It's a cold winter's day in the University of Vermont's Jericho research forest, but the discussion amongst the group there is heating up over how trees are being used to heat schools across the state. More than 30 Vermont schools are relying on wood chips as their primary heating source. Wood chip heating systems saved Vermont taxpayers an estimated $760,000 in energy costs during the 2005-2006 heating season.
Emily Schadler, a student at the University of Vermont, says there also other benefits. "I think too schools are starting to feel their students are more aware of climate change and peak oil and those things are happening, so I think people are definitely thinking about it in those terms too."
UVM Professor David Brynn adds, "One of the other things is if you use wood, that's used local, that money stays circulating in the community as opposed to fossil fuels, it's gone."
Middlebury College is the latest Vermont school to break ground on a biomass energy plant. The $11 million facility is expected to be up and running by next fall. Mount Mansfield Union High School in Jericho is one of several Vermont high schools that are already heated by wood chips, saving the district thousands of dollars in heating costs each year
Using biomass, or wood chips, does present challenges. The infrastructure is expensive, which means it's currently not practical for homes or small businesses. There's also currently a lack of supply, because very few companies harvest trees solely for wood chips, but the group is confident that that may soon change, and trees in Vermont forests will be heating homes and businesses across the country.
Sunday, March 9 2014 9:53 AM EDT2014-03-09 13:53:41 GMT
When the Wild Center in Tupper Lake was looking at maple education programs, they hit a bit of a snag. "I took a survey of the 31 acres here at the museum and we only had one maple tree on the property,"More >>
The Community Maple program has been going for three years now, allowing people to take the sap from their backyard and learn how to turn it into syrup.
Sunday, March 9 2014 9:44 AM EDT2014-03-09 13:44:12 GMT
We've got some tasty ideas for this second Sunday in March! PANCAKE BREAKFAST This year is the 20th annual Franklin Fire Dept. Pancake breakfast at the Franklin Central School. They serve more than 2,000More >>
We've got some tasty ideas for this second Sunday in March!More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 8:08 AM EDT2014-03-09 12:08:24 GMT
This morning, Channel 3 has learned there will NOT be a bus strike Monday morning in Chittenden County. CCTA officials told us in a statement that after 19 hours of negotiations that went into the morningMore >>
This morning, Channel 3 has learned there will NOT be a bus strike Monday morning in Chittenden County.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 9:49 PM EST2014-03-09 02:49:49 GMT
The Burlington Yoga Conference began Saturday at UVM's Davis Center. The event gives participants a chance to connect the mind body and soul through workshops they may not have access to on a daily basis.More >>
The Burlington Yoga Conference began 6 years ago and has become a staple in the community.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 9:29 PM EST2014-03-09 02:29:17 GMT
A warning for pet owners in our region. Coyotes are on the prowl. A biologist in New Hampshire says he has received more than 10 calls recently, in the Keene, New Hampshire area, for a deer that was takenMore >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 9:21 PM EST2014-03-09 02:21:44 GMT
As spring approaches, many Vermont homeowners prepare to work on their houses - so they head to the Burlington Home Show. And many Vermont small business owners - with their products and services on displayMore >>
Many business owners at the Burlington Home Show say the new health care system in Vermont is helpful, but some say it's causing a real headache.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 8:07 PM EST2014-03-09 01:07:08 GMT
A rally at the State House in Montpelier Saturday. A passionate group of dozens of women, and men, assembled in front of the State House Saturday for the Women's March for Dignity. They were demandingMore >>
Women's March for Dignity say they are demanding lawmakers support paid sick day policies for all workers.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:21 AM EST2014-03-08 15:21:27 GMT
Two firefighters are recovering from minor injuries. They were injured while fighting a at the Bennett Farm on Route 15 on the Johnson-Cambridge town line. The fire started in a shed around 7:30 FridayMore >>
Two firefighters are recovering from minor injuries.More >>