A nonprofit organization is starting a program that helps people in the Katahdin region install their first high-efficiency wood pellet stove, or replace an old one.
Full-time occupied, single- and multi-family houses are eligible for $800 incentives toward a wood pellet stove. Homes must be located near Millinocket, E. Millinocket, Medway, Sherman, and Patten to qualify for the nonprofit incentive. These incentives include a $300 rebate currently available from Efficiency Maine.
The program is part of the Northern Forest Center’s Katahdin Local Heat initiative, which helps convert buildings to local, renewable wood pellets for heat to support the local forest economy, and make heating with wood more convenient.
“Switching to wood pellet heat is the right thing to do, even when oil prices are low,” said Jessica O’Hare, Program Manager for the Northern Forest Center. “Buying local wood pellets is good for our economy. One hundred percent of what we spend on wood pellets keeps circulating in the local economy, while 78 percent of what we spend on heating oil leaves the local economy.”
Katahdin Local Heat is part of the Center’s wood heat program, which is building the market for regionally-produced wood pellets – especially used in wood pellet boilers – for homes and small-scale commercial installations in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and New York. The Center also advocates for supportive public policies on the state and federal levels. “We’ve helped install 140 wood pellet boilers and people are very happy with them,” said O’Hare.
Other benefits of the program include strengthening markets for low-grade wood, which provides a financial incentive to forestland owners to keep their forests intact and helps stabilize and increase employment in forest-based businesses.
The Northern Forest Center builds economic and community vitality while fostering sound forest stewardship in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and New York.