WIUM Local
4:06 pm
Thu November 8, 2012

New Survey Looks at Using Bio-mass to Heat Homes

Bio-fuels are usually associated with cars. But a grant could help promote other uses for it.

The Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs received nearly 100-thousand dollars from the Department of Agriculture to help expand use of bio-mass for home heating.

Fred Iutzi with the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs
Fred Iutzi with the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs
Credit Western Illinois University

The Institute’s Fred Iutzi  says the money will allow the center to examine why homeowners make the decision to use biomass heating.  He says rural users may be attracted by the price which is usually lower than Liquid Petroleum or other fuels they currently use.

Urban Customers on the other hand are more attracted to it's environmental benefits and unlike wind or solar sources, Iutzi says it's more reliable.  He says most who currently heat their homes with biomass use conventional “round wood” stoves. 

He says furnace and bio-mass pellet producers could use the data from the survey to market furnaces that use crop residue and switch grass.