Industry experts discuss perfect storm of wood pellet growthPosted by | Posted on Mar 25, 2012
William Strauss, founder of Maine Energy Systems and president and CEO of FutureMetrics, demonstrated the operation of a fuel calculator to the crowd at the Northeast Biomass Heating Expo in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., March 21-23. His team developed the tool to illustrate the cost savings that come along with installing and using a wood pellet boiler.
Strauss used the calculator to explain that with a long-term, low-interest loan, a wood pellet boiler can be close to free. And that’s what MES wants for its customers. “We have a great argument that [installing a wood pellet boiler] will cut your heating costs in half,” he said. “But the hurdle is the initial capital costs.”
Laura Richardson, coordinator for the New Hampshire Office of Energy and Planning, detailed a program that helped homeowners deal with those initial capital costs. The rebate program provides 30 percent of the system and labor costs associated with purchasing and installing a new boiler for the end user, and assisted with 67 boiler installations in one year. “”We are stuck in New Hampshire with fuel costs,” she said. “We see the possibility for the bulk pellet industry to take off in New Hampshire. It is a perfect storm.”