Information sessions June 8 in Saranac and June 9 in Saranac Lake

SARANAC LAKE – The Northern Forest Center will host information sessions June 8 and 9 to explain how homeowners and businesses can apply for subsidies to help pay for purchase and installation of high-efficiency wood pellet boilers to replace oil or propane heat.

The Adirondack Model Neighborhood Wood Heat Initiative, a program of the Northern Forest Center, will provide financial incentives for wood pellet boiler installations to 20 homeowners living in Saranac, Saranac Lake and Tupper Lake. It will also provide funds to help install 15 wood pellet boilers in municipal and non-residential buildings in Essex, Franklin and Clinton counties, with preference given to projects in Saranac, Saranac Lake, and Tupper Lake.

“We’re taking applications now and we’re eager to provide information and financial support to help people make the switch to wood pellet heating,” said Leslie Karasin, who manages the Adirondack Model Neighborhood Wood Heat Initiative for the Center. “The information sessions on June 8th and 9th will explain how homeowners and businesses can achieve a quicker pay-back with wood pellet boilers, and how using wood pellets supports local jobs and businesses and reduces fossil fuel use.”

For residential participants, the initiative will provide a cost-share incentive of up to $10,000 for installation of qualified wood pellet heating systems. For non-residential participants, the initiative will provide up to $15,000 of the cost. The program will complete 35 boiler conversions in homes, businesses, and municipal buildings. Applications are considered on a rolling basis.

The Saranac session is June 8 at the Town Hall, 3662 Route 3. The Saranac Lake session is on June 9th and will be in the cafeteria at the Petrova School, 79 Canaras Ave. Both information sessions begin at 6 pm with presentations by Center staff. Pellet boiler installers will be on hand to answer questions, and tours of the wood pellet boilers in each location will be offered: the Saranac Town Hall’s new pellet boiler, and the Petrova School’s pellet boiler.

“One hundred percent of the money we spend on wood pellet heat stays here in our economy,” said Karasin. “We can use wood pellet heat to replace oil and propane, which export out of our regional economy almost 80 cents of every dollar spent for heat.”

Over the 25-year life of the wood pellet boilers installed through this project, participants will reduce fossil fuel use by the equivalent of 1.4 million gallons of oil. By purchasing wood pellets instead of oil, participants will help keep more than $5 million in the regional economy and generate about $11 million in positive economic impact.

Through community-based clusters of high-efficiency, low-emission wood pellet boiler installations, the project is designed to show that clean-burning wood pellet heating systems can completely replace oil and propane boilers. The project demonstrates the reliability and cost savings of bulk-fed, high-efficiency pellet boilers in non-residential buildings and homes.

Other benefits of the project include strengthening markets for low-grade wood, which provides a financial incentive to forestland owners to keep their forests intact, and opportunities to stabilize and increase employment in forest-based businesses.

The Northern Forest Center is partnering with the Adirondack North Country Association (ANCA), Adirondack Association of Towns and Villages (AATV), New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and other organizations to launch the Adirondack Model Neighborhood Wood Heat Initiative. Funding for the program comes from the Northern Border Regional Commission, the Overhills Foundation, and private individuals. NYSERDA also provided support through Governor Cuomo’s Cleaner, Greener Communities Program, which encourages local communities across the state to become more sustainable and energy efficient.

The Model Neighborhood Wood Heat Initiative is part of the Northern Forest Center’s renewable energy program, which is building the market for high-efficiency, low-emission wood pellet boilers for homes and small-scale commercial installations in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and New York and advocating for supportive public policies on the state and federal levels.

The “model” neighborhood concept creates a geographic concentration of pellet boiler users that helps develop the pellet delivery systems, installation and maintenance support that will make it easier for others to switch to pellet heating and will allow the community to experience the convenience and savings of the high-efficiency pellet boilers.

The Northern Forest Center helps create economic opportunity and community vitality from healthy working forests in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and New York. Additional resources and application materials are available online at


Leslie Karasin, Adirondack Project Manager, Northern Forest Center

Phone : 518-891-2193 Cell : 518-637-2962 Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

5,300 Jobs 

The Center’s programs have benefited 5,300 jobs in wood products manufacturing, tourism and wood heat through direct business assistance and skills training initiatives.

255,562 Acres 

The Center’s programs have helped conserve 255,562 acres of forestland for community benefit through the Community Forest program and forestland purchases financed through New Markets Tax Credits.

$204 Million Investment

The Center’s programs have helped to secure and leverage $204 million for projects that benefit the region’s communities, the economy and forest stewardship since 2005.

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