Governments need to do their best to fit into and support the local economy of our New England towns. Since there are no oil or gas wells in our region, the most appropriate fuels for town buildings come from trees—our most important natural resource. Whether it be a town hall, police or fire station or town garage, all can be converted to wood pellet or chip heating systems.
Governments should take a long-term view of their operations. A system that has a higher initial cost is often the least costly in the long run—and that is precisely the case with Biomass boiler systems which can cost from two to three times what an inexpensive oil boiler might cost. Should oil prices return to what they were in 2013, owners of biomass boilers will be seen as far-sighted geniuses! But we all know they will rise again, so why would you want to hitch your future to fossil fuels?
Wood pellets and wood chips can and should be an important element of the local economy in rural New England. (We define “rural” as areas not served by piped-in natural gas). Having town buildings heated with biomass truly supports local businesses, and makes a real difference in the lives and businesses of many citizens in the region.
Today, the cost of biomass fuels are 30% to 70% less costly than the current cost of oil or propane. These are least cost fuels which taxpayers should appreciate. In New Hampshire, Thermal RECs (Renewable Energy Certificates) bring the net cost of our PDCs down to the equivalent of oil at 80 cents a gallon.