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News stories tagged with "heating"

Smoke from an poorly controlled outdoor wood furnace. Photo: NYS DEC
Smoke from an poorly controlled outdoor wood furnace. Photo: NYS DEC

NY wants to help you buy a high efficiency wood furnace

Winter's still somewhat far off. But North Country residents who burn wood to heat their homes are already stacking cords for seasoning.

According to state figures, 3 percent of New Yorkers use wood as a primary source of heat, but that number jumps in the rural North Country. Fourteen percent of homes in St. Lawrence County use wood, 11 percent in Clinton County and 8 percent in Jefferson County.

Those numbers are higher than they used to be as more people have turned to wood as a renewable resource and to save money.

But older wood stoves and furnaces, even more recent outdoor wood boilers that have become very popular, are major sources of pollution, including tiny particles that are bad for the environment and people's lungs.  Go to full article
Catherine Matthews, director of the Canton food pantry. Photo: Canton Church and Community Program
Catherine Matthews, director of the Canton food pantry. Photo: Canton Church and Community Program

New program will help St. Lawrence County food banks keep shelves fuller

A new delivery method will help St. Lawrence County food banks keep their shelves full. The Food Bank of Central New York's new retail partnership program in St. Lawrence County will expedite donations from Walmart.

The idea is simple: to get food to the people who need it faster, in a year when the brutally cold weather has made it harder for people already struggling to make ends meet.  Go to full article
LIHEAP helps feed the monster in the basement. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/skewgee/5597260862/">Matthew Hurst</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
LIHEAP helps feed the monster in the basement. Photo: Matthew Hurst, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Schumer: Low-income heating aid boosted by $169M

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) Sen. Charles Schumer says federal funding for low-income heating assistance will increase by $169 million in the coming fiscal year, to a total of $3.4 billion.

Schumer had called on appropriators to increase funding in light of record low temperatures last week.  Go to full article
Then Chief Jim Ransom introducing CITGO officials in 2006. Photo: David Sommerstein.
Then Chief Jim Ransom introducing CITGO officials in 2006. Photo: David Sommerstein.

Story 2.0: Mohawks give thanks to Venezuela's Chavez

Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez is stirring up as much controversy after his death as he did during his life.

Chavez was a strident opponent of the United States. But he also helped many poor people, even in the U.S.

Republicans slammed New York Democrat Jose Serrano yesterday for praising Chavez on this point. Under Chavez, Venezuela's national oil company, CITGO, donated 200 million gallons of home heating oil to low income Americans, including to Mohawks in Akwesasne.

David Sommerstein reported on the program in 2006. He checks back in for our Story 2.0 series, where we revisit stories from the NCPR archive.  Go to full article
A windmill on a Crary Mills farm.  Photo:  Local Living Venture
A windmill on a Crary Mills farm. Photo: Local Living Venture

Preview: mini-energy fair in Canton

Small-scale renewable energy and energy efficiency are among the topics up for discussion at a mini-energy fair in Canton tomorrow. The Local Living Venture is sponsoring the event at Cooperative Extension's Learning Farm on Route 68.

Todd Moe spoke with co-organizer Chelle Lindahl, who says the event will include speakers, workshops and local vendors.  Go to full article
We measured the wood and it was very short. 50% less than we paid for.

Wood dealers selling short cords?

Record-setting snowfall and sub-zero temperatures in the Northeast have led to increased demand for firewood this heating season. There's also been an uptick in complaints by consumers who say they're getting less firewood than they pay for. As part of a collaboration with Northeast stations, WNPR's Diane Orson reports.

Northeast environmental reporting is made possible, in part, by a grant from United Technologies.  Go to full article
Outdoor furnace owners came to tell the DEC to leave them alone
Outdoor furnace owners came to tell the DEC to leave them alone

Residents slam new outdoor furnace rules

More than a hundred people came to the Department of Environmental Conservation's first public hearing last night in Watertown about outdoor wood furnaces. The DEC says the boilers are a significant source of air pollution and have never been regulated. It wants owners to replace old furnaces within ten years and erect higher chimneys to keep smoke away from neighbors. But the message in the room was nearly unanimous. People said the new rules are a major government intrusion and should be scrapped. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article
[photo: DEC]
[photo: DEC]

Outdoor furnace rules make current owners fume

Outdoor wood furnaces have become increasingly popular across the North Country. They can save homeowners more than a thousand dollars a year on heating costs. But they've also become a bigger source of air pollution and complaints from neighbors. The Department of Environmental Conservation wants to impose new regulations on outdoor furnaces. They include rules on boiler efficiency, chimney height, and what can be burned inside. As David Sommerstein reports, a provision to force owners to replace existing furnaces may be the most controversial.  Go to full article

Story 2.0: CITGO to suspend free fuel to Akwesasne?

A piece of news yesterday brings us the next installment of our new series, "Story 2.0". We're revisiting stories from the North Country Public Radio archive to see what's happened since. CITGO, the U.S. branch of the national oil company of Venezuela, is stopping shipments of free heating oil for poor families in America's cities. That word came yesterday from the non-profit organization that distributes the fuel. CITGO also donates free heating oil to native tribes, including the Akwesasne Mohawks. The company has given away $1.5 million in heating oil to Mohawk families. David Sommerstein was there in 2006 when CITGO began the program, sparking some geopolitical controversy.  Go to full article

Few winners, lots of losers in home heating oil market

The cost of home heating oil has confounded everyone this year. History dictates that prices follow demand: they drop in the summer and go up when it gets cold - and people need fuel to heat their homes. But this year, the cost per gallon peaked in mid-July. According to NYSERDA, the price of heating oil is at its lowest point of the year right now. This is good news for last-minute fuel buyers, but it's another financial mess for people who locked in a payment plan or bought all their oil over the summer. Keith Wells of Saranac Lake bought hundreds of gallons of fuel in July at $4.49 a gallon. Last week, the average price in the North Country fell to $2.83. Speaking with Brian Mann, Wells says he buys heating oil in bulk every summer. This is the first year, he says, when this strategy backfired - and cost him dearly.  Go to full article

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