Archive for the ‘Home Energy’ Category

How will the BTU Act Impact Homeowners?

Families across the U.S. still rely heavily on fossil fuels to heat their homes during the winter months. These fuels include propane, heating oil and natural gas, according to Renewable Energy World. Some families rely on electricity-powered heaters, which are more efficient than fossil fuels. Still, when a region experiences days of extreme cold, these families’ electrical bills may skyrocket.

BTU Act of 2013

Several U.S. senators, including Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Angus King (I-Maine), worked together to develop the Biomass Thermal Utilization Act of 2013 (BTU Act of 2013). This act created an amendment to the Internal Revenue Code, providing for tax credits for “residential energy efficient property.” The BTU Act of 2013 enables homeowners and businesses to apply a tax credit to their qualified biomass fuel purchases.

The act goes further and defines qualified biomass fuels as “plant-derived and available on a renewable or recurring basis.” The fuel must be used to heat buildings or water used in buildings.

Sustainable Management

Energy industry managers forecast potential for plant fuels to provide a realistic source of home heating fuels in the Northeast. In a study called “Heating the Northeast with Renewable Biomass: A Bold Vision for 2025,” industry leaders estimate that wood and agricultural residuals could potentially heat over 1 million new homes and businesses throughout New England and New York. Families and businesses switching to biofuel could reduce the usage of propane and heating oil by as much as 1.3 billion gallons.

If the home heating industry is successful in making this switch, the Northeast could benefit, allowing this region of the country to reduce its dependence on old-fashioned heating oil.

Biomass Fuel & Solar Power

Sustainable options like biomass fuel may have been prompted by other green initiatives, such as the government’s focus on solar energy. In 2010, total U.S. solar capacity was 2,326 megawatts. In February of 2014, this propelled to over 12,000 megawatts, an increase of over 400 percent, as reported by the Refrigeration School. Government support helps lower the cost of alternative energy sources, helps raise awareness about their existence, and helps encourage new and better technologies to emerge. If solar energy could make such a drastic jump in just a few years with the power of policy behind it, why couldn’t biomass fuel follow in suit?

Changing Heating Technologies

Currently, many homes in the Northeast use old-fashioned heating oils, which must be brought to each home by a large tanker. Families are familiar with how much heat they will get from each oil delivery. When their supply of oil gets low, it’s time to order more. Homeowners still reliant on heating oil pay more and more every winter as the price of oil and propane rises. What many might not be aware of yet is that if they take advantage of the BTU Act’s tax credits, they can benefit twice: they will save money by applying the credit to switch heating systems, and they will end up paying less to heat their homes in the long run.

Alternative Energy Leaders

Some U.S. states—Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, Maryland, Maine, the New England States and even Colorado and New Mexico—have introduced state legislation that allows residents to take advantage of new heating methods. In many of these states, families are being offered alternative energy tax credits to help them switch to renewable heating methods.

Europe has already changed the policies of several countries, affecting a changeover to renewable heating. In Denmark, for example, it is now illegal for new buildings to rely on fossil fuels to provide heat. Other countries that have introduced alternative energy policies include Austria and Sweden.

Government Incentives

As with solar energy, government can help spur a larger-scale adoption of biofuel. The BTU Act adds an investment tax credit for high-efficiency biomass heating technology to the federal tax code for two populations. Section 25D offers a 30 percent investment tax credit for residential applications of renewable energy in the form of biofuel. Section 48 is a tiered tax credit, and it covers 15 to 30 percent of the installed costs of a new biomass-fueled system for commercial or industrial applications.

Special thanks to Monica Gomez for this bog post. Monica is a freelance clean energy writer and often encourages people go green help the environment. 

Social, Environmental and Financial Benefits of Greenwood Wood Furnaces

There are plenty of perks that come along with a Greenwood wood boiler. A safe, responsible, and cost-effective heating solution for your whole house, Greenwood indoor wood boilers could be the green heat provider you’ve been waiting for. Here are a few benefits of our wood furnaces:

Social Responsibility

Greenwood boilers operate virtually smoke and creosote free! If you’ve ever had a wood furnace or lived near someone who had one, you’re certainly aware of the effect the smoke can have on the comfort of your home. A clean burning wood boiler that uses half the amount of a traditional wood furnace brings ancient technology into the 21st century.

Environmental Benefits

Because of the minimal emissions produced by Greenwood boilers, you can sleep soundly knowing your home heating system is eco-friendly and clean. In fact, Greenwood furnaces release no incremental emissions into the environment, which could have a long-term positive effect on the air quality in your area. And best of all, by using homegrown sources of fuel (log wood), it’s a fully renewable and sustainable source of energy.

Financial Perks

How would you like to save up to 80% on your heating bills? By installing a Greenwood boiler with your existing heating system and thermostat, you can cut your heating costs in an eye-popping fashion. And since Greenwood boilers use 50% less wood than a traditional wood boiler, you’ll be saving costs on firewood as well – even more so if you use a source of salvaged wood!

Find your nearest Greenwood installer or contact us today for more information about a Greenwood Frontier Series indoor wood boiler!

Why Do We Keep Our Windows Open Year Round?

Sounds ridiculous, right? Not so fast. Many of us are effectively doing just that.

The U.S Environmental Protection Agency estimates that home owners can typically save 10-20% of heating and cooling costs – just by sealing their homes properly. Let’s talk about that number for a second. I spend roughly $300.00 on heating every month. That is $1,500.00 per season. 20% of that would be $300.00.


There are the more obvious areas we worry about; like the cracks around our windows or drafty doors. But there are a few other culprits that most people forget about. Recessed lighting, furnace flues, dryer venting and wiring holes can have a massive impact on indoor/outdoor air exchange. Even filling gaps in your existing insulation can make a sizable difference.

Besides the economic benefit to sealing and insulating appropriately there is also a benefit for allergy sufferers.

Better insulation and sealing = less exposure to allergens.

So how can you tell if your house is leaky? There are companies that specialize in detecting leaks with blower door tests. Or you could be thrifty! Light a candle; hold it by your door or window and see if there is a flicker. If the flame is flickering, you had better seal that window!

Window wide open on a cold, snowy winter day

As a super bonus to staying warm during the cold months, check out the Greenwood Frontier CX wood boiler and save an additional 80% on your homes energy bill.

For more information on saving money and energy read this article by Home Power magazine here.

Carbon Monoxide: The Invisible Killer

As we close our doors and windows for the winter, Greenwood Clean Energy would like to remind you to remember to change your carbon monoxide (CO) alarm’s batteries. If you do not own one –  now is the time.

Carbon monoxide is an invisible killer. It is an odorless, poisonous gas and you can’t see it; further adding to the importance of a CO alarm.

Carbon monoxide warning. Cant bee seen, heard or smelled.

There are lots of safety tips including great mini-lessons for the kids on the NFPA’s website.

Be safe this holiday season.

Top Perks of our Wood Boilers

People praise our wood boilers for their efficiency and high-tech approach to a tried and true methodology, but lost in a lot of the science are some of the less publicized benefits of our boilers.


Though it’s an impressive, cutting-edge piece of technology, our furnaces work with your existing heating ducts and thermostat, so really the only difference you should notice is the dip in your energy bill. A quick trip to the furnace itself about twice per day will leave your home (and hot water) toasty around the clock.


Our The Greenwood Frontier Series isn’t in the same class as your typical wood furnace. Each boiler is equipped with an on-board computer that continually monitors performance and uses predictive control to ensure peak boiler operation. The temperature fluctuations you normally get with an old wood boiler aren’t a problem.


Each Greenwood boiler approaches 85% burn efficiency, meaning the vast majority of heated burned is recaptured and used to heat your home. Even the smoke and gases from the burning logs are burned and turned into usable energy, leaving almost zero particles. They meet the same safety standards as your indoor water heater would, so Greenwood boilers are safe to use indoors.

Guilt-Free Energy

While we hear a lot about the revolutionary way we burn traditional biomass fuels, our customers have been telling us about a less tangible, but equally important benefit to their Greenwood – the increased comfort and their guilt-free energy use. There’s no real way to quantify it, but imagine being able to crank up the thermostat in cold months and not automatically think about your increased use of fossil fuels. With a truly renewable source of energy and nearly zero emissions, the Greenwood is the perfect companion to an already eco-friendly home or the foundation on which you start one.

To see what our customers have to say, check out our testimonials or contact us for more information.

Renewable Energy Takes the Lead in Europe

This week our attention is drawn to a remarkable increase in the use of renewable energy in Europe.

Recent reports indicate that Germany,  had impressive growth in renewables through the first half of 2014. Germany is relying more on renewables – wind, solar, hydro and biomass – with an extraordinary 28.5% of its energy coming entirely from renewable sources! Time magazine wrote an interesting blurb on Germany and its state-subsidized program: Energiewende.

Stacked whole log firewood- with recycle emblem in green foliage- embedded in one of the logs


So far, leaders from 28 European nations agreed, that by the year 2030 they will have slashed greenhouse gas emissions by 40% of the levels from 1990.  That is a remarkable feat as well as a solid stance: that climate change is a real and formidable opponent.  The U.N’s latest climate assessment indicates that we are headed toward irreversible impacts such as rising sea levels to even throwing off the male:female ratio.

Rajendra Pachauri, the chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) states that  “The IPCC assessment, which incorporated the findings of three other reports over the past 13 months, reaffirms with 95% certainty that global climate change is both real and a mostly man-made problem.”

He went on to say, “All we need is the will to change, which we trust will be motivated by knowledge and an understanding of the science of climate change.” Read the article here.

Did you know that our appliances are now available in Europe, through our subsidiary Greenwood Europe? Click here to learn more.



The Cost of Wood Pellets Is On The Rise

If you are worried about heating costs this winter, you are not alone.

Everywhere you look there are forecasts about how cold and snowy it is going to be. What makes this worse are the reports that heating costs are also on the rise as well.

If you’re using propane – you’ve likely already felt the pain of handing over that monstrous check. Propane prices have been on the rise for several years now and people are desperate to find some relief.

That relief has come to some, in the way of wood pellets. But new reports indicate that wood pellet prices are on the rise. Due to an abnormally cold winter last year, they were not able to harvest trees as they normally have in years past. In addition, the demand from overseas has also been rising.

Wood pellets ignited in flame

But I am not here for doom and gloom. There is some good news. Some folks in the business of selling pellets have come up with some ideas to help out:

  • Make sure you plan ahead (like NOW). Start to pre-order your wood pellets where it’s available.
  • DON’T HOARD! It makes it difficult for everyone to obtain a fair share of pellets.
  • Consider your options. Wood pellets are processed wood, hence the cost. If you are in an area that has plentiful wood, you may want to consider today’s log-wood fueled appliances like the Greenwood Frontier CX.

Watch the story for yourself — here.

Getting the Most Out of Firewood

So, you are heating with wood. So how can you tell if you are getting an efficient, green, clean burn out of your wood supply — much less all the energy you put into preparing it? Are you aware of the tons of outside variables that affect how much heat you actually GET out of that batch of firewood?

neatly stacked dry firewood for optimal burn in wood boiler, wood heat


Our friends over at Mother Earth News recently published a nice article on the topic. Some highlights:

  1. Dry wood gives you more bang for your buck. What I mean by this is: if you have DRY wood it means you’re not wasting energy. Let me explain further. When green (wet) wood  is burned,  about 15% of the energy from that log is used to turn the water inside of it,  into steam. After that it can finally get to combustion temperature. The end result is essentially throwing away 15% of that log. If you pay for your wood you may as well take a handful of change. Get in your car. Get on the freeway. Open your window. Stick your hand out and let all of that money fly right out of your hand. (Not recommended or endorsed by Greenwood, by the way).
  2. Wet wood causes smoke which in turn creates creosote. Creosote builds up in the chimney and can cause fires, if not properly cleaned and cleaned often.
  3. Smoke = Waste. The EPA is setting very strict regulations around the amount of pollution that consumers are allowed to produce.

For more information on how to best dry  firewood and other fascinating benefits click here.

And as usual, please visit our website, for more information on the Greenwood Frontier CX.


5 Reasons to Buy a Greenwood Boiler

Thinking of switching your heating system to a different, more eco-friendly solution? We’re recognized as the leader in renewable heating appliances, and here are five reasons why a Greenwood boiler might be right for you and your home:

Save Money

If we said you could save 70% on your heating bills, would that be enough to get your attention? With just a few logs, you can heat your entire home for a whole day. Oh, did we mention it also heats your hot water?


Our wood burning technology burns not only the wood, but the smoke and the gases, creating a virtually smoke-free result. For areas plagued by excessive wood smoke, this solution can dramatically reduce air pollution from wood smoke. The Greenwood Frontier Series meets EPA Phase 2 emission standards and is the only wood burning boiler that is allowed for sale by the Washington State Department of Ecology.


The Greenwood Frontier Series is clean burning, low maintenance heating appliance that uses your existing thermostat. When installed in a forced air, hydronic, or an in-floor radiant heating system, the only difference you may notice is the dramatic drop in your heating bill. Controlled by an on-board computer, your Greenwood boiler will keep your home warm and even during the low-demand spring and fall seasons.

Energy Independence

If you have access to firewood, you’re set! You don’t even have to split wood – high temperature in the firebox eliminates build up and reduces ash. Greenwood furnaces release no incremental emissions into the environment and use biomass fuels, which are a fully renewable source of energy.

Product Performance

Our boilers approach 85% efficiency, which means the vast majority of the heat released by the burning wood is captured to heat your home. They burn their fuel completely, leaving a minimal amount of particles to create smoke, creosote, or ash. Greenwood boilers are easy to maintain, too, requiring significantly less maintenance than wood stoves or outdoor wood boilers.

To see one of our broilers in action, check out our videos or contact your local Authorized Greenwood installer and set up an appointment!

Join Greenwood for National Bioenergy Day!


On Wednesday October 22nd 2014, join the Greenwood team as we partner with Biomass Magazine, BTEC, ACORE, US Forest Service, Pellet Fuels Institute, Plum Creek, Forest Landowners and the Biomass Power Association, to present National Bioenergy Day. We will be holding open houses and technology demonstrations at two sites, one near each coast.

Greenwood Photos

Meet us at our Development and Innovation Center in Redmond, Washington – where you will  see our state-of-the-art testing and air quality monitoring facility. We’ll have live demonstrations and informational stations that will open your eyes to the renewable energy available right outside your back door.

You may also visit us at Atwater Vineyards in lovely Watkins Glenn, New York, where we will also be demonstrating our top of the line Frontier CX wood boiler. You could grab a glass of wine and then stroll on down near a warm boiler and make some new friends.

We will offer some beverages and light snacks at each site.

At each location, you’ll learn how bioenergy helps keep our forests healthy  and helps rid the forest of dangerous fuels for wildfire and insect infestation. We will have live product demonstrations, seasoned veterans to answer your boiler and bioenergy questions.

Don’t miss out on this fabulous opportunity, we would love to see you!

For more information and directions please visit here.


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