Berlin Residents Make Benefits From Wood Pellet System
There are sort of pioneers in Berlin - they are the first group of residents who abandon conventional heating systems and turn to advanced wood pellet system. “I have already seen the benefits and advantages from this replacement on Wednesday” a Berlin homeowner said.
Berlin Model Neighborhood Project is a subsidized program which reduced the economic burden for the homeowners and promoted the replacement. Jayco Laughton is one of 15 homeowners who had the state-of-the-art wood pellet system installed through this project. He began to use the system since February. It is said by him that he bought 700$ of wood pellets for the first time and these pellets are totally enough for the next three months. Generally, except two months in the summer, 700$ is only enough for one month if using heating oil.
The installation cost of the system is between $18,500 and $22,500. This system is contributed by a 1 percent interest rate on loans through Berlin BetterBuildings, a direct cash subsidy from the Northern Forest Center and other incentives. When this project is completed, 40 local residents will have had their traditional oil-burning systems replaced.
Charlie Niebling, general manager of New England Wood Pellet in Jaffrey, also serves as chair of the board of the Biomass Energy Council. He expounded that wood pellet heating system can benefit both the homeowners and the region. It is a renewable, sustainable and efficient home-heating way.
He said that, according to the state’s plan (by 2015, 25% of energy resource will be renewable energy), it is reasonable to project that 15%~25% will be biomass and 18.5 % of the thermal energy will switch to biomass systems.
“It’s probably very, very ambitious, but somebody’s got to lay that vision out there,” he said.
Niebling said there are 72% of residents, 10,773 homeowners in Coos County heat with oil. They should pay $29 million per year for the heating, and about $23 million of that go out of the county. Especially the Northeast of the county, he said, have the highest fuel costs for home heating. Lots of money spent goes out of the country to pay for a non-renewable resource. Moreover, the price of oil always fluctuates greatly.
“The price of wood pellets produced by pellet mill is more stable, plus it’s a fuel that can be made in northern New England, adding, instead of subtracting, from the regional economy. A challenge to the widespread use of the fuel is the infancy of the infrastructure. Homeowners will not invest in systems if they feel that their supply line is not reliable, and fuel delivery services will not invest in trucks — which for bulk wood pellet delivery can cost upwards of $250,000 — if they cannot be assured of enough customers to make the investment cost-effective … …” Read more on http://www.unionleader.com/
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