The Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation (FPR) recently welcomed a new staff member, Emma Hanson, who will serve as Wood Energy Coordinator. She will be tasked with helping to implement the Vermont Comprehensive Energy Plan’s goal of doubling wood fuel’s share of building heating by 2035. Achieving this goal will help in reducing the State’s dependence on imported heating oil and support forest landowners by providing markets for the products of forest management.
Heating with wood reflects two important Vermont values; supporting our local economy, and be caring stewards of our environment. A healthy forest economy is essential to preserve the woods we love and automatic wood heat represents an exciting new opportunity for an evolving industry.
Historically, wood had a well-deserved reputation as being a dirty fuel that was bad for our health and air quality. Modern techniques in wood burning however have turned wood into a clean burning, local, renewable heating source with system options appropriate for any sized building. Automatic wood pellet boilers allow homeowners to heat locally with the same hands-off convenience as propane or oil boilers. Dozens of schools and institutions across the state have adopted wood chip systems as an affordable alternative to fossil fuels. And for those that prefer the simplicity (and exercise!) from cord wood, EPA certified wood stoves are burning cleaner than ever before. For more information, visit FPR’s website at http://fpr.vermont.gov/forest/wood_biomass_energy.
When asked about her new role, Hanson said, “Vermonters care deeply about supporting their local economy and meeting environmental goals. I’m excited to help spread the word about how modern wood heating shares those same ideals. Eat local – heat local.”
Emma will focus on providing outreach and information to potential wood energy users. She is available as a resource for local energy committees, civic groups, organizations, and institutions, as well as individual homeowners, who are interested in exploring their wood heat options. She can be reached at Emma.Hanson@vermont.gov or 802-622-4187.