District Heat Montpelier is a joint project of the City of Montpelier and the State of Vermont to provide local renewable energy to downtown Montpelier. With the rebuilding of the state’s existing central heating plant in 2013 and 2014, modern wood-fired boilers heat the Capitol Complex and 21 buildings in downtown Montpelier including city and school buildings as well as private customers. District Heat rates are set every year at the beginning of the fiscal year and involve City Council approval.
Why District Heat?
The benefits of District Heat include:
Reduced health-threatening air emissions from fuel combustion in downtown Montpelier by as much as 11 tons per year.
Replacement of approximately 300,000 gallons of oil per year between the state and downtown buildings as a prime fuel source with locally/regionally produced wood chips keeping that economic activity in the northeast.
Fuel cost stabilization for city government and the school department allowing tax dollars to potentially be redirected toward services or infrastructure rather than to pay rising oil prices.
An economic development opportunity in downtown Montpelier by providing a cleaner and potentially cheaper source of heat for private building owners.
The removal of many private oil furnaces and underground fuel oil storage tanks to be removed from potential flood areas.
District Heat is looking to expand its service area and add customer hook-ups. The City is currently requesting congressional spending to support extending service lines. District Heat is also actively pursuing other grant funding opportunities to support these initiatives.
The City is exploring new underground pipe technologies to maximize efficiencies within the system. Additionally, the City is working with building owners and customers to maximize individual efficiencies in the system.