Massachusetts invests $700,000 in woodstove rebate program

By Massachusetts Clean Energy Center | March 24, 2016

The Baker-Polito administration has announced a $700,000 investment in the Commonwealth Woodstove Change-Out Program, which provides rebates to homeowners who replace their older, inefficient woodstoves with cleaner, U.S. EPA-certified woodstove and pellet stove models that use less fuel and reduce energy costs.

“The Commonwealth Woodstove Change-Out Program ensures Massachusetts residents have access to cleaner, more cost-effective ways to heat their homes,” said Gov. Charlie Baker. “This is a smart investment that achieves real and immediate air quality benefits, including fewer cases of asthma and other health problems caused by smoke particulates.”

“Helping Massachusetts families replace inefficient, high-polluting woodstoves with new environmentally-friendly models will allow them to heat more effectively and improve the environment,” said Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito. “The program also provides greater incentives to low-income residents, ensuring all Commonwealth citizens can take advantage of this option to save money and protect their families’ health.”

“New, more efficient woodstoves will save homeowners money on wood costs, while improving public health and air quality,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “This popular program helps Massachusetts reduce our energy use and meet our ambitious greenhouse gas emissions goals under the Global Warming Solutions Act.”

Launched in 2012, the Commonwealth Woodstove Change-Out Program is administered by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protectionand the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources.

Energy and environmental officials today announced this most recent investment—which has previously helped more than 1,100 residents swap out their dirty, inefficient stoves for newer, cleaner models, with more than 400 of these rebates going to low- and moderate-income residents—during a tour of energy services company Sandri.

EPA-certified stoves on average require one-third less wood than older models to produce the same amount of heat, while releasing 70 to 90 percent less particulate matter, which has been shown to exacerbate health conditions like asthma, heart disease and lung cancer. Residents installing new stoves can expect to save an average of $6,000 over the lifetime of the stove. For every 100 older, non-EPA-certified models switched out for new stoves, the greenhouse gas emissions reductions are the equivalent of taking nearly 150 cars off the road annually.

“We’re pleased to continue helping Massachusetts homeowners save money by installing cleaner, efficient energy sources like these EPA-certified woodstove models,” said MassCEC Interim CEO Steve Pike.

“These woodstove rebates will continue to ensure residents have access to efficient heating technology that will reduce costs and emissions,” said DOER Commissioner Judith Judson.

“Emissions from old, inefficient woodstoves have a major impact on air quality and public health across the Commonwealth,” said MassDEP Commissioner Martin Suuberg. “This change-out program will help to cut pollution, especially in communities in central and western Massachusetts that rely on this heating source.”

In this year’s program, standard rebates will range from $500 to $1,500, depending on the emission levels and type of stove purchased, and from $1,500 to $2,500 for residents who meet certain income requirements.

“Due to high upfront costs, our working families are often unable to partake in green energy solutions which save money in the long run,” said State Senate President Stan Rosenberg (D-Amherst). “These incentives, particularly those targeted to low-income households, are an excellent way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save energy, and help put money back into the wallets of those who are struggling to make ends meet.”

“Homeowners now have a fantastic opportunity to replace their old woodstoves while taking advantage of the financial savings and environmental benefits,” said State Representative Thomas A. Golden, Jr. (D-Lowell), Chairman of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy.  “The Woodstove Change-Out Program is money well spent.”

“It’s great to see this continued commitment and collaboration in promoting conservation, energy efficiency, and reducing air pollution in our communities,” said State Representative Paul Mark (D-Peru).

To qualify for rebates, residents must have an operational, non-EPA-certified woodstove. To apply for a rebate, residents must visit a participating woodstove retailer, who will handle the rebate application process on the residents’ behalf. Residents can find a local participating woodstove professional by viewing the list of woodstove dealers who have registered to participate at .

Rebate applications will be accepted until at least August 22, with the deadline extending if funds remain available.

Funding for this year’s program comes from DOER’s Alternative Compliance Payments, MassCEC’s Renewable Energy Trust and MassDEP’s Inspection and Maintenance Trust.