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BERC Supports Federal Legislation to Promote Modern Wood Heating Systems

Feb 25, 2015

On Vermont Congressman Peter Welch announced new bipartisan legislation to promote the use of modern wood heating systems. Adam Sherman, Manager of BERC at VEIC, along with other representatives of Vermont’s renewable energy industry, joined Welch at a press conference in Montpelier, Vermont to announce the federal legislation titled The Biomass Thermal Utilization (BTU) Act of 2015.


Adam Sherman (left) and Congressman Welch (right) tour the biomass heating plant at the National Life building in Montpelier, Vermont.

The BTU Act of 2015 would make high efficiency modern wood heating systems more affordable by expanding the current renewable energy tax credit to include high-efficiency biomass thermal technology. A number of renewable energy technologies, such as wind, solar, geothermal, and biomass electric, have received investment tax credits for many years; however biomass thermal technologies have yet to qualify. If passed, the BTU Act of 2015 would allow high-efficiency residential biomass thermal systems to receive a 30% credit and commercial and industrial biomass thermal systems to quality for a credit of between 15% and 30% of the installed cost (dependent upon efficiency rating).

In a press release from the Congressman’s office announcing the news, Adam Sherman spoke about the widespread economic and environmental benefits of modern wood heating systems, stating replacing expensive imported fossil fuels like oil and propane with local, renewable fuels like wood, chips, and pellets saves folks money, keeps dollars in the Vermont economy, and helps create vital local markets for low-quality timber from forest management. Congressman Welch’s legislation will put biomass thermal technology on an equal footing with other renewable energy sources in the tax code and within reach of more homes and businesses in Vermont and across the country.