The Department of Energy Resources has filed draft regulations for the Massachusetts Alternative Portfolio Standard (APS) in accordance with the Thermal Act of 2014. These long-awaited regulations define how renewable thermal energy, including biomass or wood heat, may qualify for thermal energy credits under the Alternative Portfolio Standard (APS). Such renewable energy credits for modern wood heat systems have the potential to encourage more use of locally-grown, sustainably produced wood for heating public and private buildings around the state.
MFA has strong concerns about:
- The complexity of the certifications required to show the wood was harvested sustainably,
- A prohibition from burning green chips, and
- A lack of strong support for stoves and boilers that burn cordwood.
DOER held hearings last week in Amherst and Boston on the proposed APS regulations and associated guidelines for the use of biomass for heating. We thank those of you who were able to attend one of the hearings and speak in favor of making renewable wood eligible for credits. If you weren’t able to attend and speak at the hearings, we encourage you to submit written comments by the June 30th deadline, particularly about items 1-3 above. (more…)