News : November 2011

New Hampshire School Signs World's First Solar Hot Air Power Purchase Agreement to Reduce Heating Costs & C02 Emissions

Nov 30, 2011


KINGSTON, N.H., Nov. 29, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Solyndra and other troubled, taxpayer-funded solar electric companies might have momentarily derailed the green movement's progress this year, but a solar hot air collector will be working wonders at Sanborn Regional High School.

Installed this month and funded by the world's first power purchase agreement (PPA) for ultra-efficient solar hot air, Sanborn's fuel-oil heating bills will be cut by at least by $17,000 annually with no capital investment by the school district...

Read the full story here!

Solar Hot Water Rebates

Nov 28, 2011

From New England Real Estate Journal

By Jim Cavan

By now, you'd be hard pressed to find anyone left unscathed by the country's long-lingering economic recession.

On the surface, NH's solar industry would appear to be the latest victim: Recently, the state's Public Utilities Commission (PUC) announced that funds for the federal portion of the state's Solar Water Heating Rebate Program had expired.

In reality, NH has simply been the victim of its own success...

Read the full story in NEREJ here!

Plaid Friday Offers Green Alternative to Black Friday Mayhem

Nov 28, 2011

Published in Portsmouth Patch

By Dave Anderson

There has always been something morose sounding about Black Friday that evokes the image of throngs of tired eyed consumers shivering in the dark outside locked box store doors, waiting for the chance to do battle over the last Tickle Elmo doll, or whatever the latest Made-in-China fad happens to be this year.

Enter Plaid Friday, a local alternative to Black Friday that seeks to put the fun and color back into the holidays by encouraging consumers to wear plaid and shop at locally owned businesses on November 25, 2011. Organized by Seacoast Local, a Portsmouth-based nonprofit, the event is now in its second year.

“Plaid is very New England,” said Seacoast Local’s newly minted Director David Boynton, who pointed to his own shirt as proof. “The community is really catching on to the idea. People are excited about how much more fun it is.”

Read the full story at


Exeter's Green Gravity

Nov 28, 2011

Published in Exeter Patch and Portsmouth Patch

by Andrew Tiebout

A drive down Exeter's Swasey Parkway reveals sprawling farmland that gives way to Revolutionary War era buildings and a downtown bandstand decked out in tri-colored flags. It’s clear at a glimpse that Exeter is a city that takes pride in its history and natural beauty, so it’s not surprising that Exeter is also one New Hampshire city helping to lead the way to an independent, sustainable future.

According to a study by the Brookings Institution released this past June, New Hampshire has the fastest growing green economy in New England with an average 5.3% increase in green jobs from 2003 through 2010. In fact, green job growth outpaces overall job growth in New Hampshire, which is already second in the nation at 1.4%. The southern counties of Merrimack, Hillsborough and Exeter’s own Rockingham, are the epicenter of this trend and provide most of the state’s green jobs.

Alternative energy companies represent the largest sector of the green economy anywhere, but especially in New Hampshire. ReVision Energy, which has locations in Dover, as well as Portland, Maine and Liberty, Maine, has been installing solar energy systems since 2003. This past July, they opened a new location in Exeter.

To read the full story in Exeter Patch, click here!

To read the full story in Portsmouth Patch, click here!

Send a Green Message This Holiday Season

Nov 28, 2011

Published in Portsmouth Patch

By Dave Anderson

Pixels & Pulp and RAM Printing are teaming up with the Green Alliance this holiday season to offer a full package of eco-friendly printing and design services at a discounted rate.

Based in Hampstead, N.H., RAM has earned a reputation as a green trendsetter in the printing industry by incorporating sustainability into their business model for more than two decades. In fact, RAM was the first printer in New Hampshire to receive Forest Stewardship Council certification. While most printing companies continue to rely on oil-based inks, RAM uses the soy-based kind. Cutting edge technology also allows the company to save time and energy by setting up print jobs in minutes and producing 15,000 high quality copies per hour.

Pixels & Pulp is a partnership of two tech savvy, eco-conscious female entrepreneurs from Maine, Elise Weeks and Megan Keogh.

Get the full story on

Little Green Homes Keeps on Growing

Nov 28, 2011

Published in Portsmouth Patch

By Dave Anderson

At a time when the construction industry in New Hampshire is losing jobs, Little Green Homes of Greenland is bucking the trend by doubling size of its workforce.

“We’ve grown from the three to six employees in the last year,” according to Chris Redmond, an architectural designer from Newmarket who started the company 4.5 years ago with his business partner Jeff Stacy, a builder from Portsmouth.

“We started off with just my partner and me, plus a few subs, but we’ve always wanted to hire full time, steady guys, not just summer help,” Redmond explained. “Now we’ve grown from one to two crews, so we can handle multiple projects.”

Read the full story online at

Ride and Prejudice: Bicycle Project Funding in NH

Nov 22, 2011

Published in Exeter Patch & Portsmouth Patch

by Scott Szycher

If it weren’t bad enough that austere budgets are coming after well-established, successful programs like Social Security, now there’s a new target in the cross hairs: bicycling.

Funding for bicycling transportation is coming under assault nationwide, including in New Hampshire. A hearing was held October 26 on the New Hampshire Department of Transportation’s (DOT) ten-year transportation plan which makes significant cuts to bicycle and pedestrian funding.

“When you consider how little bicycle transportation funding costs compared to the other projects, it’s a shame to see its budget take such a hit,” said Josh Pierce, general manager of Portsmouth-based Papa Wheelies, and board member of Seacoast Area Bicycle Routes. “These types of projects give great bang for the buck, as multi-use can be used by cyclists, walkers, and even the disabled.”

Holiday Party Time

Nov 21, 2011

Published in The New Hampshire, Exeter Patch, and Portsmouth Patch

by Scott Szycher

While Christmas means family and gift-giving in our society, the holiday season means holiday parties for business owners and employees. These holiday parties are a great reward to workers for a hard year's effort in a tight economy.

"A good holiday party can really improve morale," notes Jennifer Jarvis, owner of the Riverworks Restaurant and Tavern in downtown Newmarket. Riverworks hosts holiday parties of up to 65 in its upstairs dining rooms before 5 PM, including weekends, and hosts get-togethers in private rooms or in its dining room for evening parties.
"For some companies, the holiday party is one of the few times that people from different departments get to socialize with each other, so it acts as a great team-building opportunity," Jarvis said. "And serving fresh, creative food is something that employees really appreciate."

To read the full story in The New Hampshire, click here! To read the full story in Exeter Patch, click here! To read the story in Portsmouth Patch, click here!

Portsmouth firm happy with its paperless approach

Nov 17, 2011

From Foster's Daily Democrat

By Andrew Tiebout

PORTSMOUTH — We all know ways we could be greener and more responsible.

But shouldn't sustainable living come as easily as choosing the recycling bin? One Seacoast business owner has found a few simple ways to use technology to not only conserve resources, but also to increase efficiency as well.

Portsmouth Atlantic Insurance (PAI) has been a paperless business since signing its first policy in 2005 — no small feat in an industry that's known for piles and piles of paperwork...

To read the full story in Foster's, click here!

Tin Mountain Renewable Energy Initiative; Neighbors Helping Neighbors to Capture the Sun

Nov 16, 2011

By Andrew Tiebout

Published in Portsmouth Patch and Exeter Patch

Solar power appeals to the rugged individualist in all of us. It can turn a home into a personal power plant by reducing or eliminating reliance on fossil fuels. However, despite that appeal, less than one percent of American homes tap the sun’s energy.

This is largely because the initial cost of a solar system installation can run well over $10,000 with the financial pay-off taking years to recoup. After people run the numbers, they usually come to the conclusion that there are more pressing matters in their lives than energy independence. But, paradoxically, the key to gaining that independence might actually be available right in your home town.

Enter TMREI or Tin Mountain Renewable Energy Initiative, a community solar-barn raising group that helps cut the cost of solar power by capitalizing on people-power...

Read more online on Exeter or Portsmouth Patch as well as Foster's Online! featuring EcoMovement Consulting & Hauling

Nov 16, 2011

In their latest installment, went for a little ride with Rian Bedard and Ecomovement Consulting & Hauling. Discover how little things like composting food waste -- waste which accounts for hundreds of millions of tons of landfill refuse a year -- can really help make a difference.

Facebook Twitter More...

Meet the new light bulb

Nov 14, 2011

From Foster's Daily Democrat

By Dave Anderson

NEWINGTON — For more than a century, the light bulb has stood as a symbol of innovation and human ingenuity. Today, the light bulb is living up to that reputation by taking energy efficiency to a whole new level.

Sitting on the counter of The Lighting Center at Rockingham Electric is a display reading, "The new LED lighting from Philips is here, and it can change everything." It contains Philips brand LED replacement light bulbs that use a fraction of the energy of the traditional incandescent....

Read the full story in Foster's here!

Green dream Builder sets new standard for super-efficient home

Nov 14, 2011

From Foster's Daily Democrat

By Jim Cavan

NORTH HAMPTON — When builder Peter Robie decided to build a new, energy efficient house on his family's rolling North Hampton property, he didn't have to stray far for inspiration. Together with Ethan Korpi, Robie runs EcoSound Builders, a company specializing in high performance homes as well as green-conscious design and materials.

After initially focusing on the Lakes and White Mountain regions of New Hampshire, in 2008 Eco Sound launched their southern branch, which primarily services clients in and around the New Hampshire-Maine Seacoast..

Read the full story in Foster's by clicking here!

OPINION: Increase in Global Emissions Ought to Serve as Green Clarion Call

Nov 11, 2011

From Exeter Patch and Portsmouth Patch

By Jim Cavan

Last week, the U.S. Department of Energy released a report indicating that global carbon dioxide levels jumped by the biggest amount on record last year.

According to the report, the world churned out roughly 564 million more tons of CO2 in 2010 than it did in 2009, an increase of about six percent. To put that in perspective, the increase outstrips the individual emissions of all but three countries: China, the United States, and India.

That's worse than even the worst case scenario outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) four years ago...

Click here to read the full story in Exeter Patch! For Portsmouth Patch, click here.

Green Alliance Businesses Offer Many Ways to Save on Home Heating

Nov 10, 2011

Published in Portsmouth Patch and Foster's Daily Democrat

By Dave Anderson

October snowstorms are a sure sign that winter is on the way, and with it the sticker shock that comes with the season’s first heating bills.

Green Alliance Business Partners are offering members of the Seacoast based consumer co-op discounts on a variety of eco-friendly products and services that can help to cut down on home heating costs. 

“We have a lot of people coming in to buy weather stripping for doors and plastic that goes over windows to help keep out drafts,” according to Andrew Carberry, Manager at Middleton Building Supply, which has locations in Dover and Hampton, NH. Green Alliance members get a 5 percent discount on all regularly priced, in-stock items at this local, family-owned hardware store.

Read the full story on or

Local Food in Local Restaurants

Nov 9, 2011

From Seacoast Eat Local's blog

For locavores, eating out can be a challenge, it’s often a chore to navigate an unfamiliar menu. Fortunately, increasing numbers of Seacoast chefs are discovering the incredible array of locally grown food available here, and are sourcing more of their ingredients from local sources.

The business union Green Alliance helps to make restaurants more transparent through their online sustainability evaluations. In their mission to encourage more sustainable business practices, Green Alliance includes sourcing local food as an important criteria. Recent posts highlight some of the choices three of their restaurant members — the Portsmouth Brewery, Robert’s Maine Grill, and the UNH Dairy Bar — have made to include local food on their menus...

Read the full story in the Seacoast Eat Local blog by clicking here!

Jewett Defies Recession, Triples Size of Space With Move to Dover

Nov 8, 2011

From Exeter Patch

By Jim Cavan

It took nearly a dozen trips and one grueling week, but Jewett Farms & Co. has finally landed in Dover.

After 12 years in York, Maine – where the custom cabinetry outfit had expanded its space no less than four times – Jewett officially opened its Broadway doors to the public last week.

Truth be told, co-owners Mike Myers and Matthew Lord had been planning this day for the better part of three years. After weighing their options – and an exhaustive search to find the perfect “working” property – the team settled on the 15,000 square foot Dover warehouse...

Read the full story in Exeter Patch by clicking here!

Conference on climate change coming to Portsmouth

Nov 8, 2011

Published in Seacoast Online

By Deborah McDermott 

With politics as a backdrop but science as the focus, a conference will held this month to discuss climate change and its effects on the Seacoast.

The N.H. Carbon Action Alliance, based in Littleton, is sponsoring the event, which is bringing together scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of New Hampshire and other organizations. 

In a nod to the presidential primaries, also expected to attend is former Congressman Bob Inglis, a Republican from South Carolina...

Read the complete story at

The Paperless Approach

Nov 7, 2011

Published in Exeter Patch and Portsmouth Patch

By Andrew Tiebout

We all know ways we could be greener and more responsible. Some methods are simple, like making sure we throw that coffee cup in the right bin. Others, like choosing a bicycle over a combustion engine, take more effort. And then there are green technologies, like alternative energy or hybrid cars, with upfront costs many people can’t afford.

But, ideally, shouldn’t sustainable living come as easily as choosing the recycling bin? One seacoast business owner has found a few simple ways to use technology to not only conserve resources, but to increase efficiency as well.

Portsmouth Atlantic Insurance (PAI) has been a paperless business since signing its first policy in 2005, which is no small feat in an industry that’s known for piles and piles of paperwork. Their secret is really no secret at all: computers and the Internet. While these are technologies that are often blamed for impeding workplace efficiency, this isn’t a problem at PAI. Instead, the business takes advantage of a management program by a company called Applied Systems that is designed for insurance companies and allows them to use all the same documents, just digitally.

To read the full story in Exeter Patch, click here! To read the full story in Portsmouth Patch, click here!

Melissa Aho talks challenges of geothermal business

Nov 7, 2011

From the Portsmouth Herald

By Kelly Hearn

Melissa Aho is president of Ultra Geothermal Inc. in Barrington, a company that installs geothermal heating units in Portsmouth and on the Seacoast.

In 2008, your company Ultra Heating & Cooling changed its name to Ultra Geothermal. What was the main challenge in shifting from a traditional HVAC company to a clean energy firm?

Aho: The main challenge was operating at a profit while taking on a much more expensive line of equipment, since we converted to installing only geothermal. The previous company had been doing geothermal installations for many years but they also installed conventional heating systems. Even though the employees already had expertise in the field, the customer needed to be brought up to speed, to realize that while it's expensive to install geothermal, there are huge financial and environmental benefits downstream...

Read the full interview in the Portsmouth Herald by clicking here!

New Design Software Gives Construction Companies Green Edge

Nov 7, 2011

From Portsmouth Patch

By Jim Cavan

Anyone who’s gone through the trials and tribulations of building or renovating a home knows the feeling: How can I be sure the finished the product will meet my expectations?

Typically, that assurance wouldn’t be felt until the final cabinet or railing was in its proper place.

But a recent, cutting-edge technology is poised to change the way architects, builders, and clients interact, in the process helping make the entire home building or renovation process far more efficient...

Read the full story in Portsmouth Patch by clicking here!

Climate Change Conference Coming to Portsmouth

Nov 3, 2011

From Portsmouth Patch & Foster's Daily Democrat

By Dave Anderson

Why are storms becoming more powerful, causing unseasonal snowfall, heavier rainfall and flooding in New England and southern New Hampshire?

That’s just one of the questions a group of local and nationally recognized experts will answer at “Climate Change & New Hampshire’s Seacoast”, an all day conference being held at the Portsmouth Harbor Events & Conference Center on Thursday, November 17 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The goal of the conference is to provide an opportunity for citizens to learn about how climate change is affecting the Seacoast region in a science-based, factual and non-confrontational setting, according to event organizer Farrell Seiler, Chairman of the New Hampshire Carbon Action Alliance. Seiler, 67, is a life-long Republican and has been involved in renewable energy and green technologies for more than three decades.

To read the full story in Portsmouth Patch, click here! To read the story in Foster's, click here!

In Stormy Economy, Socially Responsible Investments a Welcome Safe Haven

Nov 1, 2011

From the Portsmouth Herald, Foster's Daily Democrat, Exeter Patch and Portsmouth Patch

By Jim Cavan

If the stock market were a roller coaster at Six Flags, you can bet the line to ride would be as short as the prospective riders are thrill-seeking.

Amidst a seemingly omnipresent specter of a double-dip recession here in the U.S., recent world market jitters have thrown into high relief the precarious state of the global economy.

But a lesser known – and lesser covered – phenomenon is beginning to resonate above the turmoil: The relative success of what is known as “socially responsible investing” (SRI)...

To read the full story in Foster's, click here. For Exeter Patch, click here. For Portsmouth Patch, click here. For the Herald, click here.