Wouldn’t it be great to feel good about how you heat?

Not everyone can feel good when they reach for the thermostat, but we should. Most of us who heat with wood think that it’s good for the environment and good for the broader forest economy and our communities. Intuitively it makes sense. Heating with local wood, supporting local jobs and keeping our heating dollars local must be better than using fossil fuels. 

Now we’ve got data that proves heating with wood pellet fuel instead of fossil fuels in the Northern Forest drastically cuts greenhouse gas emissions. We’ve just announced the results of a research study for our region confirming that switching to modern wood heat – using a high-efficiency wood pellet boiler or stove – instead of oil will cut your greenhouse gas emissions by 54% immediately, and it gets even better over time. Switching from natural gas to wood pellets cuts your emissions by 59%. Fuel comparison GHG study 50years

That is significant news for the Northern Forest region, where the single biggest thing you can do to cut your contribution to the rising levels of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere is to change how you heat your home! 

The study’s conclusion is based on real data from the Northern Forest region and assesses every step of bringing fuel to the end user – sourcing, processing, delivering, combusting. There’s no way to make this simple, but in the end, context matters. The researchers had to account for all those variables and the way they each play into the life cycle of the fuel to figure out how the fuel contributes to our greenhouse gas problem. The advantages of using local wood instead of fossil fuels are clear.

We feel good about wood. Helping homeowners, schools and municipalities switch to local and efficient wood heat is one part of the Center’s strategy to generate local wealth, help secure and create jobs in forest products businesses, and keep our forests as forests.

We invite you to look at the study findings and see for yourself how wood pellet heat stacks up against fossil fuels in our life-cycle greenhouse gas assessment. The results confirm that catalyzing adoption of modern wood heat truly fulfills our mission of supporting thriving communities and healthy forests.

Rob Riley, President