Vermont’s Constitution staying warm with wood heat

The bitter arctic cold snap that hit this month has many Vermonters thinking about keeping their homes and businesses warm with wood and pellet stoves, but did you know that the Vermont State Archives, home to the Constitution, is also heated with wood? Last fall the Department of Buildings and General Services (BGS) replaced the aging boilers in the State Archives in Middlesex with two new automatic Froling wood pellet boilers. This heat plant will use regionally sourced pellets to provide heat to the building that houses vital records, including the State’s constitution. It is the first part of an efficiency overhaul at the archives. The new boilers will displace 180 metric tons of CO2 equivalents annually, that’s equivalent to taking 38 cars off the road! The State will also save nearly $40,000 each year by switching from oil to pellets.

The project is one of many energy-saving initiatives implemented through the State Energy Management Program and made possible through a partnership between the BGS Energy Office and Efficiency Vermont. It was funded with a $78,000 grant from the Clean Energy Development Fund and through a unique energy revolving loan fund managed by the BGS Energy Office that uses savings from efficiency projects to repay the loans.

According to Peter Hooper, BGS Electrical Engineer and the project manager overseeing the Archives project, “Not only will this project save Vermonters over $1 million over its lifetime, it also represents Vermont’s energy future. This project directly aligns with the Governor’s goals – it demonstrates the State’s action towards improving Vermont’s economy by creating demand for local wood energy and it improves affordability by reducing the operational cost of State government.”