Wood pellet system mulled for town hall
WILTON – Town Hall needs a new heating system, and selectmen are recommending a change to wood pellets.
An article for $117,900 will be placed on the warrant for Town Meeting in March. The purchase of the new system is contingent on receiving a rebate from the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission. Such rebates are usually about $25,000. The rebate will be applied for in February.
Selectmen discussed the project several meetings ago, and met Monday, Dec. 28, with Doug Waitt, of Design Day Mechanical, to get information and final figures. Two members of the town’s Energy Committee, Alison Meltzer and John Shepardson, were also present. Both support the new system.
Shepardson said the current system is "about 10 years old, but it looks 50, with some rust. It’s in lousy shape."
Selectman Kermit Williams said there have been "problems with heat control," some rooms hotter than others, and asked, "What would we gain with this new system?"
Waitt said the pellet system is rated at about "80 percent efficiency" and would provide better control, adding the town could realize a 25 percent increase in efficiency and yearly savings of between $1,100 and $1,400. He said those were "conservative numbers."
Waitt also pointed out the environmental impacts: The pellets are locally grown and produced using local labor (which can’t be said for oil); trees are a renewable resource; the pellet industry is well-regulated and promotes sustainable forestry.
"The carbon produced (by the system) is reabsorbed by the trees that produce it," he said.
In his study, Waitt used the winter of 2011-12: how much oil was used, its cost and how many BTUs were produced. "I can see a 25 percent improvement," he said.
Selectmen said the purchase would add about 30 cents to the tax rate.