There's nothing like a wood fire on a cold night. Wood is a form of biomass. Biomass is energy that comes from living things, such as trees and plants [source: Biomass.net]. The energy from biomass is natural and renewable. The plants, or other organisms, absorb energy from the sun. Biomass heating systems take that stored energy and convert it into heat energy.
Biomass is sustainable and cheaper than fuel oil, propane and natural gas. Modern large-scale biomass systems burn clean. For example, a woodchip system emits fewer pollutants than a wood stove. Biomass systems do not produce as much carbon dioxide as fossil fuels. When burned, fossil fuels release carbon that was once trapped inside Earth. When biomass is burned, it releases only the carbon the plant would have released upon its death [source: Biomass Center]. Some schools, offices, commercial buildings and homes use modern biomass technology.
How much money can biomass energy save? In 2008, Wisconsin officials announced that the state's schools could save hundreds of thousands of dollars by switching from natural gas to biomass. They said that if schools switched from natural gas to wood biomass, heating bills would be reduced by between 29 and 57 percent. That translates into a savings of anywhere from $53,000 to $75,000 each year [source: Focus on Energy].