House GOP leaders urge new wood heating programs

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Republican leaders in the Vermont House are urging that the state launch a new effort to promote installation of chunk wood and pellet wood stoves in Vermont homes, to stave off sharp increases in prices for fossil fuels.

The “Harvest Heat Initiative,” calls for the state Weatherization Program to install the stoves in homes that are receiving services from that program.

House Republican Leader Steve Adams of Hartland said chunk wood and pellets costs about half as much as heating oil under current prices. He says that could double the purchasing power of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which helps the needy buy heating fuels.

Adams also wants the Legislature next year to pass a retroactive repeal of the sales tax on wood pellet and wood stoves.

And the Republicans are proposing new incentives for companies that might want to manufacture wood pellets in Vermont.

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