Symposium will address residential wood and pellet heat

By Lisa Gibson | June 23, 2011

While 80 percent of residential renewable energy in America comes from wood heat, older wood-burning appliances are the norm. So bringing modern, low-emission appliances to scale is one of the most cost-effective ways to reduce residential fossil fuel use, so says the Alliance for Green Heat.

The alliance is holding a free public symposium in Washington D.C. July 13 at the U.S. Forest Service’s Yates Training Room to address residential wood and pellet heating. Wood heat enjoys a deep cultural acceptance in America but policies to harness and transform it are lacking, the alliance said. The symposium will explore the opportunities for policymakers to maximize the potential of residential wood heat to reduce fossil fuel use in a tight fiscal climate, while minimizing its drawbacks. The speakers will cover the policy landscape, sustainability and emissions issues, state and federal case studies, as well as the results of a new study on biomass heat incentives.

The first panel, titled Wood Heat in America: The People’s Renewable, will include John Ackerly, from the Alliance for Green Heat; Dave Atkins, the U.S. Forest Service Woody Biomass Utilization Program manager; Jack Goldman, president of Hearth, Patio & Barbeque Association; and Melanie Loyzim, chief of the Air Toxics and Emissions office of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. The panel will be moderated by Lily Donge, of Calvert Asset Management. Following the speakers and their presentations is an open discussion.

The second and final panel during the one-day symposium will feature moderator Tatiana Butler from the Alliance for Green Heat, along with speakers Scott Nichols, CEO of TarmUSA; Steve Nadel, executive director of the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy; and Chris Rice of the Maryland Energy Administration.

While the symposium is free and open to the public, space is limited and RSVP is required. To register, click here.