June 13, 2014

Whitehouse, Chafee, State Officials & National Grid Team up to Help RI Towns & Cities with Key Energy Investments

Leaders Hold Workshop Designed to Save Municipalities & Consumers on Energy Costs & Promote Renewables

Warwick, RI – U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Governor Lincoln Chafee joined the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources, Commerce RI, and National Grid in hosting a workshop designed to help local governments promote energy efficiency and renewables in their communities.  Representatives from 29 town and city governments from around Rhode Island attended the event at the Community College of Rhode Island’s Knight Campus in Warwick.

Whitehouse and Chafee spoke about federal and state policies to support clean energy investment and create jobs.  Then host organizations led discussions on a range of energy-related topics, including a state initiative to help municipalities retrofit their facilities to be more efficient; Rhode Island’s Distributed Generation program, which helps investors in renewable energy projects to sell their energy back onto the electrical grid; and a federal and state collaboration designed to help local governments streamline planning and permitting of renewable energy projects.  

“Smart investments in renewables and energy efficiency can go a long way toward reducing energy consumption and saving Rhode Islanders money,” said Whitehouse, Chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety. “Helping local governments find the resources they need to make these investments, and cutting the red tape that can stand in their way, is a win for our economy and our environment.  I thank Governor Chafee, Commissioner Gold, National Grid, and all the leaders who joined me today, and I look forward to continuing our work on these issues.”

“As Governor, I have been committed to supporting our cities and towns in many ways, including encouraging investments in energy efficiency and renewables, which are critical for our economy and the state’s role in addressing climate change,” Governor Chafee said.

“Municipalities are key partners for Rhode Island to achieve our clean energy goals.  We are pleased to partner with Senator Whitehouse, Governor Chafee, the U.S. Department of Energy, National Grid, and Commerce RI to showcase the programs municipalities can take advantage of to move the state toward a secure, cost-effective, and sustainable energy future,” said Energy Commissioner Marion Gold.

“Commerce RI manages and administers the Renewable Energy Fund which provides the business community with opportunities to increase their energy efficiency and lower business costs,” said Marcel A. Valois, Executive Director of Commerce RI. “We believe that the State has a real opportunity to help expand clean tech industries in Rhode Island and to create the conditions for businesses in all sectors to thrive.”

“Collaborative efforts that help our communities reduce their energy costs and save money, like the one in action today, create the pathways by which our customers can benefit from sustainable and affordable energy services,” said Timothy F. Horan, president of National Grid in Rhode Island. “Sen. Whitehouse should be applauded for the leadership he has displayed to make those savings a reality while addressing the critical issue of global climate change.”


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