On Thursday, January 17, the City Council of Keene, New Hampshire voted 14-1 to establish a goal of transitioning the city to 100 percent clean and renewable energy. Keene joins the communities of Concord, Cornish, Hanover, and Plainfield to become the fifth city in the state to establish the goal.
The resolution adopts a goal of using 100 percent renewable energy for electricity by 2030 and for all sectors including heat and transportation by 2050. Keene is the 104th city in the United States to commit to transition to 100 percent clean, renewable energy.
We are “a small city taking giant steps” – Mayor Kendall W. Lane.
“People are watching us and seeing what steps we’re going to take to see how they can adopt those in their own communities across the country,” said the mayor, “The city of Keene has been at the forefront of issues related to climate adaptation for many many years…we should be very proud of the fact that we are taking the steps and will continue to take further steps to deal with climate change and how we adapt to those changes.”
Several other City Counselors offered words of support and encouragement for the resolution.
“This is an issue facing every town and community in the world, fortunately, Keene is a little more progressive and we jump on things. We don’t wait for someone else to do the homework. We do it here.” – Randy L. Filiault, Councilor At Large
“Small cities, big cities, small corporations, larger corporations, universities, and entire countries are actually about to negotiate similar resolutions to this and some of them are actually achieving those goals or are on the way to achieve those goals very very quickly. So it’s very important that we support this.” – Bart K. Sapeta, Councilor At Large
“This resolution is not just for the municipality, it’s not just for us here, it’s for the whole community. Part of developing this strategic plan is educating the public — we need to invite them to forums — We need to figure out how somebody with a little teeny house like me can do this so we all don’t have to have lots of money to become energy efficient. It isn’t just about us. It’s the whole community.” – Janis O. Manwaring, Councilor Ward 1.
“It’s important that we share this knowledge and give people the opportunity to a safer environment but also as I understand it we save a lot of money. And I’d love to do something that will help people have more money in their pocket” – Carl B. Jacobs, Councilor Ward 2
“This not only going to be bringing us closer to solving far-reaching issues like climate change, energy efficiency and such as that because we’ll be looking at new technology and…rebuilding the old system, but this is going to create a huge number of jobs and interest in this region, Businesses who hear about Keene, NH in Concord. They are going to want to come here and be a part of our new economic business. This will make things more economically viable for everyone here” – Terry M. Clark, Councilor Ward 3.
This is just the beginning…
The Clean Energy Team is excited, grateful, and proud to see the city pass this resolution. For several years, we have worked hard building relationships, learning and researching resources that can help us achieve energy efficiency with 100 percent renewable, affordable energy goals for everyone in the Keene community. Now, working in collaboration with the city and many of our supporters (during the next two years), we will continue doing community outreach, offer educational events, share stories and help others realize how we all may reach these sustainable, renewable energy goals.