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$300 wood heater tax credit extended retroactively for 2017

Posted on February 10, 2018 with No Comments
in Green Heat News
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This map shows which states historically
have the highest percent of residents
claiming the energy tax credits, including
the credit for wood and pellet stoves.

Feb. 9, 2018 – Today President Trump signed into law a budget deal that included a one year, retroactive extension of the wood heater tax credit.  Thus, consumers who bought stoves that are 75% efficient or higher may qualify for a $ 300 tax credit on their 2017 taxes.

However, stove manufacturers often mislead consumers into thinking they are buying a stove that is at least 75% efficient when in fact it may be in the low or mid 60s. Manufacturers are allowed to self-certify which stoves are eligible for the credit and some appear to ignore any common sense definition of the Congressional language which stipulated requiring a stove “which has a thermal efficiency rating of at least 75 percent.”

The Alliance for Green Heat is calling on HPBA and stove manufacturers to publicly support and abide by a policy of only recognizing the average, overall efficiency of stoves based on third party testing at an EPA approved lab.  Currently, some manufacturers will self-certify a stove to be eligible for the tax credit if it reached 75% efficiency on only one of its 4 burn rates. Others self-certify that their stoves are eligible when the stove did not reach 75% efficiency on any burn rate.

The Alliance for Green Heat supports tax credits and other incentives that focus on the cleanest and most efficient stoves.  However, he federal tax credit has no criteria for grams per hour and virtually all stoves have claimed to be at least 75% efficient, minimizing the underlying intent of a tax credit.

The definition of 75% efficient is still unresolved. The IRS recognized the use of the European lower heating value (LHV) efficiency measurement until 2010 when Congress removed the LHV language.  The efficiency measurement should have reverted to the North American standard of using HHV, but industry has continued to use LHV.  (A stove measuring 75% efficiency using LHV would be about 70% efficiency using HHV.)

We will update this blog as it becomes more clear which companies are self-certifying stoves at 75% efficient when they may only be in the low or mid 60s.

To be sure that you are buying a higher efficiency stove, check the EPA’s list of certified wood stoves, and choose one that with an actual, verified efficiency.  There are many non-cat stoves over 70% efficiency and many catalytic and pellet stoves over 75% efficiency.  Unfortunately, if you are buying a stove in 2018, there is no guarantee that you will be able to get a tax credit for it.  Congress may make the credit retroactive again in 2019, but then again, they may not.

For more background on the wood heater tax credit, click here.

Heated Up!

Top 10 stories in 2017 for wood and pellet heating

Posted on January 6, 2018 with No Comments
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2017 may not have been the most momentous year for wood and pellet stoves, but every year is full of important stories and these are what we see as the top 10. Think we missed one of 2017’s top stories?  Leave a comment.       1. Wood stove sales lag Warmer winters and lower […]

Six tips to buy the right pellet stove

Posted on September 26, 2017 with No Comments
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Retailers say BTU output can be most confusing issue Glenn Robinson is oneof many retailers strugglingto help consumers avoidrelying on manufacturerclaims about BTU output. Glenn Robinson has been selling and installing pellet, wood and coal stoves in Pennsylvania for 11 years, and one of the biggest problems he faces is sizing the stove.  “I became tired […]

Lessons in building a 120-Watt thermoelectric wood stove

Posted on August 31, 2017 with No Comments
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Guest Blog: We are reposting a 2012 blog from Instructables by Tecwyn Twmffatt at Goat Industries. It describes an early effort to build a thermoelectric wood stove.  This blog is part of a series of blogs providing information for the 2018 Wood Stove Design Challenge. Introduction: Thermoelectric Power Generation (TEG)  These videos document my first […]

Adventures in masonry stove testing from 1988 to 2017

Posted on August 26, 2017 with No Comments
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by Norbert Senf,  Chair of the Masonry Heater Association Technical Committee Left to right: Mark Champion (in his VT test lab), Boris Kukolj (Tulikivi),  Chris Prior (MHA President), Norbert  Senf (blog author)  and Jean Francois  Vachon (soapstone supplier). Photo credit: Mark Seymour. EPA started regulating wood burning stoves for particulate (PM) emissions in 1988. Regulation was limited to airtight heating stoves. Masonry heaters were not regulated, the stated reason […]

Opinions of top wood stove industry insiders revealed in 1998 interviews

Posted on August 5, 2017 with No Comments
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The late Paul Tiegs, one of thegreatest authorities on wood stoves, conducted the interviews for the EPA.  Long before the regulatory debate about wood stoves heated up in the 2010s, the EPA commissioned a series of fascinating interviews with the top wood stove experts in the country on a host of technical and policy issues.  […]

Vacuum left after one of nation’s top stove regulators and experts retires

Posted on July 20, 2017 with No Comments
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When Rod Tinnemore was invited to speak about wood stoves, he didn’t sound like a regulator.  He spoke his mind, he made people laugh and he was never at a loss for words.  Rod was in charge of wood heater regulations in Washington State, the state with the toughest regulations in the country.  By the […]

New York adds efficiency requirement to pellet stove incentive program

Posted on July 14, 2017 with No Comments
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This month, New York became the first state in the country to set a minimum efficiency requirement in an ongoing pellet stove incentive program.  The State will now only provide its $ 1,500 – $ 2,000 rebates to pellet stoves that are listed as 70% efficiency (HHV) or higher on the EPA’s list of certified […]

Could a Thermoelectric Wood Stove Pay for Itself?

Posted on July 13, 2017 with No Comments
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By Ken Adler, AGH Senior Technical Advisor Payback calculations are common in the residential solar photovoltaic industry where homeowners want to know how long it will take for them to recoup their initial investment. If you purchase panels outright, payback periods depend on a variety of factors including a utility’s price for electricity, tax incentives, […]

Are we ready for the 100% renewable energy movement?

Posted on July 11, 2017 with No Comments
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by John Ackerly, President of the Alliance for Green Heatreprinted from Biomass Magazine Many in the biomass heating movement bemoan warm winters, low fossil fuel prices and the slow pace of conversions to biomass heating systems.  But systems are being put in place to adopt renewable heating and that we can be part of, but […]