Data from the 2010 US Census shows that wood heat grew faster than any other heating source in the last decade. The use of wood fuel grew 34% compared to the 26% increase for electricity.
Wood heat grew fastest in the Northeast and the Great Lakes regions with Michigan and Connecticut seeing the largest increases at over 120% each. Other states which saw significant increases in wood heat penetration over the decade, include high-density states New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio with increases exceeding 65 percent.
The rise of wood and wood pellets in home heating is often driven by a need for homeowners to reduce their heating bill with lower cost fuels like wood that are used in wood stoves, wood boilers and fireplace inserts. Over the last ten years, wood heat has been driven by the climbing cost of oil, the economic downturn and the movement to use renewable energy.
According to the EIA, residential wood heat accounts for 80% of residential renewable energy, solar 15% and geothermal 5%. By contrast, the only part of the country where wood fell in use were the warm weather states of the South, with Florida seeing the highest decline at 21 percent.
John Ackerly, with the Alliance for Green Heat, stated it most clearly, “Heating with wood may not be hip like solar, but it’s proving to be the workhorse of residential renewable energy production.”
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