Opportunity for Wood Heat Conversion in Windham County's Public Buildings
The Windham Wood Heat (WWH) Initiative has been developed to yield community benefits, business success, and high performance public buildings based on a sustainable local forest industry. This $1.6 million program-funded through of the state's settlement agreement with Entergy Vermont Yankee via the Vermont Clean Energy Development Fund (CEDF)-will assist municipal and school buildings convert to heating with local, sustainable wood while addressing those buildings' energy efficiency and durability needs. This two-year program also includes public education, training for local building professionals, fuel supply procurement and other elements needed to make Windham County a long-term hub of advanced wood heat technology and practice.
CEDF defines advanced wood heating systems as those that utilize highly efficient technology, produce low emissions, support healthy forest ecosystems, and consume local wood (from within a 50-mile radius). To learn more about advanced wood heat, click here.
Public school and municipal buildings in Windham County that are currently heated by fossil fuels are eligible for assistance for a limited time. Participating public entities will be eligible for advanced wood heat assessments and energy and building envelope analyses. Buildings selected for installation of wood boilers will get one-on-one coaching through the project development, bid review, budget, and public approval process, plus incentives ranging from $10,000 to $75,000 based on project cost and size toward installation of a high-efficiency pellet or wood chip heating system. Loans, credit enhancements, performance contracting, and other financing mechanisms may also be available.
WWH is designed and administered by a Windham County-based project team. The Windham Regional Commission will provide program support through public outreach, project coaching to ensure that projects move forward successfully, and facilitation of wood supply discussions to support the expansion of a sustainable forest economy.
The WRC's partners in this program consist of:
- Sustainable Energy Outreach Network: a non-profit organization dedicated to developing a strong renewable energy and energy efficiency economy in southeastern Vermont.
- Building Green, Inc.: a consulting group specializing in an integrative approach to design, specification, and construction that minimizes ecological impact and maximizes economic performance of buildings.
- STIX, L3C: An innovative sustainable forest products company connected to the local resource, suppliers, and value added processors.
- Innovative Natural Resource Solutions: a consulting group specializing in forest policy, renewable energy, environmental auditing, land conservation and wildlife management.
- Northern Forest Center: a non-profit organization catalyzing economic opportunity and community vitality from healthy working forests.