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Residential wood heat incentives trending

From Biomass Magazine, Aug 13, 2014

In New York and Massachusetts, residential wood heating incentives are on a roll, and the industry is beginning to see trends, according to John Ackerly, president of the Alliance for Green Heat.

Residential wood heat has risen dramatically in recent years, Ackerly said during an Aug. 6 Biomass Thermal Energy Council webinar, especially in Northeast and Great Lakes states. “In some cases, by 100 percent… incentive programs are guiding consumer purchasing and steering people to cleaner and more efficient appliances.” Read MORE

HPBA Responds to article in the Portland Tribune on wood smoke.

Portland Tribune, "Woodstoves may be as toxic as cigarettes" July 17, 2014, Written by Debra Taevs


HPBA Response

This article raises a number of interesting issues, but unfortunately ignores a number of facts (and fails to cite a lot of data referenced). EPA-certified stoves were actually created in Oregon, by the Oregon DEQ. In 2009, Oregon’s DEQ and the hearth industry worked together to pass a rule that requires any home being bought or sold in Oregon to not contain an old, pre­-certified stove (http://www.deq.state.or.us/aq/burning/woodstoves/heatSmart.htm).

The hearth industry supports the removal and destruction of these old stoves, and their replacement, with anything that is cleaner, such as EPA-certified wood, pellet, or gas burning hearth products. The issue for the state of Oregon is that hundreds of thousands of homes not located in urban centers are heated by electricity and are often supplemented by wood heat. Most of these woodstoves are still the old, un-certified types and, as EPA says on their Burn Wise website, “changing out one old dirty, inefficient woodstove is equivalent to the particulate matter reduction of taking 5 old diesel trucks off the road” (http://www.epa.gov/burnwise/index.html).

The author, and anyone interested, need to read the legal action that Oregon was a part of (http://www.epa.gov/ogc/NOIdocuments/113cv1553_Complaint.pdf). The author implies that the lawsuit was related to the effectiveness of EPA-certified stoves, when in fact it concerned EPA’s failure to update the rule for these products every eight years, as required by the Clean Air Act of 1990.

The good news is that thousands of Oregonians, especially those who live outside the Portland area, have upgraded their old un-certified woodstoves to the EPA certified models, some with the help of Oregon’s DEQ or Lane Country Air incentive programs, and some with the help of Oregon’s Renewable Energy Tax Credit (http://www.oregon.gov/ENERGY/CONS/Pages/res/tax/HVAC-Biomass.aspx). These families continue to save money on home heating, while doing their part to reduce the levels of smoke in their neighborhoods.

Six HPBA members receive “Best of HomeAdvisor” award

HPBA’s lead retrieval service partner, HomeAdvisor, recently announced their “Best of HomeAdvisor” award recipients.  Out of over 80,000 service professionals on their roster, about 1,500 won the award.  Six of those recipients are members of HPBA.  Albany Stoves from Oregon made the list. Congratulations! The award recognizes HomeAdvisor’s top-rated professionals who provide superior quality, service and value. Click HERE to See the release.

From Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association, March 19, 2014

HPBA Urges Thoughtful Review of Proposed NSPS Standards
Proposed EPA standards will mean higher costs, uncertain benefits and slowed clean air progress

Arlington, VA (March 19, 2014) – The Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA) reinforced its position regarding the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for Residential Wood Heaters. Recent media reports have suggested erroneously that the proposed regulations would ban woodstoves and wood-burning altogether. Though HPBA supports revisions to the NSPS, the association reaffirmed that the proposed regulations, even as written, would not outlaw these appliances.

“Both the industry and EPA share the common goal of making further progress in reducing particulate loadings. It is good for our health and our businesses. But the proposal simply does not make reasonable data-driven conclusions on how best to tackle the issue,” said Jack Goldman, President & CEO of HPBA. 

Ironically, these proposed standards will have the perverse effect of slowing clean air progress.  If the standards are promulgated as written, the increase in cost for new woodstoves will be significant, compelling consumers to keep their old stoves in use. Today, over 6 million free standing stoves in operation are pre-1992, high polluting stoves.  The best thing that can happen for cleaner air is for every one of these stoves to get replaced as quickly as possible. 

According to Goldman, “In addition to downplaying the effects on the consumer,  EPA has failed to provide any data showing that any of our manufacturer members can meet the new regulations as proposed. The testing procedure to measure emissions is imprecise and does not reflect real world performance.  Competing in this numbers game will cause smaller companies to go out of business. Innovation will suffer and consumers will bear the burden of the costs with no guarantee of cleaner air.”

HPBA acknowledged the proposal will not outlaw or ban old or new wood burning appliances. But, the association urged EPA to establish reasonable regulations that will ensure that consumers who rely on wood heat can use their appliances for years to come.


To download and read the entire EPA Proposal, click this link: http://www2.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2014-01/documents/proposedrule.pdf.

From The Register Guard, Eugene, Ore. Feb 24, 2016, Federal wood-stove rule spawns rural outcry. Click HERE to read the article. 

From Green News, January 30, 2014, EPA Wood Stove Bans Include 80 Percent Of Burners Now On The Market. Click HERE to read the article.


Retailers and reps will be able to learn more about this package at the special education session that will be at HPBExpo on Friday, March 7. In the meantime, HPBA will keep its members up to date on any further developments.

From Oregon Dept. of Energy, Dec. 30, 2013

The Oregon Department of Energy filed permanent rules for the Residential Energy Tax Credit program today. The rule amendments go into effect January 1, 2014. The permanent rules reduce the solar photovoltaic incentive rate and rework the incentive calculation for wood and pellet stoves. The rule also updates rule language to disallow receiving multiple incentives from the department and defines a single system. For solar photovoltaic projects, the rules require a retail-pricing breakout for material and labor/installation.

For more information about this rulemaking visit the Oregon Department of Energy online at: http://www.oregon.gov/energy/CONS/Pages/Rulemaking-RETC.aspx

From NW Watchdog, Nov 28, 2013  "Oregonians could face new wood stove regulations"

From The Oregonian (Oregon Live), "Oregon Fire Marshall Offers Safety Tips"

From Herald and News, Klamath Falls, Nov. 11, 2013, "Clearing the Air Over Wood Stove Smoke"

From The Roseburg News Review, Nov. 4, 2013, By Christina George, "Oregon Joins Other States in Taking EPA to the Woodshed" Note: it is not accurate that HPBA has joined the lawsuit, that is an error by the reporter.

OHPBA Statement Regarding Wood Stove Regulations

The hearth industry, both at the national level and in Oregon, was not surprised by this news. The purpose of the lawsuit, as indicated in the release itself, is to call attention to the apparent lack of progress by the EPA on revising woodstove emission standards. The facts are that the EPA has been in the process of drafting new standards through a process called "NSPS" for several years - they are hardly doing nothing about it. In addition, our industry has been instrumental in assisting the EPA and its partners in helping draft new standards that will eventually result in lower emissions for new models of wood and pellet stoves. Also, NSPS rules will promulgate heating efficiencies associated with wood and pellet stoves which will help consumers make educated choices on hearth appliances.

However, this press release will cause consumers to question whether wood and pellet stoves will be legal at all in the future. That is extremely misleading. Biomass energy is part of the solution to our country's energy needs, along with wind, solar, wave energy, hydropower, and geothermal energy.

We feel the most cost way to reduce emissions from woodstoves is to target the uncertified, older stoves that are already in people's homes. These stoves put out dramatically more particulate matter than newer stoves. In addition, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality should put more effort into enforcing the woodstove laws that we already have; primarily by go after people who illegally sell uncertified stoves.

It will cost the hearth products industry millions of dollars to meet the proposed standards that are likely coming our way. What's more, consumer choice will also be reduced dramatically which is a significant burden especially for people in rural areas who rely on relatively inexpensive biomass heat.   

EPA Proposes Clean Air Standards -

Release Date: 06/15/2012

WASHINGTON – In response to a court order, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today proposed updates to its national air quality standards for harmful fine particle pollution, including soot (known as PM2.5). These microscopic particles can penetrate deep into the lungs and have been linked to a wide range of serious health effects, including premature death, heart attacks, and strokes, as well as acute bronchitis and aggravated asthma among children. A federal court ruling required EPA to update the standard based on best available science. Today’s proposal, which meets that requirement, builds on smart steps already taken by the EPA to slash dangerous pollution in communities across the country. Thanks to these steps, 99 percent of U.S. counties are projected to meet the proposed standard without any additional action.

EPA’s proposal would strengthen the annual health standard for harmful fine particle pollution (PM2.5) to a level within a range of 13 micrograms per cubic meter to 12 micrograms per cubic meter. The current annual standard is 15 micrograms per cubic meter. The proposed changes, which are consistent with the advice from the agency’s independent science advisors, are based on an extensive body of scientific evidence that includes thousands of studies – including many large studies which show negative health impacts at lower levels than previously understood. By proposing a range, the agency will collect input from the public as well as a number of stakeholders, including industry and public health groups, to help determine the most appropriate final standard to protect public health. It is important to note that the proposal has zero effect on the existing daily standard for fine particles or the existing daily standard for coarse particles (PM10), both of which would remain unchanged.

Woodstove Changeout Wraps Up in Lane County

Lane County recently completed a woodstove changeout program. The effort was successful in reducing particulate emissions by over 10 tons per year. According to Lne Regional Air Pollution Authority (LRAPA) 79 woodstoves were replaced in Oakridge and 137 in Eugene, Springfield and Cottage Grove.

Media Information

For media inquiries in Oregon on wood stoves, pellet stoves contact
Harvey Gail, Executive Director 503-585-8254

For national trends in woodstoves, pellet stoves, barbecues and outdoor living contact Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association

For questions about chimney safety, chimney cleaning or related issues contact Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA)

For information about the grill business see the 2012 State of the Barbecue Industry Report from the Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association

OHPBA, PO Box 135, Salem, OR 97308-0135, 503-585-8254, www.ohpba.org

Affiliated with Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association, Arlington, VA  www.hpba.org

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