October 16, 2019

MassCEC Brings the Heat with the 2019 Woodstove Change-Out Program

Kristen Chen – Clean Heating & Cooling Fellow

This spring, MassCEC’s Woodstove Change-Out Program fired up for its eighth round since the program’s launch in 2012. In 2019, MassCEC awarded almost $480,000 to 248 homeowners, helping finance the switch from antiquated, polluting, non-EPA certified woodstoves to their cleaner, EPA-certified counterparts. Upgrading an old woodstove to an EPA-certified wood or pellet stove can significantly reduce particulate and greenhouse gas emissions, providing better air quality and environmental benefits. EPA-certified stoves also have higher efficiency ratings, allowing homeowners to reduce wood consumption and ultimately drive down heating costs.

To make cleaner woodstoves accessible to all Massachusetts homeowners, the program reserved $288,000 for income-eligible applicants. Homeowners that earn less than 80% of the State Median Income were eligible for an additional $1,500 incentive. We were pleased to see the ample participation of low-income homeowners in the program – 42% of this year’s awarded rebates were income-based, compared to 34% in 2018!

 

The program also offered an efficiency adder of $500 for wood stoves and $750 for pellet stoves that have completed EPA-approved efficiency testing (with a rating of at least 65%). About 78% of projects included the efficiency adder, up from 48% in 2018.

 

Stove professionals have also enjoyed an increase in the volume of wood and pellet stove installations by partaking in our program. Whately-based business The Fire Place has participated in the program since it was established. This year, they completed 65 woodstove change-outs through our program. “There are many customers in our area really wanting to do the right thing and get a better, cleaner burning, and safer stove for their home, but many just need the help financially to make that happen,” says The Fire Place manager Vicki L’Abbee. “Our business has been very successful with the Woodstove Change-Out Program, and now it has become one of the most talked about programs that we have ever offered.”

We are thankful for the positive feedback on the Woodstove Change-Out Program and hope to continue helping Massachusetts homeowners switch out their old stoves. Please sign up for email updates here and check the “Clean Heating & Cooling” box if you would like to be notified about whether the program will be renewed for another round in Spring 2020.