Montpelier Weighs Downtown Heating District

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Voters in Vermont’s capital will decide Tuesday whether to build a new wood-fueled district heating system for its downtown.

Montpelier is one of several Vermont towns considering such projects, which are already used in some parts of Europe.

Backers see financial savings, reduced carbon emissions and a way to keep energy spending local. Critics see a big up-front expense, although Montpelier’s plan is being helped by state and federal grants.

Up for Tuesday’s vote is a $2.75 million bond issue, the city’s share of the $20 million cost of the project. The system would expand on a wood-fired district heating system that already serves the Vermont Statehouse and adjacent state office buildings.


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