United States Mid-Century Strategy for Deep Decarbonization Published

U.S.-Mid-Century-Strategy-for-Deep-DecarbonizationThe White House has just released the United States Mid-Century Strategy for Deep Decarbonization, a national U.S. strategy to decarbonize the economy over the next 34 years.

This report spans over 100 pages, and details the 2050 vision of economy-wide net greenhouse gas emissions reductions of 80 percent or more below 2005 levels. The White House explains:

“The MCS demonstrates how the United States can meet the growing demands on its energy system and lands while achieving a low-emissions pathway, maintaining a thriving economy, and ensuring a just transition for Americans whose livelihoods are connected to fossil fuel production and use,”

The report describes opportunities to reduce biofuel production costs, improve production efficiency, develop drop-in fuels, co-optimize engines with low-carbon fuel to maximize performance and greenhouse gas reductions, and ensure biomass is produced and used in ways that are carbon beneficial.

“An illustrative 2050 land use scenario consistent with [mid-century strategy] goals, which could entail 50 million acres of forest expansion and 40 million acres of biomass production from 2015 areas, would need to be managed carefully,” states the report. “However, these changes can be made ecologically and economically feasible by focusing on opportunities to deliver multiple products and services on the same acre, including agroforestry, precision agriculture, and bioenergy crop-pasture rotational strategies”

The report explains other factors regarding biomass production/uses, as well as possible scenarios for the nation’s energy future. You can read the entire publication for yourself, here

$300 Biomass Federal Tax Credit Expiring

Biomass Tax CreditAre you eligible for the $300 Biomass Federal Tax Credit? It’s a $300 dollar-for-dollar tax credit for purchasing a qualifying biomass-burning stove between January 1, 2015 and December 31, 2016. To make sure yours meets the 75% efficiency rating requirement, just check with your retailer.

You’re able to claim this credit as long as the stove was installed in your principal residence. This is the home you live in most of the time. It must be in the United States, and it can include a house, houseboat, mobile home, cooperative apartment, condominium, and a manufactured home. New construction and rentals do not apply. 

If you bought your eligible pellet stove in 2016, or are planning to by the end of this year, prepare for your 2016 tax filing by keeping your sales receipt and the manufacturer’s certification.

If your stove meets all the requirements, and you purchased it in 2015, did you include it on your tax return? If you missed out on the Biomass Federal Tax Credit, use Form 1040X – Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. You have up to three years after the filing or due date, or two years after paying your taxes to amend. Full information on how to amend your return can be found here.

For More Information, See HPBA’s Tax Credit Fact Sheet, Here

Why Your Pellet Stove Won’t Ignite, Stay Lit, Feed Pellets, Etc.

Why Your Pellet Stove Won’t Ignite, Stay Lit, Feed Pellets, Etc.There are many different brands and styles of wood pellet stoves – so the best way to start learning about your particular stove is to read the entire manual. If you’re a new pellet stove owner, or have switched to a different model – it could take some trial and error to learn the right process for your home.

You might be surprised to learn that many common issues pellet burners face with their stoves can be solved with making some adjustments. Again – start to troubleshoot and learn by reading your manual! It has the best stove-specific advice on operation, maintenance, recommendations and best practices.

Take a look at our quick cheat sheet below to review the pellet stove problems we hear about the most.

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Labs Test for Actual Efficiency of Wood and Pellet Stoves

In May of 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency began to require efficiency testing for stoves. Those tested and certified before then do not have to disclose their efficiency until they are required to conduct new tests – while will be at least a couple of years.

Many stove manufacturers post efficiency numbers based on non-standardized calculations. This means the information posted on the company website might not be entirely accurate.

The wood and pellet stoves found in the chart below have been tested by accredited laboratories for efficiency in order to find honest data for consumers. Keep in mind that the efficiency of wood stoves is partly based on the operator, while lab-tested pellet stove efficiency results should be considered reliable.

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Welcoming South Shore Wood Pellets Customers

Woodpellets.com Partners with South Shore Wood Pellets to Help Cover Former Customers with Quality Wood Pellets, Expert Customer Service and Convenient Delivery Options. Although the Massachusetts-based South Shore Wood Pellets permanently closed this year, the owner of SSWP felt it was important to redirect his customers to a reliable vendor that would provide the high level of premium products and service they are used to. That’s where we come in.

The team at Woodpellets.com has been working together with South Shore Wood Pellets to make sure former patrons are covered. We are a local New Hampshire company celebrating our 10th anniversary in business. We have withstood all the challenges over the years by focusing on one thing; our valued customers.

We proudly offer the highest quality wood pellets and bricks, convenient home delivery to your driveway or garage, and a team of experts to answer your questions – including troubleshooting and service needs. We have grown to become one of the most reliable and largest pellet retailers in the Northeast.

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Farmers’ Almanac 2016-17 Weather Predictions Are In

Woodpellets.com
Shoveling snow wasn’t much of a bother last year, heating bills were much lower, and December was the warmest on record for the lower 48 states. The year ended pretty wet too – with 86 percent of the U.S experiencing above-normal precipitation. However according to the 2016-17 Farmers’ Almanac, the nice reprieve we enjoyed last year is over…and winter is making a big comeback. 

2017FarmerAlmanacPredictions for this year include warnings of exceptionally cold, frigid weather which will predominate over parts of the Northern Plains, Great Lakes, Midwest, Ohio Valley, the Middle Atlantic, Northeast, and New England this winter.

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Residential Biomass Federal Tax Credit Information

2015 2016Did you purchase a biomass-burning heating system for your home that meets the 75% efficiency rating between January 1, 2015 and now? If you did, you’re likely eligible for the $300 Biomass Federal Tax Credit!

Unfortunately, there’s no master list of eligible stoves. To make sure yours meets the 75% efficiency rating requirement, just check with your retailer.

You’re able to claim this credit as long as the stove was installed in your principal residence. This is the home you live in most of the time. It must be in the United States, and it can include a house, houseboat, mobile home, cooperative apartment, condominium, and a manufactured home. New construction and rentals do not apply. 

You’ll need the Individual Income Tax Return Form 1040 and the Residential Energy Credits Form 5695 to include the Biomass Federal Tax Credit on your filing. If you bought your eligible stove this year, or are planning to this year, prepare for your 2016 tax filing by keeping your sales receipt and the manufacturer’s certification. These are just for your records, not to be attached.

If your stove meets all the requirements, and you purchased it in 2015, did you include it on your tax return? If you missed out on the Biomass Federal Tax Credit, use form Form 1040X – Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. You have up to three years after the filing or due date, or two years after paying your taxes to amend. Full information on how to amend your return can be found here.

For More Information, See HPBA’s Tax Credit Guide, Here

The Questions Stove Techs are Asked Most

Why am I getting so much ash?

Woodpellets.comCheck out the specifications on the wood pellets you’re purchasing, and look for the ash content listed. The higher the percentage, the more ash you’ll get, and the more frequent your cleanings will be. Higher quality pellets will have lower ash percentages, and therefore less maintenance.

On top of research, another great way to choose a fuel is by talking to your fellow pellet-burners to see what they’re using and why. Of course, you won’t know what you like for your home and your budget until you run your own tests. But if you’re buying the cheapest pellets with lower heat and higher ash specifications – you shouldn’t expect the same results as the higher quality options available.

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How To Clean Your Pellet Stove in 20 Minutes

Stop Wasting Time with Poor Stove Cleaning!

Do you hate cleaning your pellet stove? I do. It’s one of those necessary chores of pellet stove ownership that you come to dread. But over the last four years that I have been cleaning my stove, I have managed to reduce the time spent to just 20-30 minutes per month. I have found that the most critical step in cleaning your stove is having the right tools for the job.

1. Although it may seem obvious – a flashlight that you can wear on your head, or clamp to the side of the stove, is a must. Without the proper light, it is impossible to see all nooks and crannies where the ash is hiding. While the headlight allows you to use your hands for other tasks, it throws decent light wherever you turn your head to look.

2. Another must-have tool is a good stiff brush. I use an old nylon 2′ paint brush to sweep the ash from my heat exchanger, and off the walls of the stove itself. Don’t try to use a cheap flimsy brush. You need a sturdy one that can withstand the stress of regular cleaning.

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5 Things Your Stove Technician Wants You To Know

Woodpellets.com1. Read the manual that came with your stove. According to Jason Tardiff of J&L Chimney Works in NH, this is the number one thing stove technicians wish customers would take seriously. He explains; “Most of the time, the answer to the problem lies in the pages of their owner’s manual.” From proper stove maintenance, to best practices and warranty information – the manual is packed with model-specific information, and it’s very often overlooked.

2. Don’t be so quick to blame the pellets. If your stove isn’t igniting, if you have a weak flame, or your pellets won’t stay lit, the fuel shouldn’t be your first thought. When was the last time you had your stove professionally cleaned? If you do it yourself, are you really getting to all the parts that need attention? Your pellet stove works off of pressurized air which is drawn from the exhaust. Have you cleaned all those passages? Is your exhaust clear of debris? Jason describes his years of discoveries: “The exhaust pulls in anything that’s in the air – so pet hair, dander, dust and lint are constantly sucked in. And as far as the auger goes, items left on the stove can fall and work their way in. I’ve found spoons and G.I Joes crammed in there.”

To summarize – in addition to the general responsible cleaning owners should be doing, a professional cleaning twice a year is definitely a best practice. Think of it like your dental health and your dentist. You clean your own teeth every day, but it’s still good to go to the dentist every six months for professional attention.

>> Read about the most common pellet stove problems

3. Your pellet stove needs a surge protector. You should not be plugging your stove directly into the wall. Furthermore, you need to know the difference between a power strip and an actual surge protector. Most modern pellet stoves have a circuit board that can be damaged without protection from even small electrical surges caused by power outages. Be sure to check your manual for information on electrical recommendations.

4. Don’t burn low quality pellets and expect great results. Check out the specifications on the wood pellets you’re purchasing. Look at the ash content listed, and know that the higher the percentage, the more frequent your cleanings will be. Higher quality pellets will have lower ash percentages, and therefore less maintenance.

On top of research, another great way to choose a fuel is by talking to your fellow pellet-burners to see what they’re using and why. Of course, you won’t know what you like for your home and your budget until you run your own tests. But if you’re buying the cheapest pellets with lower heat and higher ash specifications – you shouldn’t expect the same results as the higher quality options available.

Woodpellets.com Blog5. Buy low-moisture firewood for your wood stove. Switching gears to wood stoves and fireplaces – the firewood you choose to burn is important. Jason explains, “No noise is good when burning your firewood. The crackling and popping you hear in a campfire is from excess moisture burning off – which you don’t want in your home.”

Too much moisture within wood doesn’t burn as hot, gives off useless steam when burning, and creates dangerous and flammable creosote buildup. A best practice when buying your firewood is to use a moisture meter to find out just how “seasoned” it is before you take it home. Wood burns the best when it’s been split, seasoned for at least 6 months, and is made up of less than 20% moisture.

 >> Read about wood bricks – the firewood alternative.

Just like with pellet stoves, your chimney and/or wood stove requires regular maintenance, and should be professionally cleaned at least once a year. Any special “logs” that claim to get rid of your creosote can be used, but should not take the place of a proper, extensive cleaning.

Enter your zip code at Woodpellets.com to see if Cleancare Professional Stove Cleaning is available in your area. 

 

Questions? You can always call 1-800-735-5387 to speak to a Woodpellets.com representative!

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