Feel Good Heat

It has been a hot summer. But, regardless of how hot you have been feeling, us Vermonters are no fools and we know that in a few months, the heat will be gone and we will be cranking up the thermostat to keep our previously sweating skin from getting too many goose bumps.

While some may disagree, there is a relationship between cranking up the thermostat and the level of heat that we feel in the summer associated with climate change. When we burn fuel oil or propane (or natural gas in the Burlington area), that combustion adds to the carbon dioxide in the environment and the greenhouse gas blanket adds another layer. That blanket has been getting thicker and thicker and unless we do something, will only continue to heat us up, melt our snow and increase the severity of both flooding and drought.

It may be that fewer people agree that we need to do something about the continually growing levels of CO2, but if you are in that group, then you should know that the Montpelier Energy Advisory Committee is assisting in an effort to help you replace your use of fossil fuel with local heat – Feel Good Heat.

Feel Good Heat is an initiative organized by the Northern Forest Center to increase the number of building owners that use wood pellets in their boilers for keeping the home and business comfy during our inevitable downturn into winter’s chill. Recent advances in pellet boiler technology result in a heating system that is as simple and straight forward as the oil or propane boiler to which you have grown familiar. Want more heat, turn up the thermostat and the boiler will fire up with pellets automatically fed to the combustion unit. Your radiators or baseboards will circulate warmed up water just the same as they do now. When your pellet supply gets low, you can contract with a fuel dealer for automatic deliveries – just as you do now.

The main difference is that the fuel is locally sourced – you can arrange to get Vermont-made pellets or pellets from other parts of the northeast, and those pellets are produced from our renewable forests. The carbon emitted from the pellet combustion is re-incorporated into the forests that continue to grow in the northeast faster than we harvest them.

To learn more about advanced wood heat, I invite you to a demonstration unit that will be parked on State Street in front of the Capital on Saturday, September 8 between 11 and 2. The demonstration will be a part of an event titled “Rise Up for Climate” sponsored by Central Vermont Climate Action and a satellite activity of a summit taking place in San Francisco on that same day.

If you can’t make it for the demonstration, but would like to know more about Feel Good Heat, we will be glad to provide you some information and offer opportunities for you to see operating advanced wood heat in one of several homes in Montpelier.

So, feel good about your heat, and hopefully, we won’t be suffering from too much of it in the future.

Kate StephensonComment