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The Nashoba Valley Chamber of Commerce is urging lawmakers to pass legislation that encourages competition in the energy marketplace, seeks alternative energy sources, and diversifies New England’s energy portfolio while reducing regional greenhouse gas emissions. The Chamber also supports Governor Baker’s initiative to meet the Commonwealth’s clean energy aspirations through solar, wind and hydro-power.

The Chamber’s Public Policy Committee brought the message to Beacon Hill on June 8, as members met with their state representatives and senators, and a senior advisor to Baker.

The businesses and residents of the Nashoba Valley region are burdened daily by the high cost of energy. Aside from the few with municipal light departments, most Nashoba Valley communities are served by large utilities with among the highest average electric rates in 2015.

Electricity prices in New England are the highest of any region in the United States and have increased between 17 and 44 percent, depending on the state. In that same time period, New England has lost 150,000 manufacturing jobs, including those relocated to other states with lower energy costs.

“The Nashoba Valley and the Commonwealth need consistent, reliable access to energy sources that help to lower the cost to homeowners and businesses, both big and small. Governor Baker’s combination of hydro, wind and solar resources will provide a low-cost and reliable way to diversify our energy sources while meeting the Commonwealth’s future energy goals,” said Melissa Fetterhoff, President and CEO of the Nashoba Valley Chamber of Commerce, which represents 650 member companies in north central Massachusetts.

The Nashoba Valley Chamber, which includes a strong manufacturing cluster in and around Devens and Ayer, also expressed concern about the impact of rates and reliability from the upcoming closure of the Pilgrim Power Plant and similar closings of power plants across New England. The Chamber believes the pending legislation would encourage competition among alternative energy suppliers to produce affordable energy while diversifying New England’s energy portfolio.

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