April 16, 2014
NH Initiative Launched to Promote Heating Big Buildings with Wood
Support and assistance available to NH towns, schools and businesses
A non-profit partnership of public sector and private business interests has launched the New Hampshire Wood Energy Council to promote heating commercial and institutional buildings with a local and renewable New Hampshire resource – wood.
Funded in part by a $250,000 three-year grant from the U.S. Forest Service, the NH Wood Energy Council will provide advice, support and direct assistance to municipal, school and business building owners considering wood as an affordable and renewable alternative to expensive and non-renewable heating fuels like heating oil and propane.
“New Hampshire has a very high dependency on fossil heating fuels, and we send over $1 billion out of the state every year by importing these fuels,” said Rick DeMark, coordinator of North Country Resource Conservation and Development Council in Gilford, which will oversee the new council.
“This program will help owners of bigger buildings switch to wood pellets or wood chips using advanced technology to save money and keep our fuel dollars in our economy.”
NHWEC brings together individuals, organizations, businesses, industry associations, and government agencies interested in the sustainable use of our renewable forests to help bring energy independence and economic prosperity to the Granite State.
The program can provide trained experts to meet with community or business leaders to help them evaluate their options and determine whether heating with wood is right for their building. In addition, the program will provide “coaches” to help project leaders connect with qualified vendors and engineers. These services are without charge. In addition, the program can help fund the cost of pre-feasibility and feasibility studies that do a thorough analysis of project economics, engineering and technology options.
“Heating buildings with wood fuels has been around for centuries,” explained DeMark. “But new technologies and refined fuels like pellets and chips make this fuel very clean to burn and convenient to use. In just the last five years, over 60 municipal, school and commercial buildings in NH have switched to advanced wood heating systems. We’re here to help more folks evaluate this option and save money.”
Heating with wood can cost 50-60% less than with oil or propane, according to data from the NH Office of Energy and Planning. Other benefits of heating with wood include:
• Keep fuel dollar in local economy – we export $1 BILLION annually for fossil heating fuels
• Reduce dependence on imported oil/propane
• Reduce greenhouse gas emissions; wood is low carbon fuel in comparison to fossil fuels
• Support strong markets for low-grade wood – keeps forests undeveloped
• Create jobs in New Hampshire
• Reduce certain air pollutants (e.g. sulfur dioxide which causes acid rain)
• RENEWABLE, SUSTAINABLE
For more information, contact the NH Wood Energy Council at www.nhwoodenergycouncil.org or visit the Council on Facebook or Twitter.
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North Country RC&D, coordinator of the NH Wood Energy Council, complies with federal nondiscrimination policy and is an equal opportunity provider.