History of NHSEA

Established in 2003, the New Hampshire Sustainable Energy Association is a statewide non-profit, member-based organization.  The NHSEA mission is to strengthen New Hampshire’s economy and conserve natural resources by promoting a transition to clean, efficient, and renewable energy.  

Over the past several years, NHSEA has grown from an organization started by a few individuals who were stymied by the lack of resources and available financial incentives for New Hampshire homeowners looking to build or renovate homes using sustainable energy practices and technologies, to a statewide organization with a diverse membership including renewable energy and energy efficiency businesses and professionals, as supported by engaged citizens and larger donors.  NHSEA has a proven track record of mobilizing its members and supporters to advocate on a wide variety of clean energy issues within the state.   

NHSEA’s past programming and projects have included:

  • Homeowner workshops on renewable energy and efficiency technologies
  • Renewable energy system installers workshops
  • Annual “Home Energy Solutions” conferences
  • Policy forums
  • Annual “Green Building Open Houses”
  • Direct advocacy for stronger Renewable Portfolio Standards
  • Clean energy funding
  • Active state participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative programs.

Recently, significant grant funding from the NH Charitable Foundation and the John Merck Foundation, along with expanding membership, new leadership, and the collaborative efforts of both regional and state-wide groups reaching out to NHSEA all put the organization in a strong position to coordinate and consolidate efforts that will bring New Hampshire further into the clean energy economy.

Why do we need NHSEA? Why do we need clean energy?

Energy is critical to every facet of our lives; from heating and lighting our homes, to transportation, to powering our businesses. Whether one is concerned about hundreds of millions of dollars leaving the state each year to buy imported oil and other fossil fuels, massive new power lines crossing our most precious natural landscapes, a changing world climate, or missed economic opportunities in homegrown solar, biomass and other renewable energy, New Hampshire needs an energy policy and practices that look to the future and keep our state competitive.

New Hampshire is not prepared for the energy changes that already are happening. Our state must take comprehensive action now to transition to a new energy system that is more local, reliable, less harmful, and cost-effective.

We are calling upon all concerned New Hampshire citizens, businesses, civic organizations, and state and local officials to join together to advance New Energy for New Hampshire, a Call to Action to implement the new State Energy Plan. Consider these facts:

  • We send nearly $1 billion annually out of the NH economy to buy fossil heating fuels;
  • New Hampshire imports virtually all its primary energy resources and exports the billions of dollars to pay for it;
  • We are falling behind the rest of New England in enabling local energy efficiency and clean alternatives;
  • Exciting new technologies can create, save, and distribute energy with more local profit and less environmental harm – if we implement them;
  • We can generate much more of our energy from clean, local sources;
  • This will benefit our economy, our environment, and our communities;
  • New Energy for New Hampshire is a win-win-win.

 With bold and immediate action, New Hampshire citizens, business leaders, policymakers, and energy stakeholders can guide this transition in a way that strengthens our state’s economy, protects public health, and conserves natural resources.  Or, we can abdicate decision-making, with profound consequences that will continue to cost us dearly and constrain us for decades. The choice is ours – we value local decision-making in New Hampshire, shouldn’t that apply to where we get our energy and how we use it?

The Time for Action is Now

New Hampshire's newly released energy strategy can be the blueprint to guide this transition…if we band together to call for a new approach to energy in New Hampshire, and demand that this plan be founded in these guiding principles:

Valuable.  Keeping local dollars local.  Our energy choices must emphasize local sources and local circulation of energy dollars to produce the greatest stability, predictability, and security for our citizens and our communities.  Our energy choices should contribute to sustainable economic growth and community development.

Smart.  Informed consumer empowerment. Our energy future must be built on the best and most efficient technology, by people who make decisions based on full knowledge of the true costs and benefits of their options.  This will include a close collaboration between suppliers and consumers.

Clean. Clean, distributed resources. Our energy future must be based on low-carbon, maximum efficiency and local energy choices whose production results in the least life-cycle impact to public health, our natural resources, and our climate.

Our Action Plan

  • Implement the state energy plan to ensure future legislation and regulation reflects a forward-looking, dynamic, implementable plan that adheres to our New Energy Principles
  • Invite and enable financing mechanisms that look beyond volatile state funding to the deployment and expansion of private investment in new clean energy for NH.
  • Maximize all efficiency opportunities in the public and private sectors.
  • Lead by example; highlight successes strategically and rapidly.

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