Crown Capital Management - PUC OKs another round of wood heat boiler rebate | STORIFY by MersAberden


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									 New Hampshire's wood pellet and wood boiler industries will be
      getting another boost, thanks to a decision by the Public
        Utilities Commission to fund a former federal stimulus
      program with $450,000 from the state's Renewable Energy
Under the program -- the only one of its kind in the country -- the
   PUC will rebate the installation cost of fully automated wood
         pellet boiler heating systems, to a maximum of $6,000.
That's a full heating system, with a wood furnace in the basement
      being fed automatically, controlled by a thermostat in the
    home, not a wood pellet stove in the living room fed manually
    with 40 pound bags, which is more often used to supplement
                      the main furnace downstairs.
      The program will provide rebates to the first 80 to 100
      homeowners who sign up -- a small fraction of the roughly
  325,000 homes in the state that primarily heat their homes with
     oil and propane, but a large fraction of the 250 or so homes
               that currently have a wood heating system.
  This is the second go-round for the program, which was first
   funded in 2010 with $450,000 in federal stimulus money via the
   New Hampshire Office of Energy and Planning. That program
   soon ran out of money, so in May 2011 the state came up with
     another $100,000, which was quickly exhausted as well. All
           told, some 96 homes switched to wood furnaces.
But with the federal budget possibly going over a fiscal cliff,
   no one is even talking about more stimulus money. So this
       year's $450,000 is coming from the Renewable Energy
    Fund, which is supported through penalties that utilities
    pay the state if they don't meet requirements to provide
        an increasing percentage of energy from renewable
      By 2025, 23.8 percent of the energy must come from
    renewable sources. Recently the law was relaxed a bit to
   allow a larger percentage of that standard to be supplied
                   via bio-fuels, like wood pellets.
This year, the demand for the wood heating rebates may not
     be so great because of the low price of natural gas, but
  about two-thirds of the state geographically and about 40
     percent of the population don't have access to natural
        gas, said Charlie Niebling, general manager of New
        England Wood Pellet in Jaffrey, the state's largest
                 manufacturer of wood pellet fuel.
Full details on the rebate program can be found on the PUC
                  website or by calling 603-271-6011.
The renewable energy fund also provides grants to specific projects via a
   competitive process. On Monday, the PUC announced the latest round of
   seven awards totaling about $750,000:

• Cartographic Associates Inc., $43,000: Cartographic Associates will replace
   three oil-fired furnaces at its offices in downtown Littleton with a single
   high-efficiency wood pellet boiler. This project will be leveraged with an
   investment of $22,762 by the grantee, for a total project cost of $65,762.

• Claremont Fire Department, $52,000: The Claremont Fire Department will
   install a high-efficiency wood pellet boiler at its circa 1917 fire station.
   Total project cost is $65,000.

• Colby Solar LLC, $100,000: Colby Solar will install solar electric panels on
   Colby-Sawyer College campus buildings in New London. Colby-Sawyer will
   purchase power from Colby Solar at below-market rates for six years. The
   college will then purchase the solar arrays at a deeply discounted price. The
   solar system is expected to result in a savings of about $20,000. Total
   project cost is $474,622.
• Northeast BioEnergy Systems LLC, $93,000: Northeast BioEnergy Systems will
   install a wood chip boiler at Russell Elementary School in Rumney. The school
   will enter into a power purchase agreement with Northeast BioEnergy
   Systems, with the option to purchase the system later at a deep discount
   compared to the original project cost of $372,000. The new boiler is expected
   to result in cost savings of $35,000 annually.

• Sullivan County, $300,000: The county will install a district energy system at the
    Sullivan County Complex. Wood chips will be used to generate both heat and
    electricity for several county buildings, including a jail and nursing home. The
    renewable cogeneration system is expected to create energy savings of
    $290,000 per year. Total project cost: $3.18 million.

• University of New Hampshire, $59,750: UNH will install a solar hot air system on
   the façade of Kingsbury Hall on the Durham campus. This system will use
   sunlight to pre-heat the large volumes of fresh air. Total project cost:

• Walker Wellington LLC, $100,000: Working in partnership with the city of Dover,
   Walker Wellington will install a turbine generator in the outfall pipe at the
   city's wastewater treatment facility. The turbine will generate 80 megawatt
   hours of electricity per year, Total project cost: $129,000. -- BOB

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