The Windham Wood Heat Initiative (WWH) has expanded its program eligibility, timeline, and technical assistance as it fully enters the “implementation phase” of the program under the Windham Regional Commission leadership. The WWH program has added non-profit owned buildings and expanded its timeline now to conclude in December of 2018. WWH, which began in 2015, — funded through closure of Vermont Yankee via the Vermont Clean Energy Development Fund (CEDF) – assists municipal, school, and the now eligible non-profit buildings convert to heating with automated, high-efficiency wood boilers while addressing those buildings’ energy efficiency and durability needs. This program works to yield community benefits, business success, high performance buildings based on a sustainable local forest industry and help make Windham County a hub for advanced wood heat technology.
Qualifying property owners will be eligible for advanced wood heat assessments, energy and building envelope analyses, and technical and financial assistance in converting the heating system to an advanced wood heating system. Services include one-on-one coaching through the project development, bid review, budget, system commissioning, and public approval process, as well as financial incentives of 75% of the cost of an audit report and feasibility study, 25% of the installation cost of the boiler system (with a maximum of $75,000), and an added 10% of that installation cost if the buildings pursue energy conservation measures outlined in the audit report (totaling to 35% with a maximum of $100,000).
“Installing these systems is not only a great opportunity for the Region to expand and support the forestry industry, but it also presents the opportunity for kids in these schools to make the connection of where their heat is coming from and what positive impacts it can have locally and globally.” Marion Major WRC planner and program coordinator explains.
The Academy School, the Esteyville Building, and the New England Center for Circus Arts have all taken advantage of Windham Wood Heat services and incentives and have installed systems. Five additional institutions are currently participating and installing systems: Flood Brook Union School, Guilford Elementary School, Green Street Elementary School, Marlboro School, and the Putney Landing Windham Windsor Housing Trust development. The WWH looks forward to working with more schools, municipalities, and non-profits in Windham County.
A Windham County-based project team with regional and national expertise developed the program, which is now led by the Windham Regional Commission – a quasi-public agency assisting towns in southeastern Vermont to provide effective local government and work cooperatively with them to address regional issues. Current program advisors include forestry and wood procurement specialists at Innovative Natural Resource Solutions, technical building consultants and commissioning agents at Resilient Buildings Group and John F. Penney Consulting Services, and regional wood heat advocates at the non-profit Northern Forest Center as well as support from Building Green Inc. and SEON. For more information on the program, contact the WRC Energy Planner Marion Major at firstname.lastname@example.org or (802)257-4547 x109.
Windham Regional Commission
139 Main Street, Suite 505
Brattleboro, VT 05301
(802) 257-4547 ext. 109