Environment New Hampshire
The Union Leader
Nancy Bean Foster

GREENFIELD- An organization designed to help disabled clients achieve independence is trying to curb its own dependence on fossil fuels so that less money can be spent on heat and more can be spent on helping the people it serves.

With a grant from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), the Crotched Mountain Rehabilitation Center recently replaced a failing steam heat system with a state-of-the art hydronic central heating system that uses wood chips harvested locally from New Hampshire forests, according to Jessica O’Hare of Environment New Hampshire.

Crotched Mountain Rehabilitation Center offers people who have traumatic brain injuries or are suffering from diseases such as multiple sclerosis an opportunity to regain mobility and independence.

Through the energy project, which was funded through a $75,000 matching grant from RGGI, Crotched Mountain Rehabilitation Center has eliminated the use of more than 25,000 gallons of oil per year and is now burning wood chips that equal around 6,000 gallons of oil annually.

“Our residents now enjoy comfortable, regulated heat, from an efficient system fueled by wood from a nearby family-run business,” said Crotched Mountain Chief Operating Officer Michael Redmond.

“By switching from oil to biomass, we’ve also reduced greenhouse gas and other harmful emissions. This is important given the fragile health conditions of our patients,” he said.