According to Green Mountain College's (GMC) official history, students living in the school's original academy building in 1837 were warmed by wood-burning stoves. Each student was responsible for toting wood up the stairs to his room in the evening, and each was required to keep a pail of sand nearby in the event of a fire.

The new combined heat and power (CHP) biomass plant will burn woodchips, and is projected to provide 85% of the school's heat and generate 20% of its electricity.