Using wood pellets and chips for heat instead of fossil fuels benefits our communities and our environment.
Every dollar we spend on wood pellets stays in the Northern Forest economy and supports local jobs—and strong markets for low-grade wood helps sustain healthy managed forests.
That’s why the Center advocates for Automated Wood Heat across the Northern Forest. Since 2011 we've been providing incentives for high-efficiency wood pellet boilers, offering technical assistance for larger projects, increasing public awareness of Automated Wood Heat, and advancing public policies that support this technology.
The biggest thing is that we’re completely off oil and using the resources in our community—trees—and helping our community find jobs….It’s been a blessing all the way around.
Today’s Automated Wood Heating systems are clean-burning, convenient, central heating systems that use locally-made, 100% wood pellets, benefiting both our environment and our economy. Find out more by reading further and checking out the links on this page.
Learn about Automated Wood Heating
Automated Wood Heat provides all the benefits of heating with wood without the inconvenience of feeding and cleaning wood stoves by hand. Pellets arrive by truck into a hopper or silo and feed directly to the boiler when the thermostat calls for heat.
Wood pellet boilers offer the convenience of fossil fuel heating systems while reducing net carbon dioxide emissions over time as compared to burning oil or propane.
We’ve developed answers to Frequently Asked Questions to provide more information about Automated Wood Heat, including discussions about its environmental and public health impacts. We also recommend a couple videos:
Video 1: Biomass Energy Resource Center
Video 2: NH Wood Energy Council
Residential Financial Incentives
The Center has provided financial incentives to more than 100 homeowners over the past five years, creating clusters of installations in what we call "Model Neighborhood Projects." Those projects are complete, but each Northern Forest state offers financial incentives for wood pellet boilers.
Financial Assistance for Communities, Nonprofits & Businesses
The Center has provided financial support since 2011 for 40 commercial-scale wood pellet boilers to warm schools, senior housing, office buildings, town garages, and more. We can occasionally offer technical assistance such as grant-writing to help building owners shift to Automated Wood Heat. State incentives may be available.
Grant Writing Support
Center staff often respond to general questions about Automated Wood Heating and how to advance residential or community-scale projects. We also work with a broad network of experts who can offer additional assistance as needed.
The Center has supported over 150 Automated Wood Heat projects to date, mostly through Model Neighborhood Projects—clustered installations that demonstrate the value and viability of these heating systems. We've completed Model Neighborhood Projects in Berlin, NH, Farmington and Wilton, ME, and the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, and a project in the Adirondacks is ongoing. Clustering the installations makes it easy to spread the word about Automated Wood Heat, organize tours and events, and track outcomes, and makes bulk pellet delivery more economical.
Through the end of 2017 we've supported five installations in New York, 39 in Vermont, 50 in New Hampshire, and 57 in Maine. That includes 111 single-family residences and a diverse collection of other projects, including:
- Municipal buildings in Dummer, NH; Saranac, North Hudson and Bellmont, NY; West Burke and Lunenburg, VT; and Bethel, ME
- Four churches in Farmington, Maine, and another in Colebrook, NH.
- A bike shop in Norway, ME
- A dairy farm in Orford, NH
- A movie theater in Lancaster, NH
- An auto repair shop in Lyndonville, VT
- An independent school in Lake Placid, NY
We're always happy to introduce people considering Automated Wood Heat to those who've already made the switch—contact us if you'd like to make a connection!