Post Content

Dan Hubbell Photo

Daniel Hubbell

Marketing & outreach intern, Department of Energy Resources (DOER)

View Dan's Bio

Some of my earliest memories revolve around standing in front of the cast iron stove in my living room, or helping my father find the wood to fill it on autumn days. Of course, as much fun as toasting myself in front of a roaring wood fire could be, it did not come anywhere close to heating our whole house for the winter. To do that would have required something a little more advanced, such as a wood pellet boiler. The concept isn’t a new one; more than a million pellet boilers have been installed in nations all across Europe. 

Sandri of Greenfield, MA, is providing this kind of clean energy heating in New England. Utilizing a $3.2 million High Performance Building Grant funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and administered by the Department of Energy Resources (DOER), the company launched a wood pellet sales and distribution pilot in 2011. It installed wood pellet boilers in six energy efficient residential homes and eight businesses and purchased two trucks to transport the pellets. In practical terms, the grant provided a $10,000 discount on the pellet boiler itself, as well as the added convenience of pellets delivered in bulk straight to the homeowner’s doorstep. Homeowners interested in financing the boiler could also qualify for the Mass Save zero interest HEAT loan to keep out of pocket costs down. Sandri boiler

So how do the boilers actually work? The principle is similar to my old wood stove – as it relies on locally sourced wood grown right here in New England – but is more automated, has much cleaner emissions,  and doesn’t require hunting around for kindling. In this case, the wood is mostly sawdust, taken from already harvested lumber and capable of burning at 90% efficiency or more. The pellets are fed automatically into the boiler. Ultimately, all the homeowner has to do is set the thermostat and remove a bit of ash from the boiler, usually every other week. The end result is far more impressive than a bit of ash however; one ton of wood pellets is the equivalent of a hundred and twenty gallons of heating oil, for roughly half the price. Sandri’s commitment to providing an alternative to oil based heating shows another glimpse into Massachusetts' bright clean energy future. Anyone interested in Sandri’s work or the boilers themselves can check out the company’s projects here.

Written By:

Recent Posts

Governor Baker Signs Comprehensive Energy Diversity Legislation posted on Aug 9

Governor Baker Signs Comprehensive Energy Diversity Legislation

Today, in a continued effort to stabilize electric rates, ensure a diversified energy portfolio for the Commonwealth, and embrace advanced technologies, Governor Charlie Baker signed comprehensive energy diversity legislation into law at the State House with Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, legislative leaders, and energy and   …Continue Reading Governor Baker Signs Comprehensive Energy Diversity Legislation

Daylighting: The Bright Way to Save posted on Feb 11

Daylighting: The Bright Way to Save

Have you ever noticed that lighting can change your mood, depending on whether it’s natural or artificial? Going beyond occupancy sensors, the right lighting mix can also reduce energy consumption and save homeowners and commercial building operators’ money by using natural light with coordinated design.   …Continue Reading Daylighting: The Bright Way to Save

CoFFEE Funds Sustain Greenfield Community College posted on Feb 2

CoFFEE Funds Sustain Greenfield Community College

Greenfield Community College (GCC) is the first Commonwealth facility to complete an energy efficiency project through the Commonwealth Facility Fund for Energy Efficiency (CoFFEE), a self-sustaining revolving loan program for state facilities. Through a partnership between the Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (DCAMM)   …Continue Reading CoFFEE Funds Sustain Greenfield Community College