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(Berlin, NH) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) toured affordable housing communities today in Conway and Berlin and commended their investments in clean energy and energy efficiency measures that are helping reduce consumption and emissions.  At Conway Pines and the Berlin Housing Authority, which showcase the benefits of energy efficiency and clean energy investments, Shaheen also discussed how her bipartisan energy efficiency plan would help communities, consumers and individuals lower their energy use, save money, and help create jobs. 

“Conway Pines and the Berlin Housing Authority are perfect examples of the types of projects we need to kick start around the country. Because of their investments in clean energy and energy efficiency, they’re saving money, lowering their consumption, and reducing emissions,” Shaheen said. “We need to promote these types of investments at the national level which is why I’ve pushed for the Senate to pass my energy efficiency bill. This will help lower emissions nationally, reduce costs for consumers and businesses, and help create good paying jobs for American workers.”

Shaheen has been a national leader on energy efficiency policy and her Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act bill promotes the use of energy efficient technologies, much like those used by Conway Pines and the Berlin Housing Authority. Today Shaheen toured the newly-constructed Conway Pines affordable housing community – a 32-unit project that is using geothermal heating and cooling systems to help lower costs and emissions. In fact, it is the first and only affordable housing project in New Hampshire that uses no direct fossil fuel energy. Shaheen later visited the Berlin Housing Authority, which recently installed wood pellet boilers as part of an overall energy efficiency project through the Berlin BetterBuildings program and the Northern Forest Center’s Model Neighborhood program.

“We are extremely pleased to have Senator Shaheen visit Conway Pines and have a chance to see the green and energy efficient features we use in the workforce housing project,” said Chris Davies, a managing member of Great Bridge Properties, which was established in 2000 to build and renovate affordable housing projects like Conway Pines.

“New Hampshire is leading the nation in the practical application of renewable energy policy, and you can see that right here in Berlin,” said Rob Riley, president of the Northern Forest Center, of the energy efficiency improvement projects at the Berlin Housing Authority. The projects are part of a joint investment in the Berlin Housing Authority from the Northern Forest Center’s Berlin Model Neighborhood and the Berlin BetterBuildings program. The energy efficiency effort is expected to help the Berlin Housing Authority save $11,000 a year on heating fuel costs.

Riley added, “We’re thrilled with the success of the Model Neighborhood Project, and that the Center could help Berlin Housing Authority switch from heating with oil to heating with wood pellets. This energy-efficient technology combined with building improvements is a win-win for our economy and our environment. We applaud Senator Shaheen for championing energy efficiency and innovation through the bipartisan Shaheen-Portman Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act.”

The Shaheen-Portman legislation builds upon several Shaheen-Portman energy provisions that were signed into law last year and offers a deficit-neutral framework designed to promote the transition to a more energy efficient economy while driving economic growth and encouraging private sector job creation.

The bipartisan bill passed through the Senate Energy Committee on a strong bipartisan vote of 19-3 and has received resounding support from a broad coalition of business, labor and environmental leaders.  A study by experts at the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy found that last year’s version would have saved consumers $4 billion by 2020 and helped businesses add 80,000 jobs to the economy.