March 1, 2017



Dear Aaron: 

Last week, I attended a meeting of strategic partners of the US Forest Service with other biomass industry groups to discuss priorities for the coming year. I was energized by these discussions because of the opportunity BTEC has to address market barriers and mitigate the regional impacts of low fuel prices and weather. Our strategic partners are ready to assist us in passing the BTU Act, achieving tax parity with other renewable energy technologies, and creating a positive narrative around biomass.

I am also pleased to report that, after attending my first meeting of the ASHRAE National Capital Chapter, I am confident that the engineering community can become an important stakeholder group for our industry. David Bancroft, our new Technical Engagement Manager, will be making a presentation to the chapter about biomass thermal technology in commercial and institutional buildings next month. Please read his introductory message below and welcome him to BTEC.


Jeff Serfass





Welcome Message from David Bancroft,
Technical Engagement Manager


Hi all. It is great to be on board at BTEC, and everyone has been so warm and welcoming.

Just to give you a little background, I was one of the pioneers in biomass thermal back in the 1980s. I founded and managed the US Department of Energy's Great Lakes Regional Biomass Energy Program GLRBEP) from 1983-1988. The GLRBEP had a 40-member technical advisory committee including industry representatives from the National Wood Energy Association and the Fiber Fuels Institute. The GLRBEP funded the installation of wood energy systems in government, institutional, and commercial facilities across a seven-state Midwestern region. In addition, it provided public information such as guidebooks on wood energy conversion, case studies on the technical and financial parameters of biomass, and state biomass energy facility guides.


In the 1990s, I relocated to Washington DC, and was staff to the National Bioenergy Industries Association and served as a liaison on the biofuels work being conducted at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.


My background extends beyond the renewable energy field and includes executive management and fundraising for numerous environmental organizations, including the Council of Great Lakes Governors, the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, Organic Voices Action Fund/Just Label It, and US Healthful Foods Council.


My initial challenges at BTEC will be to jump-start several technical programs that the organization has been pursuing, including:

-Completing the Commercial Thermal Efficiency Protocol, the first US efficiency test standard for commercial-sized biomass boilers

 -Assisting in the development of a US ANSI woodchip standard, along with other industry stakeholders and led by the Biomass Energy Resource Center

-Seeking to include biomass thermal in green building standards such as those promulgated through ASHRAE and the US Green Buildings Council

-Completing and training users in the Wood Energy Financial Calculator, an online prefeasibility tool to give facility managers estimates of the cost and energy


Long-term, I hope, with other key staff, to bring in additional members and funding to BTEC, and help to grow the influence of BTEC in the industry, and with our government partners. I am glad to be part of the successful BTEC team!



Policy and Government Affairs Update 


Updates provided by Pat Rita >> of Orion Advocates

View policy information and legislative factsheets on BTEC's Policy Issues page >>
Join BTEC >> to receive the full update

Farm Bill

The Forests in the Farm Bill Coalition and its working groups are preparing for the expected reauthorization of the Farm Bill in 2018. BTEC representatives serve on the Growing Jobs and Economy Working Group, and in this role, we will focus on improving and enhancing Energy Title programs that could benefit the industry.



Senators Collins (R-ME) and King (I-ME) will again lead on introducing the Biomass Thermal Utilization (BTU) Act in the Senate. As a reminder, the BTU Act would provide an investment tax credit for high-efficiency biomass thermal energy systems. In the House, Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA), has been contacted about leading the lower chamber's BTU Act effort. Kelly sits on the influential Ways & Means Committee, and represents an area of the state populated by hardwood sawmills.

We expect both the House and Senate bills to be introduced late in the first quarter.



Welcome to BTEC's New Members and Associates!


  • TNT Ventures LLC            
  • University of British Columbia    
  • Michigan Department of Environmental Quality
  • Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
  • Murray State University    



Featured Testimonial



"Restoration Renaissance: A New Paradigm in John Day"
Marcus Kauffman, Oregon Department of Forestry
Dan Bihn, Bihn Communications LLC

Click the image above to see how biomass thermal energy helped revitalize a small town.
Send your biomass success stories to Aaron Aber >>



Committee and Working Group Meetings


2017 monthly committee call schedules have been set!
The Policy Committee will meet the last Friday of each month at 3:00 PM ET.
The Strategic Communications Working Group will meet the third Friday of each month at
12:00 PM ET.

Become a member >> to join these calls, access meeting minutes, and influence the industry discussion in Washington and across the country.



Events, Conferences, and Webinars
To access a full list of upcoming industry events with descriptions and links to register, join BTEC >>




View the developing agenda >>

Contact Vera Medici >> or Aaron Aber >> for more information on
exhibiting, co-hosting, or media partnerships.



New to this Newsletter


Hydronics for High Efficiency Biomass Boilers
March 30, 2017
HVCC TEC-SMART, Malta, New York 12020

National Energy & Utility Affordability Coalition
June 26-28, 2017
Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Wood Pellet Association of Canada 2017 AGM & Conference
September 18-20, 2017
Ottawa Marriott Hotel, Ottawa, Canada



Happening this Week


International Biomass Conference & Expo

Early Bird Registration rates end March 1!

European Pellet Conference 2017
March 1-2, 2017
Stadthalle, Pollheimerstrasse 1, 4600 Wels, Austria

HPBExpo 2017
March 1-4, 2017
George World Congress Center, Atlanta, Georgia

"HPBExpo attracts thousands of distributors and retailers-your potential partners and customers-that live and breathe the indoor-outdoor lifestyle. Representing specialty to mass market, these professionals spend three days steeped in the newest products and trends that ultimately transform their passion into sales."

2017 PFI Breakfast & Biomass at HBPExpo 2017
March 3, 2017; 7:30 - 9:00 AM ET
Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta, Georgia
"Join PFI at HPBExpo for a breakfast event that brings together pellet manufacturers, retailers, suppliers and others from the pellet industry. Hear about latest trends in the pellet industry while networking with colleagues across the sector. Registration for Breakfast & Biomass includes a full breakfast. The event is open to all attendees of HPBExpo."



Industry News


New report challenges wood biomass' carbon neutrality
Timber Trade Journal

"A new Chatham House report is challenging the carbon neutral position of wood biomass."

"The 'Impacts of the Demand for Woody Biomass for Power and Heat on Climate and Forests' has made a number of recommendations to policymakers including reviewing subsidies paid to power stations for burning certain types of wood biomass and the need for full analysis of the impacts of burning wood at the point of combustion and from collection, processing and transport."

REA corrects inaccuracies in Chatham House biomass report
Renewable Energy Association, Biomass Magazine

This article responds to the claims made in "The Impacts of the Demand for Woody Biomass for Power and Heat on Climate and Forests." It focuses on issues of carbon neutrality, forest management, US forest stock, feedstocks, and displacement of other renewable energy technologies that were inaccurately and misleadingly portrayed in the report. Read the rebuttal >>

Join BTEC >> to have your organization's story featured in our weekly newsletter



Contact Us

Executive Director

202-596-3974 x 312

David Bancroft
Technical Affairs
202-596-3974 x 304

Aaron Aber

Communications and Operations

202-596-3974 x 302


Program Director

202-596-3974 x 360


Events Coordinator

202-596-3974 x 322

BTEC staff page >>

BTEC Activities


·  Policy and Government Affairs

·  Technical and Regulatory Affairs

Working Groups

·  Thermal-Led CHP

·  Wood Chip Standard

·  Commercial Thermal Efficiency Standard

·  High Performance Buildings

·  DOE Better Buildings Alliance

·  Thermal Storage

·  Biochar

·  Pellet Storage

·  Strategic Communications

Regional Networks

·  Northeast

·  Mid-Atlantic

·  Midwest

·  West

Participate by signing up today!



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Special Thanks to BTEC's Sustaining Members


Forest Energy Corporation

New England Wood Pellet




The Biomass Thermal Energy Council (BTEC) advances the sustainable use of wood and agricultural biomass for clean, efficient heat and combined heat and power to meet America's energy needs and strengthen local economies.


By 2025, the use of sustainable wood and agricultural biomass for thermal (heating and cooling) and combined heat and power (CHP) is a mainstream energy choice. Residential, commercial, institutional, and industrial customers choose it as an affordable, clean, efficient, and carbon beneficial alternative to fossil fuels. Distributed energy from biomass thermal/CHP provides reliability and resiliency to America's energy infrastructure, and efficient use of biomass resources. Policies at the local, state, regional, and federal levels support thermal/CHP from biomass equally with respect to other renewable sources of energy. Thermal/CHP from biomass enables sustainable land and resource management, and provides improved soil and forest health, improved water and air quality, and reduced wildfire risks. Thermal/CHP from biomass drives local job growth and economic vitality across America's rural and urban communities.

Do you know anyone who would benefit from BTEC membership? Share our mission and vision >>