Alliance for Green Heat
Takoma Park, MD
green heat + help for low-income families
While wealthy families are getting tens of thousands in rebates and tax incentives to install solar and geothermal, low and middle-income families are getting virtually no help to install and upgrade their renewable energy of choice: wood heat. Two percent of our population uses wood as a primary or sole source of heat and they are mainly rural, low- income families. However, they are using mostly older, inefficient and polluting stoves. The Alliance for Green Heat is helping progressive states follow the example of Europe, and incentivize modern, high efficiency, low emission wood stoves as a way to make renewable energy programs accessible to low-income families.
Harvesting wood for residential heating is the most sustainable type of wood harvesting in America today. Wood heating does not drive any clear-cutting or industrial forestry. Far from it. Many families only use dead or downed wood and some use wood that would otherwise go to a landfill.
Wood heat can be the “people’s renewable” in rural areas if we can get next generation equipment incentivized and get the older, more polluting stoves and boilers out of circulation. Currently, our federal government and most states have it backwards: they are incentivizing the least efficient use of biomass (ethanol and electricity production) and overlooking the most efficient – wood heat. Ethanol and biomass for electricity have corporate lobbies in Washington, but the use of wood by millions of rural low-income families is being overlooked.
The Alliance for Green Heat is changing that. Working with the environmental and green building community, advocates for the poor, air quality agencies and sustainable forestry groups, we are taking what was once considered to be yesterday’s renewable energy and making it a renewable energy for tomorrow – along with solar, wind and geothermal.
Millions of low-income families have to choose between buying food and other essentials and paying utility bills in the winter. Modern wood heat technology allows us to dramatically reduce fossil fuels for heating and helps rural, low-income families from slipping into worse poverty. And, it offers the progressive community a chance to make very regressive tax incentive programs more equitable by including renewable energy systems used by low-income communities. In Austria today, even the fossil fuel companies are required to heat their plants with wood pellet boilers!
We too can radically reduce our dependency on fossil fuels for heating so that oil companies will not have to drill in even deeper waters to heat our homes.
Thank you for your vote and your support.