USDA grant supports installation of pellet boiler in N.H. school

By Rep. Annie Kuster's Office | April 27, 2015

Rep. Annie Kuster, D-N.H., recently announced two grants from the USDA’s Rural Development program that will support projects in two New Hampshire communities.  The Bethlehem School District has received a $30,000 grant that will be used to replace an oil-fired hot water boiler heating system at Bethlehem Elementary School with wood pellet boilers, and the town of Stratford has received a $15,000 grant to improve its town garage, which houses all town vehicles.

“In many rural areas around New Hampshire, Rural Development funding is crucial to recover from the effects of harsh winters and maintain municipal infrastructure,” Kuster said.  “I’m particularly excited to see Bethlehem Elementary making the transition to biomass heat, a renewable energy source that will help keep students warm during the frigid winter months.  I congratulate the recipients of these grants, which will help both towns thrive and serve the citizens of the North Country well.”

Kuster is a strong supporter of biomass energy, and has cosponsored H.R. 1145, the Biomass Thermal Utilization Act, which would establish tax incentives for the installation of biomass heating systems.  The BTU act would help consumers with the initial high cost of installing biomass heating systems, thereby allowing them to save money in the long term by using locally-sourced biomass instead of expensive home heating oil.  A member of the Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition, Kuster has long advocated for the development of renewable energy in order to offset high energy costs, create more jobs for Granite State workers, and protect the environment.

The Rural Development Community Facilities program, which awarded the grants, helps maintain and improve essential community facilities that serve the public in rural areas.