Wood-pellet heating rebates expanded

The New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission has made changes to its wood-pellet heating rebate program so that more wood-pellet boilers and furnaces now qualify for the rebates. The PUC made two changes to the rebate program, which applies to wood-pellet central heating systems: the overall energy efficiency rating requirement of the systems has been lowered from 85 percent to 80 percent, and systems that require routine cleaning for each ton of premium pellets used also now qualify. “The changes are designed to increase the number of options for consumers by allowing more systems to qualify,” said Jack Ruderman, Sustainable Energy Division director at the PUC. “The goal of the program — to help spark the growth of the wood-pellet central boiler/furnace market and bulk-fuel delivery of wood pellets — remains unchanged.”The wood pellet rebate program was established in April 2010 and is funded through $450,000 in federal stimulus funds made available by the New Hampshire Office of Energy and Planning. The rebate covers 30 percent of system cost and installation, up to a maximum of $6,000. Wood-pellet central heating systems, which are widely used in Europe and boast up to a 90 percent efficiency rating, are an alternative to oil heating systems, which are only about 65 percent efficient.For more information and for an application, visit puc.nh.gov — KATHLEEN CALLAHAN/NEW HAMPSHIRE BUSINESS REVIEW

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