September 2013
Green Heat News AGH logo
Issue No. 49

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Price of Oil

August 27, 2013: $109.11

August 27, 2012: $95.54  

In Case You Missed it

Top stories in past issues:  

First North American City to Ban All Wood Stoves


Pellet Boiler Also Makes Enough Electricity to Power Home 


U.S. EPA Files Draft of New NSPS 

Meet the Contestants
Kimberly Stoves



Woodstock Soapstone

Wittus Twinfire
 New Research Fellow!
Maria Jensen is a native Marylander with dual US/Swedish citizenship. She graduated from Salisbury University with a BA in International Studies with two minors in Ethnic and Intercultural Studies and Sociology. She received her Masters in Human Ecology from Lund University in Sweden, focusing on residential energy efficiency. Her thesis was on Swedish residential energy saving behaviors and the impact of curtailment behaviors on energy consumption rates. At the Alliance, Maria is a Renewable Energy Fellow working on the Wood Stove Decathlon. In October, she will be a panelist at the 2013 Advancing Sustainable Wood Energy in Maryland Conference, talking about European strategies of reducing electric heating with wood and pellets.
Have YOU Voted?


As of August 28th, 2013, the teams leading the People's Choice voting are:   

Kimberly Stove (29%)

Helbro Stoves (21%)

Travis Industries (16%)  

Woodstock Soapstone (5%)   

Visit the Popular Mechanics polling page to cast your vote for the most innovative stove in the Challenge! (Only one vote allowed per IP address.)


Office Equipment Needed

Have a printer, scanner or computer that is still relatively up to date and in good working order that you don't need? Donate it to the Alliance for Green Heat and get a tax credit. Contact: [email protected] 

Wood Stove Design Challenge Updates  


Meet the Competition: A Weekly Showcase of the Teams 

Follow our weekly blog post featuring the Decathlon Teams and their innovative stoves. Our most recent post highlights The Wittus Twinfire Stove. Gaze through the glass at the mesmerizing double combustion.




4 Days of Speakers at the Decathlon Feature Regulators, Engineers, Advocates and Inventors 

Check out the speakers at the Decathlon!  A wide range of experts, manufacturers, lawmakers and DIYers will discuss and debate how stoves can be cleaner and more idiot proof. Check out the stove testing, the exhibits or sit in on a panel discussion. See schedule.


Let Your Friends and Colleagues Know You are Coming

The Decathlon is free and open to the public and no registration is required. But we'd like to know if you are coming, as would others. Click here to RSVP.


NYSERDA Provides Funding for the Design Challenge 

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) awarded nearly $50,000 to the Alliance to support the technical aspects of the Wood Stove Design Challenge. Thank you!


Thank you to our sponsors! 

Our Projects & Activities 


Reinventing the Wood Stove: Vital to Wood Heat's Future

A new breed of wood stove is needed to ensure that homeowners
don't routinely dampen down airflow to get longer burns. The solution is to control combustion air by a computer, not by a human.

It's a portable camp stove that blends the ancient tradition of cooking outdoors in the wild with the ability to charge your 21st century technology. Buy tickets (1=$10; 3=$25; 7=$50) to be entered in this raffle to win! 100% of the proceeds will fund the Wood Stove Decathlon.



See what's going viral on Facebook


Like us on Facebook!   

"Like" the Alliance for Green Heat page on Facebook to get breaking news and analysis from a consumer perspective.  Most liked posts in August: 

Washington Watch   


The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) received the New Residential Wood Heater regulations from the EPA. Learn about the role of OMB in the rule making process and what they contribute to the new standards.

Regulations are now being drafted and reviewed that would place certain labeling and record keeping requirements on companies moving firewood across state borders.


States, Groups Threaten to Sue the EPA Over the NSPS

Seven states and five advocacy groups are threatening to sue the EPA for missing Clean Air Act deadlines to review air quality standards for new residential wood heaters.  Read here what the significance of these threatened suits are.


Teamwork and Technology to Improve Fairbanks' Air

EPA administrator Gina McCarthy promises federal assistance to local and state programs to improve Fairbanks, Alaska's air quality through a wood stove change out program.


Trends and Research
Government surveyors have conducted a study on the residential heating habits of Alaskan homeowners. In this cold climate about 5.6 cords are consumed by each family annually. This atypical case study exemplifies the need for education, energy efficiency, and sustainability.
The domestic pellet market is not reaching its early optimistic projections, but both aggressive and conservative economic models predict future growth. With the rising price of fossil fuels, pellet production in the U.S. can be profitable.
A management team of Vermont Castings Group employees purchased the wood stove business from a private equity firm. They plan to refocus the company on the hearth industry.

Focus on Thermal Policy     


Domestic RHI Scheme Can Earn Homeowners Thousands 

The UK Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) gives businesses and homeowners financial rewards for installing renewable energy heating, including residential biomass boilers. Homeowners will be paid for every unit of heat they generate as part of the England's drive towards lowering carbon emissions.  


From the Newsroom   

Residential District Heating Expands in Rural Canada    

Canada: Three communities, Fort Providence, Behchoko, and Yellowknife, are in different stages of project development to operate a wood pellet district heating system. Watch the video.


Stove Installer Fined for False Claims

England: An investigation by Trading Standards shows that Luke Hathaway falsely claimed membership to HETAS - the training, standards, and registration agency for the biomass industry. Hathaway was poorly installing potentially dangerous wood stoves.


AK: Fairbank's voluntary wood stove and hydronic heater change out shows some success, but did not reach the expected its goals. 
CT: The CT state Attorney General Jepsen said, "Controls on new outdoor wood boilers are important for protecting public health". Others in CT say that old boilers should be banned all together.
MA: Sandri Energy was awarded a grant that allowed for the company to fully fund eight pellet boiler installations and a $10,000 pellet boiler discount to homeowners. 
ME: Pelletco has arranged with several business to install, operate, and maintain wood pellet boilers. The business owners only pay for the heat, buying BTUs at 20% less than the cost of oil.
MT: $25,000 allows for more change-outs in Seeley Lake, a closely watched test case for reducing emissions through change outs. 


MI: The Michigan State University Extension highlights current state projects using biomass, and determines the vital role biomass will play in an all-inclusive energy plan for the northern states.


PA: The Allegheny Health Department will compensate homeowners who turn in old high emission wood stoves and boilers. 


PA: Some state parks already use solar and wind. Now they're using their first wood boiler as a flagship for biomass heating. 


VT: Immediately after changing ownership, VCG performed "seasonal layoffs." Management hopes to call back workers in the fall if the business picks up. 


WA: The Yakima Air Agency resumed a wood stove replacement program to install more efficient wood stoves. The program runs through June 2015 or until the $600,000 grant runs out.

Upcoming Conferences and Webinars


My Old School II 

September 5, 2013 10:00 AM

Biomass Magazine hosts a webinar of heating and powering America's Campuses with biomass.


International Biomass Heat Training Seminar

Linz, Austria, September 9 - 12, 2013

Success factors for developing a regional biomass heating market using updated technology and systems.


Biomass for Energy, Economy, and Nature Conference 

Longwood University, Farmville, Virginia, September 10-11, 2013

Conference to discuss Virginia's emerging biomass markets and its potential impact on the economy and environment.


Alternative Energy & Building Efficiency Exhibition

Hartford, Connecticut, September 19 - 20, 2013

The Northeast's event that brings together the Alternative Energy and the Energy Efficient Building industries. 


Profitable Firewood Processing Workshop

Princeton, West Virginia, October 2, 2013 

The USDA's Wood Education and Research Center provides the firewood processing industry the latest on processing, kiln drying and marketing of firewood. AGH will present on stove technology.


2013 Maryland Clean Energy Summit

Hyattsville, Maryland, October 15-16, 2013

Featuring distributed energy and smart solutions. AGH is very active in this annual conference.


National Bioenergy Day 

Nationwide, October 17, 2013

Local events will be held at bioenergy facilities across the country to educate the audiences about the benefits of nature's energy source.


International Smoke Symposium 

Adelphi, Maryland, October 21-24, 2013

The Symposium is about wildland fire and smoke and identifies knowledge gaps within the field of smoke science for future research, innovation, and development. Our own John Ackerly will present a talk on "Reducing Smoke through Wood Energy: The Role of USDA".


Renewable Energy: Community Solutions for Vermont   

Burlington, Vermont, October 29 - 30, 2013

"90% renewables by 2050" goal requires significant change in the renewable energy approach. Conference proposals are accepted through May 20th. 


Advancing Sustainable Wood Energy in Maryland

Annapolis, MD, October 30, 2013

Registration and agenda ready in early September: 

Next Generation Wood Stove Decathlon

Washington, DC, November 15 - 19, 2013

AGH hosts a technology competition for innovative wood stoves on the National Mall. Be there! 


World Sustainable Energy Days

Wels, Austria, February 26 - 28, 2014

This attracts thousands of participants from all over the world. Great minds discuss what's next in green energy and efficiency.   


Northeast Biomass Heating Expo

Portland, Maine, April 9-11, 2014

Unite a diverse audience from biomass fuel, supply chain, developer, manufacturer, and government sectors to break barriers and ground for biomass thermal and CHP systems.     


Photo of the Month!

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory published an updated analysis that suggests the U.S. is only 39% efficient, wasting 61% of its energy, with 2012 being the most wasteful year in the past decade.


Please Support Our Work

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The Alliance for Green Heat is an independent non-profit organization working to promote cleaner and more efficient biomass heating. Please consider making a generous contribution. The Alliance is a tax exempt 501 (c)(3) organization.
You can make a secure donation online through PayPal here:

A special thanks to those who have contributed $2,000 or more between June 2009 and June 2013

-- Dr. William & Frances Ackerly
-- American Biomass
-- Arbolito Foundation 
-- Chimney Safety Institute of America
-- Constellation Energy
-- Family Alliance Foundation 
-- New York State Energy & Research Development Authority
-- Osprey Foundation
-- Ramsay Merriam Fund
-- Jim & Patty Rouse Foundation 
-- Takoma Foundation
-- University of Maryland Extension Service
-- Wood Education and Resource Center, Northeastern Area State and Private
    Forestry, U.S. Forest Service 
-- Maryland Energy Administration 
-- DC Dept. of Transportation, Urban Forestry Administration
-- U.S. Forest Service

Become a Green Heat Founding Member: Make your donation here  


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