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State again offers wood stove rebates

Wendy Zadworny of the Fire Place in Whately can tell you all about wood and pellet stoves. Recorder/Paul Franz

Wendy Zadworny of the Fire Place in Whately can tell you all about wood and pellet stoves. Recorder/Paul Franz Purchase photo reprints »

WHATELY ­— The state is preparing to spend $1 million to help residents replacing inefficient wood stoves with healthier, higher-efficiency models.

The program, first launched as a pilot last winter, provides vouchers of $750 or $2,000 to Massachusetts residents looking to trade in their existing non-U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-certified stoves for models that use less wood and release less pollution into the air.

State Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rick Sullivan made the announcement at The Fire Place in Whately, which redeemed the most vouchers of any retailer in the state under the pilot program. In total, last year’s pilot program helped replace more than 450 old, inefficient stoves.

The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, which is administering the program, is accepting applications until March 4, at which time properly completed applications will be evaluated and qualified for vouchers. Low-income residents who provide proof of enrollment in the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, MassHealth or Women, Infants and Children are eligible for a $2,000 rebate, while other Massachusetts residents are eligible for a $750 rebate.

Wendy Zadworny, who works at The Fire Place, which redeemed more than 120 vouchers last year, said the store tried to price so that the vouchers would pay for nearly the entire stove cost. She said that a lot of stoves are less than 60 percent efficient, but that eligible stoves must be at least 75 percent efficient and also meet Environmental Protection Agency standards for low particulate emissions.

The lack of an ERA label on the back of the stove is the best indication that a stove may be eligible for replacement.

To qualify, residents must have an existing wood stove to trade in and must receive approval for a rebate before purchasing the wood stove. Wood stoves purchased before a rebate is awarded are not eligible for the program. Residents can apply for a voucher by submitting a paper application or online application. Access the online application, and more information on the program, by visiting www.masscec.com/woodstove.

Once an application is approved, MassCEC will issue a voucher that can be redeemed at any participating wood stove dealer in Massachusetts for a discount on the retail price of the stove. MassCEC will then reimburse retailers for the value of the voucher.

The program is funded by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources and MassCEC.

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