Sen. Shaheen talks biomass heat in NH

By Anna Austin | October 26, 2011

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., visited her home state on Oct. 24 to discuss the importance of biomass heat and how to level the playing field so that it is able to compete with other renewable energy sources such as wind and solar.

Shaheen toured online wood pellet retailer’s facility in Goffstown, N.H., and met with staff, customers, experts in wood pellet heating and small business development professionals. John Strimling, CEO of, co-hosted the event.

During the discussion, Shaheen pointed out that residential biomass heat in the state is vastly underutilized. About 80 percent of the homes in New Hampshire are heated with fuel oil, she said, yet it is the second-most heavily forested state in the U.S.

“Biomass presents an excellent opportunity to keep our energy dollars at home, instead of shipping them overseas to foreign oil-producing nations like Saudi Arabia and Venezuela,” Shaheen said. “At the same time, it allows businesses and consumers to switch to an energy source that is cost-effective, clean and renewable.”

Shaheen is a member of the Senate energy and small business Committees and has a history of supporting efforts to incentivize the use of biomass energy. During the last Congress, she introduced legislation that would give a 30 percent tax incentive for the installation of high-efficiency biomass systems in commercial buildings, and last May introduced a national energy efficiency strategy that would create jobs and save businesses and consumers money.