If you follow my monthly column, you’ve probably noticed my big push lately for us to switch away from fossil fuel heat, such as oil and gas, in favor of modern wood heat like wood pellets. I believe that the state of Maine is, in large part, missing a huge opportunity to impact our local economy and livelihood by switching to homegrown heat.

Yes, I know there has been a big push, by the state, for solar to power heat pumps, but the sun doesn’t shine at night when homes have the highest need for heat. There is another way to take advantage of solar energy 24 hours per day — wood pellets.

Trees are nature’s own solar collection and storage units, and modern wood pellet heating is a good way to take advantage of it. Not only that, but responsible timber harvesting that feeds the local pellet industry helps property owners justify keeping their woodlots as woodlots, rather than developing them for other uses.

Solar farms are great, in moderation, and they may be ideal for charging you EV, but they cannot compete with a working forest when it comes to a combination of absorbing and storing solar energy while feeding and sheltering wildlife. And few would deny that a working forest is a much more pleasing sight.

So, my advice is, the next time you need to add or replace a heating device, consider wood pellet heat. And, oh yeah, make sure the wood pellets you purchase were manufactured in Maine.

Robert Fogg is general manager of Naples-based Q-Team Tree Service, a licensed arborist, and a Maine Pellet Fuels Association board member. He can be contacted at [email protected]

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