The Hampshire Council of Governments (Council) is pleased to announce that Ann-Renée Larouche is the new Energy Specialist. This position will be instrumental in the creation and implementation of energy programs offered by the Council’s Electricity and Sustainability Departments, which are aimed at reducing energy costs for the Council’s electricity customers and at promoting and facilitating local, green energy generation.
“I had the good fortune of starting my career in clean energy in 2003, and I knew then that I had found my calling.” Subsequently, Ms. Larouche worked as an Energy Coach for Co-op Power and as Massachusetts Sales Coordinator for Community Energy. Ms. Larouche holds a M.A. in Landscape Planning & Design from the Conway School of Landscape Design, a B.Sc. (Agriculture) from McGill University, and a Solar Energy Certificate from Holyoke Community College. During her first two weeks on the job, Ms. Larouche has focused her attention on the Council’s Municipal Aggregation Program, which is in the final stages of approval by the Department of Public Utilities. So far, twenty eight municipalities, encompassing over 100,000 people, have agreed to become part of the Municipal Aggregation. Pointing to the Council’s successful track record of providing savings to municipalities, school districts, and industrial customers totaling $1.6M since 2006, Larouche is confident that the Council will be able to generate savings to residential and small commercial customers through its Municipal Aggregation Program.
As part of its Municipal Aggregation plan, the Council is in the process of creating Hampshire Green, a green power option that will be available to residential and small commercial customers of participating municipalities. “It is truly a win-win-win situation”, says Larouche. “By agreeing to take part in the Council’s Municipal Aggregation Program, local municipalities will not only enable their residents to save money, but it will also help sustain our local economy by keeping more of their utility dollars local, and play an important role in supporting local clean energy generation.” A native of the province of Québec, Larouche is well aware that Canada is this country’s largest and most important trading partner of energy, including clean electricity.
“I am eager to facilitate collaboration between New England and Eastern Canada in matters related to clean energy and climate protection. “ Larouche stated that she is very enthusiastic about the Council’s existing energy programs, adding that she looks forward to participating in the development of new energy programs to continue to better serve the people of Western Massachusetts.