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Clean Energy NH, the leading non-profit focused on leading the Granite State’s transition to a zero-carbon economy, is growing. We are thrilled to announce that one of our flagship initiatives, the Energy Circuit Rider program, is expanding to serve Sullivan County.
Imagine having a dedicated clean energy advocate and expert assigned specifically to your community. At its core, that is what the Energy Circuit Rider program does. Our staff work with communities throughout the state to help them optimize their energy use, enhancing efficiency, and transitioning to cleaner energy sources. The “circuit riders” work closely with municipalities to identify priority energy-saving opportunities, connect them to local clean energy businesses to scope out projects, and “matchmake” between various federal and state funding sources in order to clear away barriers to pursuing those projects.
The Energy Circuit Rider (ECR) Program was created and piloted in Coös County beginning in 2019. Since then, the North Country Circuit Rider has helped more than a dozen communities complete more than 30 energy efficiency and clean energy projects. The program has helped the communities receive more than $500,000 worth of incentives and grants, which have resulted in more than $2 million dollars of investment in clean energy projects. The program has since expanded to serve the Monadnock and Seacoast regions.
Sullivan County, situated in the western part of New Hampshire, holds great potential to benefit from the extension of our Energy Circuit Rider program. Its mix of rural and urban communities presents a set of distinct challenges and opportunities in the journey towards cleaner and more sustainable energy solutions, but in many instances, our experience over the past four years in other corners of the state can be applied in Sullivan County as well.
An essential component of this expansion is finding the right individual to serve as the Energy Circuit Rider in Sullivan County. The perfect candidate for this position must possess specific qualities and skills to effectively engage with the community and drive the clean energy transition.
The expansion of our Energy Circuit Rider program into Sullivan County holds great promise for the community. The projects pursued in partnership with our staff will lower energy costs through energy audits, efficiency enhancements, and the adoption of renewable energy technologies. Communities in Sullivan County can anticipate a reduction in energy costs for local facilities, which can help ease upward pressure on property taxes, making them a more appealing place to live and conduct business.
By transitioning to clean energy sources, Sullivan County will contribute to reducing its carbon emissions and associated air pollution. This action aids in the battle against climate change and enhances air and water quality in the region.
The clean energy sector is a growing industry that offers opportunities for job creation and economic growth. As the community embraces clean energy, new job opportunities may arise in fields such as solar installation, energy efficiency contracting and consulting, and associated technology development.
Clean energy technologies like solar panels and energy storage can bolster the resilience of the community’s energy infrastructure, reducing the impact of power outages and other disruptions. Clean Energy NH was the recent recipient of a U.S. Department of Energy Energizing Rural Communities Prize, which will be used to assist communities looking to install solar and backup batteries at designated community emergency shelters. We would love to work on projects like this with Sullivan County communities that have good candidate facilities.
Our expansion of the Energy Circuit Rider program into Sullivan County marks a significant step toward a cleaner, more sustainable future for the region. With the right individual in place, Sullivan County can look forward to reduced energy costs, a healthier environment, economic opportunities, and increased energy resilience. This expansion underscores our commitment and the power of communities working together to embrace clean energy solutions.
Sam Evans-Brown is the executive director of Clean Energy New Hampshire. He was an energy and climate journalist for ten years before transitioning to the policy arena.
If use poster graphic: Clean Energy NH’s North Country Circuit rider has already demonstrated a high degree of success in helping communities save money on their energy bills.