Accomplishments : Leveling the playing field
The Biomass Thermal Energy Council (BTEC) engages in government affairs advocacy and technical standards development to establish a level playing field for biomass thermal energy. BTEC also conducts education and outreach activities to provide policymakers, investors, media, and other stakeholders with accurate information on the benefits of using biomass for heat, combined heat and power (CHP), and other thermal applications.
BTEC works continually on a number of initiatives to expand markets for modern wood heating. Since being established in 2009, BTEC has demonstrated success in bringing biomass heating to the table, advancing technical codes and standards, and educating the general public about the benefits of heating with wood.
With the support of our members, we are leveling the playing field and bringing modern wood heating into the mainstream.
Click below to learn more about our past work!
- Offer dedicated technical support for the inclusion of biomass thermal fuels and technologies in building standards such as ASHRAE 189.1, the USGBC’s LEED program, and the Dept. of Energy’s Better Building’s Alliance.
- Formed a “Renewable Thermal Coalition” with solar thermal and geothermal advocates to ensure that federal agencies are able to count renewable heating and cooling sources toward federal energy mandates.
- Represented the biomass heat industry in a broad bioenergy coalition to recognize the carbon benefits of biomass in the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed biogenic emissions rulemaking.
- Drafted Best Management Practices (BMPs) for the safe delivery and storage of bulk wood pellet fuels and capturing the latest research on fuel safety.
- Through official comments and subsequent meetings, worked with the EPA to promulgate clear, reasonable, and relevant emissions test limits for high efficiency residential wood heaters.
- Supported the Environmental Protection Agency’s development of an inclusive U.S. Heat Metering Standard that works for biomass heating systems.
- Won mandatory funding for Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels for Advanced Biofuels Program (Sec. 9005) at $15 million/year, and is actively seeking a revision to the program’s inequitable payment formula. Joined coalition in support of mandatory funding for the Renewable Energy for America Program (REAP).
- Offered recommendations to the House and Senate Committees on Agriculture on structuring the 2012 Farm Bill to promote renewable thermal energy, rural economic growth, and energy independence.
- Secured supporting language on the role of biomass thermal energy in the White House Council on Environmental Quality’s greenhouse gas accounting guidance for federal facilities.
- Through coordinated advocacy and comments, obtained achievable emissions limits and wider use of work practice standards for commercial and industrial biomass boilers in the Environmental Protection Agency’s Boiler MACT rules for Area and Major Source Boilers.
- Worked with industry coalitions to secure a three year deferral on the regulation of biogenic emissions under the Environmental Protection Agency’s Prevention of Significant Deterioration Tailoring Rule for additional scientific study.
State and Regional
- Called for equitable treatment and consideration of biomass heating technologies in the State of Oregon’s renovation of government buildings.
- Offered recommendations for the State of Maryland to include renewable biomass thermal energy in the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS).
- Helped coordinate outreach and advocacy efforts to successfully amend New Hampshire’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) to include thermal renewable energy from biomass.
- Weighed in and supported the inclusion of thermal renewable energy in the Massachusetts Alternative Portfolio Standard (APS).
Congressional Biomass Caucus
- Led industry development and recruitment for members of the first Congressional Biomass Caucus, and have leveraged the group to hold numerous biomass thermal briefings.
Commercial/Industrial Biomass Heating Systems
- Introduction of S. 3352 – Expanding Industrial Energy and Water Efficiency Incentives Act of 2012 – Worked with Senate offices to craft a two-tiered Investment Tax Credit of 15 or 30% based on operating efficiencies for commercial and industrial biomass systems.
- Introduction of S. 1294 – Oil Independence for a Stronger America Act of 2011 – Would establish a renewable biomass thermal energy loan program for non-federal, commercial and commercial and multi-family residential buildings.
- Introduction of S. 1000 – Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act of 2011 – The bill would provide a suite of industrial energy efficiency tax incentives and revise federal energy purchase mandates to include thermal energy from biomass.
Residential Biomass Heating Systems
- Introduction of The Biomass Thermal Utilization Act – Guided state and national advocates in creating the bill language, pitching it to congressional champions, and building support for the incentive that would establish tax parity of up to a 30% credit for residential, commercial, and industrial biomass thermal equipment.
- Introduction of S. 1914 – Cut Energy Bills at Home Act – Bill to amend existing Internal Revenue Code Section 25 tax credit to provide a credit ($5,000 maximum) for performance based residential energy improvements, including improvements from biomass heating appliances.
- Introduction of H.R. 4230 – HOMES Act – The Bill would provide tax credits of up to $8,000 for whole home energy efficiency improvements, including eligible biomass thermal appliances.
Combined Heat and Power/Renewable Energy Credits
- Supported H.R. 4915 – POWER (Power, Efficiency, and Resiliency) Act of 2014 – The bill would increase the investment tax credit (ITC) for combined heat and power systems (CHP), and biomass would serve as an eligible fuel.
- Introduction of S. 2146 – Clean Energy Standard Act of 2012 – The bill would create a national clean energy mandate and also authorize a study on mechanisms to incorporate energy pathways that do not generate electric energy, including biomass converted to thermal energy.
- Insertion of amendment to American Clean Energy Leadership Act – Amendment would establish telescoping renewable energy credits for the useful electric and thermal output of biomass facilities. Credits awarded based on energy efficiency. If passed, this bill would for the first time establish renewable energy credits for thermal energy.
- Attracts nearly 50,000 views of the BTEC website annually, and reaches 7,000 biomass heating contacts per week through the “BTEC News” newsletter.
- Training HVAC installers on the principles of biomass hydronic heater system design through “BTEC University.”
- Received a $100,000 grant from the U.S. Forest Service to update and market the new Wood Energy Financial App, a simple online project calculator for potential commercial and institutional wood energy users.
- Signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to support the deployment of wood-to-energy systems and expanded research and recognition.
- Raising awareness and recognition of biomass thermal systems through the “Biomass Green Heat Registered Site Program” and support of the second annual “National Bioenergy Day.”
- Began research and industry outreach efforts with support from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) on the potential off-gassing of Carbon Monoxide from the bulk storage of wood pellets
- Led development of the inaugural Biomass Thermal DC Summit, including coordination of over 50 attendees from several biomass energy groups, scheduling 43 meetings with federal agencies and Members of Congress, support of a Biomass Briefing, and an evening Congressional Biomass Reception.
- Received a $70,000 grant from the U.S. Forest Service to conduct workshops to educate HVAC engineers and architects on commercial class biomass heating systems.
- Received a $60,000 grant from the U.S. Forest Service for education and outreach projects on biomass thermal energy, addressing biomass topics like air quality, commercial/industrial/residential applications, rural impacts, policy outlook, environmental commodities, and much more. These publicly available resources will include 15 webinars, 5 factsheets, 10 exclusive audio interviews, and a comprehensive presentation. Click here to read more.
- Held and co-hosted numerous Congressional briefings on biomass thermal energy. Read more.
- Organized first-ever session at RETECH conference on biomass thermal energy; participating in a keynote panel at the 2010 International Biomass Conference and Expo.
- Host of the Northeast Biomass Heating Expo (formerly the Heating the Northeast with Renewable Biomass Conference), the first conference in the Northeast focused on biomass thermal energy (www.nebiomassheat.com).
- Raised awareness for biomass thermal through regular features and articles in various energy publications, including Hardwood News, Biomass Power & Thermal Magazine (biomassmagazine.com), and Bioenergy International (bioenergyinternational.com).