As heating season begins, so are the use cost-effective energy heating sources- at least that’s the case in Caribou! The City is ready to put special wood pellet boilers into use at 4 main locations that are used on a regular basis; that’s expected to result in substantial savings over the long term.
Caribou City Manager Austin Bleess says, “We’ve lost about 52% of our revenue sharing in the last 4-5 years, we’re going to be losing more revenue sharing from the state again in 2014 these are definitely tough times financially for the city and for everybody, and we expect the state to continue to cut our revenue sharing and we need to make sure we’re doing everything we can to operate more efficiently.”
Wood Pellet boilers as a new primary heating source in some of Caribou’s main buildings are expected to help in a big way. Wood pellets are cheaper, environmentally friendly, and made from natural products that come from right here in Northern Maine. One Wood Pellet boiler is outside of Caribou City Hall and the others are at the Rec Center, the fire and ambulance department and the library.
Caribou City Manager Austin Bleess says, “The first year we’re expecting to save approximately $76,000 through the electrical and the heating savings, we’re getting pellets now for a little over $100 a ton delivered which is fairly cheap especially from other parts of the country.”
Construction on the actual project began last fall, and the boilers have physically been up since the spring. But they haven’t been ready to put to use until now.
Caribou City Manager Austin Bleess says, “In the past we’ve heated with fuel oil, fuel oil costs $3.70 a gallon right now, when we can heat with pellets it’s going to save us a lot of money.”
Since the wood pellets are manufactured here in Aroostook County, the money spent is going right into the County’s economy as well. The total cost of installing the wood pellet boilers came close to 1 million dollars and the Caribou City Manager says that cost will be paid for with the savings seen from the heating and electrical cost reductions.