Do you own a business in New Hampshire? Are you tired of the mounting heating bills and the growing suspicion that you could be doing better by the environment? Are you interested in changing to a highly efficient wood pellet heating system?
image credit: Philip Taylor
If you are a business or institution in New Hampshire, have you spent much time thinking about your heating and/or hot water systems? Well, you probably have, since in New England winters can be cold. If you use hot water in your production process, you probably use a lot of it. Both heat and hot water can be significant sources of cost to your bottom line.
If you are looking for ways to heat more efficiently, be more environmental with your operations, or you simply need to change out an antiquated heating system, have you considered a highly efficient wood pellet heating system?
The upfront expense of a new heating system can be a large expenditure and ultimately a deterrent to even the consideration of a new heating system. When you weigh the pros and cons, you know you’ll save on heating bills far into the future, but your initial costs might be more than your budget allows. Luckily, there’s help available so that a switch to a pellet heating system is an affordable possibility for your business.
There are two options for businesses looking to offset the initial cost of a new heating system.
Renewable Energy Incentive Program
This is an option that we at Lyme Green Heat are familiar with. When looking to make the cost of a new energy efficient heating system a little more palatable, businesses and institutions might be eligible for rebates through the Renewable Energy Certificate Program, or REC. This program offers three different rebate options:
- A rebate payment of 40 percent of the appliance and installation cost, up to $65,000, if your new heating system is a wood pellet furnace or boiler of 2.5 million BTU or less.
- A rebate of 30 percent of the storage tank and related components, up to $5,000.
- A rebate of $5,000 toward the cost of the meters for systems that become REC eligible.
This rebate program is a terrific opportunity, but be aware—there is a limited amount of funds. As of March 3 of this year, $237,749.67 remained of a total $956,245 allocated funds.
Tullando Farm in Orford, New Hampshire is one business that Lyme Green Heat has helped make the smart decision to purchase an energy efficient wood pellet system and help themselves cover the cost by partaking in different rebate programs. Funding for this project came from a combination of sources, including the Northern Forest Center, which provided an incentive of 25 percent of the cost up to $10,000, along with a rebate from the Public Utilities Commission up to 30 percent up to $50,000. Now, this busy dairy farm is happily using wood pellets for its heating and hot water needs.
With rebate programs like these, you don’t have to face the extra costs of choosing renewable, efficient energy alone!
For more information on New Hampshire’s Renewable Energy Incentive Program, visit the sustainable energy website here.
The T-RECs Enterprise Fund
An additional option that was created as a way to help businesses with the upfront costs of installing a highly efficient system is the T-RECs Enterprise Fund. This program centers around thermal renewable energy certificates that a business receives based on the amount of useable heat generated from wood pellets. State law requires New Hampshire retail electricity suppliers to purchase these T-RECs. This helps after you’ve installed your new system, but what about before?
A non-profit organization called the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities granted money to the state of New Hampshire to purchase these T-RECs up front, creating far more flexibility for businesses who want to invest in a new heating system without having to wait to be reimbursed down the road. Up to five years of the projected heat output can be paid at the installation of the system, instead of making the owner wait for the system to actually produce the heat. This gives you a choice to balance upfront costs with longer term benefits and do what is right for your business.
For more information on New Hampshire’s T-RECs Enterprise Fund, check out the website.
Additional Options for Specific Enterprises
With these options, a significant amount of the cost of a new wood pellet heating system can be taken care of. But don’t stop there! Many businesses, commercial operations, and institutions may be eligible for grants, low-interest loans, or funding from additional sources, just like the Tullando Farm received an additional incentive from the Northern Forest Center. The USDA, Rural Energy for America, Northern Forest Center and Vermont Business Energy Loansare additional incentives worth exploring as you weigh the pluses and minuses of switching to pellet heat.