Editorial: Help for those heating with wood

Published: 4/20/2019 7:49:04 AM

Here is some good news for those who heat their homes with wood but might not have efficient stoves to get the job done.

The state has dedicated a sizable amount of money to replace those antiquated wood stoves with energy-efficient ones and even pellet stoves.

The Commonwealth Woodstove Change-Out Program is a partnership between the Mass Clean Energy Center and the state Department of Energy Resources.

Since it started in 2012, the program has replaced 2,300 wood stoves statewide. This year the state has earmarked $450,000 for the change-outs.

Rebates range from $500 to $1,750 depending on the kind of stove purchased. People who are income-eligible can qualify for an additional rebate of up to $1,500.

The program has rules, of course, such as applicants must have a functional, non-EPA-certified wood stove to trade in.

How do you know if your stove has that certification? All wood stoves legally manufactured for sale in the United States on or after July 1, 1988 were required to achieve EPA certification. Check the back of the wood stove for a label or tag with the information.

Applicants must contact a participating wood stove retail store or professional such as a chimney sweep to begin the application process. That information is available at this website: https://www.masscec.com/commonwealth-woodstove-change-out. Several are in western Massachusetts.

Heating with wood is a long New England tradition. After all, heating this way warms a person more than once if one does the stacking, splitting and hauling the logs inside to burn. If the person fells the tree and cuts it into logs, add that as well.

Plus buying firewood — and a woodstove — contributes to a segment of our local economy.

But burning wood carries a responsibility concerning air quality. That’s where this program is so helpful, especially since purchasing a new energy-efficient wood stove can be a big-ticket item.

The deadline to apply is Aug. 5, which should give people enough time to get ready for the next heating season.




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