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(Keene, NH) – Adopting energy efficient technologies is a quick, affordable way for businesses to cut costs and create jobs, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) said during a tour of Filtrine Manufacturing in Keene today. Shaheen recently introduced bipartisan energy efficiency legislation, the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act of 2011, which was passed by the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources this past month with strong support from both parties.

“With businesses and consumers facing real concerns over rising energy prices and lingering unemployment, energy efficiency is an effective, affordable way to reduce our energy output and stimulate our economy,” said Shaheen, a member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. “Here in New Hampshire, we’ve already seen companies like Filtrine take advantage of existing energy efficient technologies to do just that. My bill would build on the success of these initiatives and help expand energy efficiency opportunities for businesses across the country.”

Located in Keene, Filtrine is a family-owned and operated business specializing in water filtration systems, and medical and process chillers. Filtrine employs 80 workers at its New Hampshire manufacturing facility.

Over the past two years, Filtrine officials have taken several steps to become more energy efficient. They have added insulation to their roof, installed a solar hot water system, and replaced all of their fluorescent and halogen bulbs with more efficient lights. These initiatives have already cut 10 percent of the company’s energy costs.

“We at Filtrine Manufacturing Company are thrilled to have Senator Shaheen here at our facility to showcase her Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act,” said Peter Hansel, President of Filtrine. “By sponsoring the Act, Senator Shaheen has taken the initiative in Washington to make it easier for companies such as ours to make wise energy decisions in the future—decisions that affect not only our own bottom line, but also the health of our environment and the energy independence of our nation.”

In an effort to build on their energy savings, Filtrine officials are hoping to use energy efficient technology to increase the use of biofuels in their heating oil, improve the efficiency of their chillers, and phase out use of ozone-depleting refrigerants in products they manufacture. The loan guarantee programs in Senator Shaheen’s legislation would allow Filtrine to finance these deeper building retrofits, achieving more substantial energy savings. Filtrine would also benefit from the Manufacturing Revolving Loan Fund in Shaheen’s bill, which would help finance water efficiency equipment for eligible projects.

Shaheen’s bill would establish a national energy efficiency strategy and promote the use of energy efficient technologies like those Filtrine 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.