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(Claremont, NH) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) outlined the potential job growth and consumer savings in her bipartisan energy efficiency legislation during a tour of the Timberpeg Timber Frame facilities in Claremont today. Shaheen’s bill, the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act of 2011, was recently passed by the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources with strong support from both parties.

“When we make it easier for businesses like Timberpeg to utilize energy efficient technology, we make it easier for them to reduce costs, hire new workers, and increase economic competitiveness,” said Shaheen, a member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. “As businesses and consumers across the country tighten their belts, energy efficiency is an effective, affordable way to start addressing our energy challenges and help move our economy forward.”

A subsidiary of W.H. Silverstein, Inc., Timberpeg specializes in the manufacture of energy efficient timber frame homes with environmentally sustainable designs. The company employs 60 people in New Hampshire. As part of its expansion efforts, Timberpeg is looking to purchase new space and would like to use energy efficient technology to save money in its facility upgrades. Specifically, Timberpeg officials are hoping to insulate their roofs, improve their buildings’ lighting, and upgrade their boiler system. The loan guarantee programs in Senator Shaheen’s legislation would allow Timberpeg to finance these cost-saving energy upgrades.

“W.H. Silverstein manufactures hand crafted artisan homes in a 1960’s era factory. Energy costs are one of our highest priorities,” said Bill Silverstein, President and CEO of W.H. Silverstein, Inc. “Our windows, insulation, and heating system date from a time when fuel oil was pennies per gallon and no one cared where it came from. I want to thank Senator Shaheen for the opportunity to discuss the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act of 2011 which comes at a time when the cost and politics of energy are game-changers for manufacturers throughout our nation.”

Shaheen’s bill would establish a national energy efficiency strategy and promote the use of energy efficient technologies like those Timberpeg is hoping to use.  The bipartisan approach is effective, affordable, and relies upon existing off-the-shelf technology.

Some highlights of the legislation include:

  • Boosts private sector investment in building efficiency upgrades by expanding the Department of Energy (DOE) Loan Guarantee program.
  • Helps manufacturers reduce energy use and become more competitive by working with states to establish a revolving loan program to help finance efficiency upgrades.
  • Provides standards on outdoor lighting, residential heating and cooling systems, residential appliances, and other appliance products based on agreements between manufacturers and efficiency advocates.
  • Works with states to strengthen national model building codes, to make new homes and commercial buildings more energy efficient.
  • Requires the federal government – the single largest energy user in the country – to adopt energy saving techniques for computers, better building standards, and smart metering technology.

Introduced with Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio), the legislation has garnered support from a wide range of businesses, trade associations, and efficiency advocates.