December 13, 2017

Sustainable wood-heating plan released

Renewable Energy Vermont worked with a coalition of nonprofits, businesses and state agencies to unveil a five-year plan earlier this month to increase the use of wood heating in the state.

The regulatory and legislative recommendations outlined in the plan are aimed at meeting 35 percent of Vermont’s heating needs by 2030 through the increased use of wood. Renewable Energy Vermont estimates this would result in the displacement of 40 million gallons of fossil fuels and save $120 million in fuel costs each year.

Recommendations of the plan include:

Codifying a commitment to meet 35 percent of Vermont’s thermal energy needs by 2030 with advanced wood heating.

Reducing costs through a state sales tax exemption on the purchase of qualifying advanced wood heating equipment and fuel.

Creating a coordinated marketing team focused on aligned communications and outreach.

Implementing workforce training to increase the number of people who can install and maintain advanced wood heating systems.

Streamlining financing and incentives

Maintaining funding for the Working Lands and Clean Energy Development funds.

“We look forward to engaging with legislators and regulators to share the coalition’s findings and begin lowering the costs of heating for more homes and businesses with local modern wood solutions,” said Renewable Energy Vermont Executive Director Olivia Campbell Andersen.

“Every dollar spent on wood pellets is a dollar we’re not sending out of state,” said Rep. Robert Helm of Fair Haven, who has sponsored wood heating incentive legislation. “It’s a no-brainer. It just makes sense, especially for rural communities.”

More information is available at revermont.org.

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