Homeowner with new Pellergy wood boilerOver the past 3 and a half years, the Center has helped expand the use of Automated Wood Heat in Vermont by providing financial support or project guidance (or both) for more than 40 wood pellet boilers installations in a wide variety of settings: homes and schools, an office building, a town garage, an auto body shop, and more. This past year we also provided financial incentives to Northeast Kingdom residents for the purchase of 15 wood pellet stoves coupled with bulk pellet storage bins, a setup that brings the convenience of bulk delivery of Vermont-made wood pellets to people who are not able to switch to a central, automated wood pellet boiler.

This spring, with funding from the Northern Border Regional Commission and in partnership with the VT Clean Energy Development Fund—we’ll be contributing to three more projects: a community center in Craftsbury and two schools in the Northeast Kingdom.

Center Vice President Joe Short is facilitating the Northeast Kingdom Regional Tourism Marketing Partnership, a regional group of Chambers of Commerce and non-profits concerned with tourism in Vermont’s three northeastern counties. The participants have joined together to collectively market all that the region offers to visitors, and to make the Kingdom a “must-see” destination for both American and foreign travelers.

In today’s competitive travel industry, few rural communities or businesses acting alone can provide the full range of activities, lodging, food and other amenities that attract discerning visitors and meet their expectations. But as a region, the Northeast Kingdom has a diverse “lifetime of experiences” that sets it apart from other places. It provides high quality services as well as authentic experiences grounded in its beautiful landscape and historic villages. Working together, the participating chambers intend to use sophisticated and consistent marketing to attract visitors and drive new opportunity to the Kingdom’s communities and businesses.

In addition to facilitating the process of establishing the Northeast Kingdom Regional Tourism Marketing Partnership, Joe is sharing what the Center has learned through its destination development work in the Maine Woods, and helping the Vermont group address essential management issues.

Homes, town halls, town highway garages and non-profit owned buildings in the Northern Adirondacks are increasingly being heated with automated wood pellet boilers, thanks in part to incentives and technical support from the Northern Forest Center.Pellergy NY installation

New York is the fourth state in the region to apply the Model Neighborhood approach to increasing the use of automated wood heat, and the program is driving a gradual but steady uptick in its use. The beneficiaries—homeowners, towns, and nonprofits in Clinton, Essex and Franklin Counties—are excited to make the switch and realize the benefits of automated wood heating.

"In the Town of Bellmont, we like to be frugal with our spending, but we also like to keep it local," said Supervisor Bruce Russell. "Installing a wood pellet boiler was an excellent way to meet our goals and provide heat to our Town Hall. I'm very pleased with our decision."

Staff and the board of the Northern Forest Center heard local perspectives from community members in Lancaster, New Hampshire, friday. The panel included:
  • Mike Kopp, Owner, North Country Motor Sales. Mike is a third generation owner of family business and very active in the community.
  • Melissa Grella, Founder and Executive Director, Taproot Environmental Education Center. Melissa is a native to the region and after being away returned home and is active in many facets of the local food system.