Wednesday, April 16, 2014


This testimony was presented to the NH Legislature in 2008, although it was addressing RGGI the main topic was the increasing costs of manufacturing in the State.


We ask ourselves how do we do a better job at bringing manufacturing jobs to NH or our individual communities and we can all see the uphill battle. As I have red after NAFTA 7 million jobs went oversees because of cheap labor, cheaper costs of utilities and less government oversight and regulations.


When I look around our area, like Stratham and Epping, I do not see any plans for manufacturing jobs; but, a lot of retail jobs.  The manufacturing jobs coming back from overseas seem to be going down South where there is less government, cheaper labor and lower utility costs.  When I was in the Army there was a common denominator and that was I had a hard time understanding either one.


Sylvania has been a great neighbor to the State of NH and the communities they are in; but, in their own way gave us a warning of what may happen in the future if we cannot change our direction for increasing costs to do business.


When I was a kid Exeter had about 6-7 or so manufacturing plants, now we have less.  So I think we can see some of the problems the manufacturers are confronted with when we talk about trying to get them to come to Exeter.   






Testimony to the Senate Energy and Economic Development Committee

on New Hampshire House Bill 1434

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI)





Cheryl Blackwood

Plant Manager, Global Automotive Lighting






April 15, 2008




Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, my name is Cheryl Blackwood, plant manager for OSRAM SYLVANIA Global Automotive Lighting in HIllbsoro, Hew Hampshire. OSRAM SYLVANIA is the North American operation of OSRAM GmbH, one of three large, global lighting manufacturers. Our company employs nearly 10,000 people, with nearly 2,000 of that number employed in the state of New Hampshire.


OSRAM SYLVANIA operates three facilities in New Hampshire, with an annual state payroll exceeding $116 million. The plant I manage in Hillsboro is the leading automotive lighting facility in North America. Our facility in Exeter makes glass and ceramic components for lighting and semiconductor products, and our Manchester plant produces high intensity discharge (HID) light bulbs that are used for street lighting, sports lighting and retail store displays.





OSRAM SYLVANIA is committed to environmental responsibility in our business.  We share with the State of New Hampshire a genuine concern for the environment and the need to address the causes of climate change.


For decades, our company’s environmental efforts have received recognition from numerous respected organizations. Just two weeks ago, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded OSRAM SYLVANIA its seventh consecutive Energy Star Award for our corporate energy efficiency efforts. In 2004, the Hillsboro plant I operate received the New Hampshire Governor’s Award Honorable Mention, for Pollution Prevention.


OSRAM SYLVANIA is taking significant voluntary steps to reduce the amount of resources we use and greenhouse gas emissions that result. In 2007, we set a corporate goal to cut energy consumption by 10 percent. I’m proud to say that we not only met that goal, but exceeded it in New Hampshire with a 12 percent reduction in our energy use. Electricity is just one of the resources we are conserving. Last year alone, our Hillsboro plant recycled over 26 tons of cardboard and 15 tons of wood.


We continue to set new goals to make our operations in New Hampshire more sustainable. Our Hillsboro plant has already initiated the process of becoming LEED certified by the U.S. Green Building Council.


I share these accomplishments to highlight the fact that OSRAM SYLVANIA and its 2,000 New Hampshire employees are working hard every day to sustain our business while we sustain the environment.




However, the high cost of energy in New Hampshire has made our effort to balance economic and environmental sustainability an uphill battle. Despite our aggressive energy efficiency programs, OSRAM SYLVANIA continues to face escalating energy costs in New Hampshire. We’ve seen our electricity rates skyrocket 61 percent over the last three years, outpacing increases in all the other states where we operate. Our electricity rate of 11.3 cents per KwH is a staggering two to three times higher than the rates we pay in Pennsylvania and Kentucky, for example.


Extreme energy costs have a direct impact on our ability to keep high wage manufacturing jobs here in New Hampshire. To stay in business, we need to make products that are cost competitive. In our Exeter plant, electricity represents a staggering 12 percent of the total cost the quartz glass components we sell to the semiconductor industry. The plant supplies customers in more than 20 countries around the world. These global customers are indifferent to our struggle to overcome high energy costs in New Hampshire. If we can’t produce products at a competitive price, our customers will simply take their business elsewhere.


I urge this committee to consider that every increase in electricity rates puts more New Hampshire jobs at risk.


About HB 1434


As a company committed to environmental responsibility,OSRAM SYLVANIA supports the intent behind RGGI. However, we urge the committee to address deficiencies in the bill that threaten to handicap OSRAM SYLVANIA and other large New Hampshire employers.


I ask that you to consider some of the specific approaches proposed by the New Hampshire Business and Industry Association. Lower thresholds for ratepayer protection rebates, an expedited rebate process, and provisions to ensure RGGI revenues are dedicated to energy efficiency investments, are all ways to make this well-intended better.


I appreciate the opportunity to present the views of OSRAM SYLVANIA. I look forward to continued dialogue regarding this important issue.



Respectfully submitted,



Cheryl Blackwood

Plant Manager






OSRAM SYLVANIA Global Care brochure