Letter: Wood is a renewable energy resource

Published: 9/30/2021 7:00:06 AM

In his article about energy goals for a future new Rundlett Middle School (Monitor, 9/26), David Brooks incorrectly stated that “there’s no renewable way for a building to generate a substitute for natural gas or fuel oil…” Mr. Brooks knows better. In fact, state and federal energy policy recognize heat and electricity from wood to be a renewable energy resource. NH’s Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, Renewable Portfolio Standard, and net metering policies all define wood energy as renewable. Towns have the option of recognizing wood heat with renewable energy property tax exemptions along with solar, wind and geothermal. The federal tax code provides a 26% renewable energy investment tax credit for residential wood heat systems that can meet stringent efficiency standards.

40 NH public school buildings have installed modern wood pellet and wood chip systems. In the greater Concord area, these include the Merrimack Valley campus, John Stark High School, Kearsarge Middle School, Sanbornton Central School, Winnisquam High School, the Hopkinton Maple Street School, Pembroke Academy, Belmont High School, Middle School and Elementary School, and Canterbury Elementary School. These schools, and the taxpayers that fund them, are saving money by heating with wood instead of a non-renewable fossil fuel. They’re keeping their fuel dollars in our state economy by supporting local wood chip and pellet suppliers. They’re reducing greenhouse gases by using a renewable resource produced from wood waste and responsible forest management. A comprehensive analysis of net-zero energy options for a future new Rundlett Middle School should include advanced, efficient use of wood to make heat for the building.

Charlie Niebling



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