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(Washington, D.C.)-U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen today discussed the positive impact of energy efficiency projects on job creation and economic growth at Winngate Village Apartments in Laconia.  The 100-unit apartment community is undergoing weatherization, which was made possible through American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding awarded to the Belknap-Merrimack Community Action Program.  Shaheen was joined at the event by Cathy Zoi, the Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at the U.S. Department of Energy. 

"The work being done here today is a powerful example of the impact that clean energy programs can have on our economic recovery and future economic growth," said Shaheen. "With business down for many homebuilders, contractors and construction workers, weatherization projects are important to help local companies stay afloat and identify new business opportunities, while helping us to reduce energy consumption and control electricity costs for New Hampshire families." 

"Weatherization programs like this one are putting people back to work and saving families money," said Zoi. "These programs reduce energy use and carbon pollution, create jobs locally and lower energy bills for families that need it.  These investments will continue to pay dividends for years - both for our economy and our environment."

New Hampshire received nearly $24 million for the Weatherization Assistance Program through the Recovery Act and ranks among the most efficient states in the country in putting this funding to work, according to the DOE Inspector General report.  As of the end of March more than 750 units have been weatherized with assistance from these funds and, by the end of April, the New Hampshire Office of Energy and Planning expects that New Hampshire will have met 30 percent of its total goal for units weatherized with ARRA funds; making the state one of only a handful across the nation to have met this target.

"The success of the New Hampshire Weatherization Program in meeting the national Department of Energy goals is an example of what is great about this state," said Ralph Littlefield, Executive Director of the Community Action Programs of Belknap-Merrimack Counties. "Representatives from the state government, the electric and gas utilities, private business, the construction industry, labor unions, vocational college system, and the affordable housing community came together with the shared interest in energy conservation and job creation, and have been able to quickly and effectively use available resources to help families reduce energy costs. This spirit of cooperation has created jobs, and will continue to save families money for years to come."

Job creation and comprehensive energy legislation remain top priorities for Congress. Taken together, these initiatives can help consumers save on home heating and cooling costs, make the country less dependent on foreign oil, help reduce greenhouse gases, and create jobs.  It is estimated that for every $1 million invested in weatherization, 52 jobs are saved or created.