Canadian Biomass Magazine

Calculate the benefits of a new modern wood pellet boiler

March 23, 2018
By FutureMetrics

March 23, 2018 - Demand for premium wood pellets in the U.S. is dominated by households with wood pellet stoves. That is the opposite of some European nations such as Austria where the premium pellet sector is dominated by homes and businesses with pellet boilers (central heating systems).

The U.S. pellet stove market is based on pellets supplied in 40 pound bags. The growing U.S. pellet boiler market is based on bulk pellet delivery. Modern fully automatic pellet fuelled central heating systems do not require regular attention like pellet stoves because the pellet fuel is automatically delivered to the systems. Find a description of modern pellet boilers and the trucks that provide pneumatic bulk delivery here.

The northern New England states in the U.S., which are highly dependent on heating oil, have led the nation in the growth of pellet boiler installations. Recent policy in Massachusetts will increase this growth significantly.

Massachusetts is now one of just a few states in the U.S. that have added “thermal RECs” to their support for renewable energy. Just like a standard renewable energy certificate (REC), thermal RECs allow the producer of the renewable energy to accrue one REC for every MWh of heat (rather than electricity) produced. The RECs can then be sold to provide a new revenue stream for homes and businesses with pellet boilers.

Massachusetts also has a rebate program for modern pellet boilers that provides up to USD$16,500 for qualifying systems.


The REC and the rebate programs in Massachusetts make modern wood pellet boilers a very attractive choice for homes and businesses that are replacing their heating oil or propane central heating systems.

To illustrate this, FutureMetrics has produced a new dashboard. The dashboard shows the simple payback to the owner for the investment in the new pellet boiler system and shows the savings to the owner over the 30-year life of the system. The dashboard has several adjustable inputs to help the user see the results for different assumptions.

Link to the dashboard here.

This article is part of the Bioheat Week 2023. Read more articles about bioheat in Canada.

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