The benefits of modern wood heat in Massachusetts are many:

Modern wood heat saves money.

Among the many reasons to consider a modern wood heating system, the first is simple financial self-interest. Your home, business, municipal building, school, hospital, housing project, or other facility may be able to save a lot of money over the life of a system. Simple as that.

Modern wood heat creates jobs.

Wood chips, pellets and cordwood don’t just fall from trees. Wood fuel needs to be harvested, processed, and transported to the consumer, creating a variety of local jobs. Indirect jobs, in the form of services, are also created: wood heat appliances need to be engineered, sold, installed, and serviced regularly. Your neighborhood service person will also use part of their paycheck at local businesses, thus supporting many more jobs in the community.

Modern wood heat improves energy supply predictability and diversity.

98% of the wood products we use come from outside of Massachusetts, despite our abundant woodlands. Why not use these local resources to improve our energy security? Local wood heat is less subject to the supply and price swings that can accompany international events. Wood heat can also supply reliable energy in areas of Massachusetts with limited fossil fuel infrastructure and can be used in conjunction with variable renewable energy sources to provide a resilient heating system.

Modern wood heat keeps forests as forests.

Modern wood heat creates an outlet for the plentiful low-grade wood in Massachusetts. Forest landowners can improve the quality of their woodlot by favoring the development of high-quality trees and selling the low-quality trees. In this way, forest landowners invest in their land today to keep forests as forests for our communities in the future.

Modern Wood Heat is carbon friendly

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is clear on using wood for energy as part of the long-term climate change solution. “In the long term,” the IPCC explains, “a sustainable forest management strategy aimed at maintaining or increasing forest carbon stocks, while producing an annual sustained yield of timber, fiber, or energy from the forest, will generate the largest sustained mitigation benefit.”

The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center also agrees that modern wood heat is part of our climate solution.

See the Northern Forest Center study on modern wood heat and carbon.

It’s clear – modern wood heat is part of our climate change solution.

Modern wood heat supports our rural economy.

A wood energy market can help to fill the gap left from the precipitous decline of the traditional pulpwood markets. By replacing these lost markets, wood energy businesses have the potential to revitalize our rural economy.

Modern wood heat provides opportunities for forest improvement.

Whether a forest landowner’s goals are to provide recreation, improve forest health, protect water resources, or mitigate fire risk, a wood energy market can help provide landowners with the opportunity to actively manage their land.

Modern wood heat provides opportunities for broadened wildlife habitat management.

Many important species such as moose, deer, ruffed grouse and woodcock flourish in clearings and young forests, where new plant growth is abundant. Chestnut-sided warblers, for example, prefer less than 30% canopy cover and openings of at least one acre. Wood energy markets can help forest landowners create these habitat pockets, bringing great benefits to our wildlife populations.