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BERC Publishes a new Guide to Sourcing Wood Heating Fuel in the Northeastern U.S.

May 27, 2014

The use of wood heating fuel in businesses, facilities, and residences is on the rise. As new biomass thermal projects pop up, so do a few major questions. In response to the growing level of interest, BERC has produced A Buyer’s Guide to Sourcing Wood Heating Fuel in the Northeastern U.S.

The guide is a helpful resource for those considering a wood heating fuel system. It provides an overview of the woodchip heating fuel market, answering frequently asked questions and providing actionable insights for anyone engaged in the biomass industry.

The guide outlines some key benefits of choosing woodchips as a fuel source:

  • It’s less expensive. The cost of woodchip heating fuel is less than half that of oil and propane, ranging from $45 to $65 per green ton (2,000 pounds of un-dried biomass material). There are many variables that can affect the price, such as production costs, market strength, supply and demand levels, transport distance, and woodchip quality. Even when these factors are taken into account, the cost of wood heat is much less volatile than heating sources that are tied to the global fossil fuel market.

  • It’s locally sourced. The majority of woodchips come from forests that are managed for maximum economic and ecological health. Forests cover three-quarters of Northern New England’s land area; they routinely produce more wood annually than is harvested. These forests also tend to contain a surplus of low-grade wood, which is ideal for woodchip production and, when harvested responsibly, can improve forest health.

  • It’s a reliable energy source. The wood heating market is expected to grow considerably over the next ten years. The material is available and abundant, and logging and chipping contractors are increasingly investing in the necessary equipment to enter the woodchip heating market.

With continual growth of interest and demand, the outlook for the expansion of this renewable biomass market is very positive.

Learn more about the Buyer’s Guide to Sourcing Wood Heating Fuel in the Northeastern U.S. and the BERC team.