With State Support, Bulk Pellet Delivery Capacity Expands in Vermont

 

MONTPELIER – Hitting the road this month is a brand-new bulk pellet delivery truck for Vermont Renewable Fuels (VRF). The 2017 Kenworth capable of hauling 16-tons of pellets with fully pneumatic delivery system was funded in part by a $94,000 grant from the Vermont Clean Energy Development Fund (CEDF).

Vermont Renewable Fuels delivers bulk wood pellets throughout Vermont and surrounding areas providing over 1300 tons (2.6 million pounds) of heating fuel to customers each year.  They travel over 25,000 miles every heating season delivering to both residential and commercial venues. 

When asked about the new truck, Alison MacDonald, VRF Office Manager, said, “We’re so grateful to have received this grant to make this investment possible.  Adding the new truck to our fleet will allow for faster response times and expand the amount the local, renewable fuel we’re distributing to Vermonters.”

The new Vermont Renewable Fuels truck is the latest in a growing fleet of bulk delivery trucks on the road in Vermont.  Bulk pellet delivery in the state is available through Bourne’s Energy, Sandri Energy, Lyme Green Heat, Maine Energy Systems, as well as Vermont Renewable Fuels, all of which now have at least two bulk pellet trucks to serve their customers.

Andrew Perchlik, CEDF Director for the Vermont Public Service Department, said, “The CEDF had been working to build the bulk pellet infrastructure for the past few years and is excited with the new delivery trucks and growing demand for local wood heat.”

The State of Vermont has funded two other grants to support bulk wood pellet delivery infrastructure and to help build the market:

  • A CEDF grant to Bourne’s Energy for the 50 ton bulk silo from which they will fill their trucks.
  • Working Lands Enterprise Board grant to Bourne’s Energy for their newest truck.

Wood pellets are made entirely of compressed sawdust.  They can be burned in either a pellet stove or a fully automatic pellet boiler.  The experience of receiving a bulk pellet delivery is the same as having propane or oil delivered. The truck pulls up to the home or business and pumps pellets into a pellet bin inside the building or into a silo on the exterior. From there they are fed to a pellet boiler which connects to a programmable thermostat for hands-free wood heating.

Currently an estimated 12% of Vermont households heat at least in part with pellets (either bagged or bulk); a figure that’s expected to rise as more homes install automatic pellet boilers.

Advanced wood heating incentives are still available from CEDF:

  • A flat-rate $3,000 per system or a custom incentive of 1.25/sq ft
  • Wood pellet or chip fired evaporator - $200/sq-ft of evaporator pan

More information about these and other CEDF incentives are available at www.rerc-vt.org.

In addition, Efficiency Vermont has a $2,000 rebate available for Automatic Wood Pellet boilers. https://www.efficiencyvermont.com/rebates