Vermont is 74% forested and wood is your local, sustainable, renewable fuel source. The Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation supports the adoption of a “modern wood heating” program which encourages the use of highly efficient, clean burning/low emitting technology, while recognizing that safeguarding long-term forest health is critical to ensure that wood fuel is renewable and sustainable. We strongly support using locally harvested and processed wood fuel to help support local economies and provide markets for the products of sustainable forest management.
Vermont Wood Energy Facts
When Vermonters heat with fossil fuels, 78 cents of every fuel dollar leaves the region. However when you heat with locally sourced wood fuels, the opposite is true, retaining wealth locally, creating jobs, and keeping forests as forests.
1 in 3 Vermont students attend a school heated with wood.
38% of Vermont homes heat in full or in part with wood.
21% of Vermont's thermal energy is generated by wood.
Vermont is home to two wood-fired commercial electric generating stations, McNeil and Ryegate.
Wood Energy Goals
Vermont has ambitious renewable energy goals. The overarching state goal is to reach 90% renewable energy by 2050. A part of that is to reach 35% of our thermal energy needs from wood by 2030.
The word "energy" is often used interchangably with "electricity," but particularly in a cold, rural state like Vermont it is important to note that our energy needs include not only electricity, but also thermal and transportation.
According to a Baseline Study of Wood Heating in Vermont performed by the Biomass Energy Research Center (BERC) in 2016, wood currently accounts for 21% of Vermont's thermal energy needs. The shift from 21% to 35% will require a dramatic shift in how Vermonters think about heating their homes and businesses. With auotmated wood heating technology available, it's now easier than ever to make the switch.
When this goal is reached, it is estimated that;
- Vermonters will displace 40 million gallons of fossil fuel annually.
- Vermonters will save $120,000,000 annually.
To help Vermonters make the switch, there are many rebates and financing programs available. View those here.
Wood Energy Coordinator
Are you interested in having someone come talk to your local energy committee or other group about modern wood heating? Wood Energy Coordinator, Emma Hanson, is available for those events. To schedule, email her at Emma.Hanson@vermont.gov.
Feel Good Heat
The Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation is a proud supporter of Feel Good Heat, a collaborative effort by environmental and community development non-profits, wood pellet producers, and Automated Wood Heat systems distributors across New England and New York. Together, we're growing energy independence here at home, creating local jobs and supporting our forested landscape. Learn more at www.feelgoodheat.org.