Hodes Amendment to Match Local Investments in Clean Energy Passes House
The House today passed Congressman Hodes' amendment to provide matching federal funds to local community investments in biomass heating systems for public buildings.
The Community Wood Energy Program, which Congressman Hodes' amendment creates, will help states and local communities purchase biomass systems to heat public buildings. Switching from fossil fuel to biomass systems saves money, protects the environment, and creates a commercial market for low grade wood like wood chips and wood pellets, which would otherwise be discarded as waste.
"Switching to biomass will help protect our environment and reduce our dependence on foreign oil," Congressman Hodes said. "Biomass is an environmentally safe way to keep money in our states and local economies, instead of sending it overseas to purchase oil."
Merrimack Valley High School and Middle School in New Hampshire recently switched to wood biomass to heat their facilities. In just one winter the school district saved $80,000 in heating costs. And there were no carbon or sulfur emissions.
Hanover School Systems in Hanover, New Hampshire is installing a biomass system in their high school and middle school. Hanover schools will save more than $60,000 on energy bills, reduce greenhouse emissions by 1,000 tons, and eliminate the need for 115,000 gallons of oil fuel each year.
"Congressman Hodes' amendment will give communities a great new tool to help slow climate change," said Jad Daley of the Northern Forest Alliance, "He deserves tremendous credit for driving this proposal forward."
Like most infrastructure improvements, if a community cannot afford start-up and transition costs, the savings that could be earned are a frustrating mirage. That is true for most rural communities in America who need help and incentives to make this important shift. The Community Wood Energy Program helps communities take charge of their energy solutions while defending their local resources.
"It's time for America to become energy independent, and New Hampshire is ready to lead the way," Congressman Hodes said. "It's time for us to take charge of our future. And that means taking responsibility for our energy policy."