon has gained a loyal following. Their high-performance products offer supreme moisture protection, are long-lasting and have been proven to be safe for people, animals and the environment.
General Manager Candace Lord, 29, started work with Green Cocoon in 2011. Lord is passionate about the work her company does. “I love that we can help people and the environment,” Lord said. “Our products save our clients money by reducing their heating costs, which softens their impact on the planet. It’s a win-win for everyone.”
Theresa Conn (TC): What do you like most about your job?
Candace Lord (CL): I love meeting people and building relationships with our clients. I also like that every day is so different. I get bored quickly, but luckily my job keeps me on my toes. On any given day, I could be doing accounting in my office, pitching our product over the phone or networking at mixers. I do 50 different things all the time, and I cherish that.
Through the years, The Lighting Center at Rockingham Electric has always taken it upon itself to do more than just provide customers with the largest selection of residential lighting products in Northern New England.
Instead the company prides itself by operating various programs and initiatives that make it easier for seacoast residents to become more energy efficient.
The Lighting Center offers a wide range of services to their customers including free lighting audits for their commercial clients, a wide selection of energy efficient lighting, as well as sharp discounts for clients who choose to convert their lighting to fluorescent bulbs (CFLs). However, not all the services they provide involve making sales.
PORTSMOUTH — Are you passionate about protecting the environment and marine wildlife? Blue Ocean Society presents the perfect opportunity for you to show just how much you care.
The Blue Ocean Society is a Green Alliance Business Partner that recently got involved in an amazing opportunity to raise money for its organization. Patagonia and Moosejaw are offering a challenge on Crowdrise.com, a Web site through which people can donate money, for charities to compete in raising funds. The organization that raises the most funds by noon on March 13 will receive an additional contribution courtesy of Patagonia. The winner with the most donations on Crowdrise will receive a $5,000 donation. Second and third place charities will also get a monetary reward.
Green Alliance Business Partner ReVision Energy has teamed up with the Durham Energy Committee to install solar panels in three of Durham’s town buildings. They are hosting two separate events to celebrate and spread solar awareness. On March 6, the two businesses will co-host a community mixer and pot luck at the Durham Public Library located on 49 Madbury Road.
Several Durham restaurants have generously offered to provide food for the pot luck. The event will take place from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. ReVision Energy is going to make a donation to the Cornucopia Food Pantry of Waysmeet Center in Durham following the dinner. This event will certainly spark conversion about solar energy in the local community. Those interested in attending the delicious pot luck should contact Kimry Corrette at firstname.lastname@example.org or (603)-679-1777.
With the severe impacts of climate change becoming increasingly apparent, local planners and decision makers must learn to adapt.
Antioch University and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are hosting a conference to address the Northeast’s preparedness for climate change events.
The LOCAL SOLUTIONS: Northeast Climate Change Preparedness Conference will be held at the Radisson Hotel in Manchester, NH from May 19 to May 21. The event will include an inspiring line-up of over seventy speakers and twenty-five workshops. The purpose is to teach decision makers and local planners what must be done to brace for severe weather and climate impacts while building healthy and resilient community plans.
The hands-on and interactive programs will assist participants in measures like conducting vulnerability assessments, identifying and protecting natural and societal mechanisms that maintain resilience, and creating plans that allow a community to adapt to impacts.
KITTERY -- Have you heard about the global bee crisis? Honeybees all around the world started to mysteriously disappear from their hives back in 2006. Will the bees vanish completely?
To find out more about this phenomenon, come to the Kittery Community Center on March 14. The KCC is located at 120 Rogers Road in Kittery, Maine. Traip Academy is hosting an informal gathering to view the film "Queen of the Sun: What are the Bees Telling Us?" The movie will begin at 7:00 p.m. and last until 9:00 p.m. A discussion and opportunity for Q&A will follow.
STRATHAM – For most newborn businesses, much like a newborn child, getting off the ground and taking those first steps can be cumbersome. NhSolarGarden is proving to be somewhat of a prodigy; as soon as they declared themselves open, word began to spread throughout newspapers across the state, and interest in their group net metering strategy skyrocketed. They are continuing to gain momentum and support for its innovative and localized solar solutions.
Owner Andrew Kellar has never faltered in his long history of impressive green careers. Not only did he help to co-found the Green Alliance and Simply Green Biofuels, he has also worked very closely with several progressive organizations including the Green Launching Pad, which helps local startups bring environmental solutions to the market.
Jenaly Technology Group is unique IT firm, committed to providing affordable solutions for businesses, and making sustainable choices. Jenaly makes a conscious effort to do all it can to reduce its carbon footprint. It is a strong advocate of digitalizing documents (their own and those of their clients) in order to save paper. It advocates recycling and makes its green tips and advice public on its website. Each month it recommends a different “Green Item.” These items are simple eco-friendly items that you can incorporate in your every day life.
This month’s “Green Item(s)” is green printers! This is a smart ways to be green and save on your printing costs. Invest in a printer that automatically prints on both sides of paper, this is called “duplex printing.” Another easy tip is to print in “draft mode.” Your document will print faster and use less ink! Printers with these capabilities also save power and electricity.
Jenlay’s blog frequently offers these simple tips and more interesting stories about their business!
Join GA Business Partner ReVision Energy for a talk on renewable energy followed by a tour of the New Hampshire SPCA headquarters in Stratham which has recently installed ReVision Energy solar hot water heaters and Froling wood pellet boilers. These two new installations have cut heating costs by 40% and slashed their costly year-round domestic hot water bill with the solar thermal system. The event takes place at 104 Portsmouth Ave in Stratham and begins with a talk at 3pm followed by a tour at 3:45pm. Refreshments will be served, RSVP to Kimry Corrette at 603-679-1777 or Kimry@revisionenergy.com.
Not only does ReVision Energy design, install, and service solar hot water heaters, they also specialize in PV Solar panels and wood & pellet gasification boilers. As a renewable energy company, their mission is to help people and businesses to transition away from a fossil-fuel based economy, towards a sustainable economy based on renewable energy.
1. Know your options. In many states the deregulation of the electricity market allows choice in your electricity supply company. This means you may have the option to choose from power companies that source from coal free power or invest in local renewable energy projects!
2. Compare value. With more choices popping up every day consumers who care about supporting community-minded companies should remember to apply that filter to their electricity provider. Find out your electricity provider’s ethics and power sources and if you don’t like what you learn think about switching!
Southeast New Hampshire Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Newington is a non-profit that sells home improvement materials to benefit Habitat for Humanity. It offers appliances, used building materials, kitchen cabinets, tiles, fixtures, and other items for your home improvement projects. Its items are donated from manufacturers, stores, contractors, and individuals. Here are three good reasons to shop there:
1. Save Money. All items at ReStore are sold at 30% to 80% below retail price. While the prices are unbelievably low, the quality of the products is still top-notch. Since the items come from manufacturers and stores, most have simply been overstocked or discontinued. Some products are even brand new! Its gently used products also adhere to a high quality standard. ReStore’s non-profit status also allows them to offer lower prices than bigger, for-profit department stores.
2. Be Green. Not only can you save money at ReStore, you can reduce your carbon footprint. By purchasing recycled or overstock items, you’re giving a second and useful life to materials that could have ended up in a junkyard or landfill. Additionally, you are also saving the energy and resources used to produce new materials.
3. Support a Good Cause. All of ReStore’s proceeds benefit SENH Habitat for Humanity. This organization works to provide affordable housing to low-income families. To date, Habitat for Humanity has helped build and repair over 800,000 homes and served more than 4 million people around the world, including in your local community. It has been able to accomplish this through offering various volunteer opportunities and opening ReStore locations across the country. By purchasing from your local SENH ReStore, you directly contribute toward building affordable housing in Strafford & Rockingham Counties.
The Corporate Sustainability Leadership Program is a three-day boot camp on practical topics of corporate sustainability. It will be held at UNH's LEED-certified Paul College of Business and Economics' Executive Education Center on April 2-4 in Durham. Comprehensive instruction will be given on the “why, what, and how” of social responsibility in your corporation. This program is meant for mid to senior level executives from businesses of all sizes.
Instructors from various areas of expertise will be leading the sessions. The main topics covered will be: Why sustainability matters to business, building a business case for sustainability, and communicating your sustainability message to internal and external stakeholders. Its combination of cutting edge academics, site visits, and team teaching activities will give you skills and knowledge that can greatly benefit your business.
Participants will have the option to complete a capstone project within six months after the program. Capstone projects should be designed to engage peers or provide new approaches to issues faced. Participants will be partnered with mentors who can assist them with the completion of their project.
PORTSMOUTH – Join two Green Alliance Business Partners, Poco’s Bow Street Cantina and 2 Ceres Street as they co-host the Jet Setter edition of the WXGR’s Gourmet Lounge for this year’s Portsmouth Beer Week. The night will be filled with up-beat music, delicious food and plenty of beer. The Gourmet Lounge will take place from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Friday, February 28. Smuttynose and Great Rhythm Brewing will also be featured at the event.
Each restaurant will host their own live-cooking demonstration of international foods. Poco’s features Mexican cuisine and 2 Ceres is known for their seafood and chicken entrees. Smuttynose will feature their Finestkind IPA and Great Rhythm Resonation Pale Ale. Taste the difference between the Smuttynose ales as you sample the restaurant’s special dishes and listen to WXGR. The first 80 people to attend WXGR’s Gourmet Lounge will enjoy complimentary pairing samples.