Consumers can save a bundle by switching to wood pellets

By New Hampshire Wood Energy Council | February 08, 2018

The New Hampshire Wood Energy Council reveals modern wood heating with locally sourced wood pellet fuel is delivering significant heat cost advantages over conventional fossil heating fuels.

New data from NH Office of Strategic Initiatives Fuel Price Survey (Jan. 23, 2018) confirms wood pellets are 48 percent lower heat cost than #2 heating oil, and 121 percent lower heat cost than propane. This analysis considers energy content of fuel, moisture content of fuel, and average fuel utilization efficiency of modern boilers.

“To boil that down, an average homeowner using 800 gallons of heating oil per year can save $734 on their heating bill by switching to wood pellet fuel. The same homeowner using 1,200 gallons of propane can save $2,398 by switching to wood pellets,” says Maura Adams, Program Director with the Northern Forest Center.

“In 2015 alone, over 100 commercial and institutional building owners in NH saved $11.8 million in heating costs using modern wood heating, and that was when oil and propane were less expensive than they are today. Considering the current prices of conventional fossil heating fuels, we’re well poised to easily surpass that number in 2018,” says Kate Epsen, executive director of the NH Sustainable Energy Association.

And those savings come with added bonuses: stability, predictability, and strong economic benefits for NH. Whereas heating oil and propane have a well-documented history of extreme price fluctuations, bulk wood pellet fuel has proven to be a consistently low-cost, reliable fuel for over two decades Furthermore, wood pellets are manufactured here in the Granite State and nearly 100 percent of the consumer fuel expenditure stays in the NH economy. Nearly 80 percent of fuel expenditures on oil and propane leave New Hampshire’s economy to support the import of these fuels from other regions or other countries.

It’s never been a better time—or easier—to make the switch. The NH Public Utilities Commission offers rebates on fully automated residential wood pellet boilers of 40 percent of the installed cost up to $10,000. In addition, the NH Wood Energy Council provides detailed information on equipment suppliers and installers to streamline the process.

The NH Wood Energy Council provides professional guidance on conversion to wood heat systems. It maintains an extensive database of resources and map of commercial wood energy systems. The NH Wood Energy Council is coordinated by the New Hampshire Sustainable Energy Association.