Otten Steps Down as Pres of Pellet Fuels Association

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Otten will continue on the Board of Directors to secure for pellet fuels the same tax treatment as wind and solar energy residential installations. Read More...

MAINE PELLET FUELS ASSOCIATION ELECTS NEW OFFICERS, LES OTTEN BECOMES PAST PRESIDENT

For immediate release
September 21, 2009
Contact: Bill Bell, Executive Director

Portland, Maine - At their Second Annual Meeting, the Maine Pellet Fuels Association recognized the new industry’s many accomplishments and challenges, while electing Directors and officers for the coming two years. Association Co-Founder Les Otten, who is the owner of Maine Energy Systems, stepped down as President and was succeeded by George Soffron, CEO of Corinth Wood Pellets.  Dutch Dresser of Maine Energy Systems was elected Vice President; Jonathan Kahn of Geneva Wood Fuels in Strong, Maine, continues as the Association’s Secretary-Treasurer. 

The increased use of wood pellets for heating fuel in Maine was symbolized by the election of Tim Heutz, of Heutz Premium Pellets in Lewiston, to the MPFA Board of Directors. Heutz is part of the 75-year-old Heutz Oil family business in Lewiston, and also serves as a board member of the Maine Oil Dealers Association.  

Matt Bell of Northeast Pellets in Ashland was also elected as a new Director of the Maine Pellet Fuels Association.

Past-President Les Otten will continue on the Board of Directors to spearhead the industry’s efforts to secure for pellet fuels the same tax treatment as that presently accorded wind and solar energy residential installations. Senator Susan Collins has led successful passage of a consumer tax credit for installation of wood and pellet-burning stoves, and Senator Olympia Snowe has introduced legislation which will apply to pellet-fueled boilers and furnaces.

Another example of increased use of pellet fuel in Maine was the interest of the Association’s equipment-installation members, including ReVision Energy (Portland), New England Energy Solutions (Dexter), and Thayer Corporation (Auburn), along with Maine Energy Systems (Bethel) in achieving a strong voice on the new Maine Fuel Board, which was established by the Legislature earlier this year through a merger of the Maine Oil and Solid Fuel Board with the Propane and Natural Gas Board.

Following the formal meeting, the manufacturers held an informational session with Steve Walker, founder and CEO of New England Wood Pellet Co of Jaffrey, NH who set forth the safety and fire prevention lessons learned from his firm’s 19 years of operations. Also contributing to the discussion was John Arsenault, manager of the Energex pellet manufacturing firm in Lac Megantic, Canada, who noted that the Canadian industry has developed extensive codes and materials which he will be sharing with the Maine manufacturers. 

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