Six of the nine retailers AGH contacted stopped advertising uncertified furnaces within two weeks
|Indoor furnaces are usually in the
basement, but can be in a garage. Either
option often leads to better fuel storage
practices than outdoor boilers and
greatly reduces jacket losses.
On May 15, 2017, EPA regulations took effect that required all wood furnaces to include smoke the law changed on May 15.
reduction technologies and be certified by third party test labs. Some furnace manufacturers started educating their retailers early and stopped shipping uncertified furnaces during the winter. Others continued to ship units, and many retailers continued to advertise and sell uncertified furnaces after
Indoor wood and coal furnaces—also called warm, hot air, or forced air furnaces—were very popular in the US through the early to mid-1900s, then gradually their lost market share as fossil liquid fuel furnaces gained traction in the late 1900s. Then, outdoor wood boilers gained favor, becoming a far worse threat to local air quality than indoor furnaces and boilers had been for decades.
The Alliance began contacting retailers advertising uncertified furnaces to find out whether they knew about the change in regulations and how responsive they would be to information about the change. “We believe that all manufacturers and retailers should play by the same rules, so that the ones who do follow the rules don’t get undercut by ones who do not,” said John Ackerly, President of the Alliance for Green Heat. “And, we found that many if not most retailers will stop advertising products that are not legal to sell if they are politely and professionally approached by an organization that is knowledgeable about the rules,” Ackerly said.
AGH Project Manager Melissa Bollman contacted nine retailers advertising uncertified furnaces. Of those, six stopped advertising those boilers within 2 weeks. Some of the furnaces were removed from the website entirely or are listed as unavailable, while other models that were previously advertised as capable of burning wood or coal have been rebranded as “coal only” to comply with EPA regulations. Currently, if a stove or boiler is advertised as being able to burn wood, it must be tested and certified to burn wood. (The EPA does not regulate coal heaters and some manufacturers have just added a grate and continue to sell the same unit as “coal only”.)
AGH efforts were not always effective, and a few retailers still appear to be advertising uncertified wood furnaces (see screenshots below). These include Sears’ online marketplace (orders fulfilled by the third party 123Stoves, Inc.), Homeclick, and HVAC direct. All screenshots were taken on June 22, 2017.
Houzz.com, Wayfair, and HVAC direct continue to sell uncertified wood furnaces or ones that are labeled wood/coal. The units they are selling are all made by US Stove Company, whose business model leaves it vulnerable to illegal sales of its units by multiple retailers.
AGH regularly monitors advertising by manufacturers and retailers in order to better educate consumers about misleading claims. We also publicize the names of manufacturers who provide better information and do not mislead consumers.
This continued advertising and sale of products that are no longer compliant highlights the danger that stranded inventory can pose for retailers when deadlines pass. If the 2020 emission rules are not delayed or changed, some wood stove retailers may get stuck with inventory that they are no longer allowed to sell, but are under pressure to unload to recoup their investment.
Without regulation, wood furnaces often sold for $ 1,000 – $ 2,000, less than many certified wood stoves. Even after the 2017 rules took effect, certified wood furnaces remain affordable with most selling for $ 2,100 to $ 3,200. Ten models are now certified, ranging from a more expensive European-designed pellet furnace at 89% efficiency to a very basic US Stove model 1330E that is 33% efficient.
However, the future of this class of wood heaters is far from secure, as EPA rules require wood furnaces to emit no more than 0.15 lbs/mmBtu as of 2020. Other than the European-designed pellet furnace, the other certified furnaces are not at all close to meeting that standard. Wood furnaces saw extremely little technological development until they were required to be certified between 2005 and 2017, and the sector is far behind the levels of controls that have been built into stoves and boilers.
Push release: Alliance for Eco-friendly Heat and NYSERDA Announce 7 Finalists in International Pellet Stove Competitors
Alliance for Green Heat and the New York State Energy Research and
The Pellet Stove Design Challenge supports the commitment of
New York State, the Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National
Lab, the U.S. Forest Service and a number of other states, agencies
and institutions to understand and improve the technology,
engineering and smart deployment of pellet stoves to reduce reliance
on fossil heating fuels.
The stoves will be judged for particulate matter emissions, efficiency,
safety, innovation and market potential. The winner of the
competition will be the team that best blends these qualities. The
stoves present a wide range of design approaches, including gravity
feed, downdraft burners, a combination cordwood/pellet stove, a
$ 300 stove and more traditional designs.
In April 2016, the teams will showcase their stoves at Brookhaven
National Lab during the workshop and conference that are open
to the public. The event includes several days of panel discussions
and informal roundtables on pellet stove technology, public health,
deployment, policy and innovation in pellet and cord wood stoves.
The technology competition will be followed by a multi-year
initiative to exhibit the winning stoves and educate consumers and
agencies that deal with wood smoke issues and the deployment of
residential renewable energy systems. NYSERDA is providing
support for this competition with additional support being provided
by the Osprey Foundation and U.S. Forest Service.
NYSERDA President and CEO John B. Rhodes said, “The Pellet
Stove Design Challenge is an innovative way to advance new
technologies that can potentially provide consumers with higher
efficiency pellet stoves. This competition aligns with Governor
Cuomo’s Renewable Heat NY initiative, which is building a
sustainable, high-efficiency, low-emissions wood heating sector
in New York.”
Three stoves will be extensively tested and compete for a grand
prize and four demonstration stoves will provide comparative,
baseline data. The three competition stoves are:
1. A prototype that will burn cord wood or pellets and is controlled
by sensor technology made by DBFZ, a German company,
that markets in the U.S. through Wittus Fire by Design of
Pound Ridge, New York.
2. A new stove coming to the commercial market later this year,
made by Seraph Industries, a small Illinois company, known
for robust heat exchangers and a track record of
transparency and high efficiency multi-fuel stoves.
3.The Torrefire pellet stove, made by Seattle inventor
Geoffrey Johnson, which is a prototype that employs radically
different combustion and heat transfer strategies.
The four demonstration stoves are:
1. The Vibrastove, made by Noble Metals Recovery, a small
Virginia company that is a downdraft, gravity feed stove,
inspired by rocket stoves.
2. A modified Quadra-Fire pellet stove made by a student
team from the State University of New York at Buffalo.
3. One of the cleanest commercial pellet stoves on the market
today that is certified at less than .3 grams per hour.
4. Another very clean commercially available pellet stove,
certified at less than .6 grams per hour.
The event is also bringing attention to the need for cleaner
cord wood stoves. A student team from the State University
of New York at Stony Brook and MF Fire, a company that
grew from at University of Maryland team, will be showcasing
automated, sensor controlled wood stoves.
The 2016 Pellet Stove Design Challenge is the third stove
challenge that the Alliance for Green Heat will host. The first
was a cord wood stove competition held on the National Mall
in Washington DC in 2013 and the second was held at Brookhaven
National Lab in 2014. The Alliance for Green Heat, a non-profit
education and advocacy organization manages the Challenge,
which was inspired by the Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon.
“We strive to foster a community that shares ideas and data to push
this technology forward and get pellet stoves the recognition they
deserve as a mainstream renewable energy technology,” said John
Ackerly, President of the Alliance for Green Heat. “Like solar and
wind, pellet stoves have huge potential in the United States to
drastically reduce household use of fossil fuels if the technology can
raise efficiency and reduce emission levels,” Ackerly added.
According to the Alliance for Green Heat, the average pellet stove in
the U.S. is believed to be around 70 percent efficient but many of
the most popular models are in the low 60s and the best ones are
around 80 percent efficient. About one million homes are heated
with pellet stoves in the United States, with sales averaging about
75,000 per year. An efficient pellet stove can pay itself back in
three-to-five years, depending on the heat source being replaced.
Currently, the federal government offers a $ 300 tax credit for new
pellet stoves. Eight states including Idaho, Maryland, Maine,
Montana, Oregon and New York, offer incentives of up to several
thousand dollars for pellet stoves.
The Advisory Committee that oversees the Challenge includes
representatives from NYSERDA, Brookhaven National Lab, the
USDA Forest Service, the Washington State Department of Ecology,
the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources, Clarkson
University and others.
About Reforming the Energy Vision
Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) is New York Governor Andrew
M. Cuomo’s strategy to build a clean, resilient and affordable energy
system for all New Yorkers. REV is transforming New York’s energy
policy with new state-wide initiatives and regulatory reforms. REV will
grow the state’s clean energy economy, support innovation, ensure
grid resilience, mobilize private capital, create new jobs, and increase
choice and affordability for energy consumers. REV places clean, locally
produced power at the very core of New York’s energy system. This
protects the environment and supports the State’s goal to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions by 40% while generating 50% of its
electricity from renewable energy sources by 2030. Successful
initiatives already launched as part of REV include NY-Sun, NY Green
Bank, NY Prize, K-Solar, and a commitment to improve energy
affordability for low-income communities. To learn more about REV,
visit www.ny.gov/REV4NY and follow us @REV4NY.
NYSERDA, a public benefit corporation, offers objective information
and analysis, innovative programs, technical expertise, and support to
help New Yorkers increase energy efficiency, save money, use
renewable energy, and reduce reliance on fossil fuels. NYSERDA
professionals work to protect the environment and create clean
energy jobs. NYSERDA has been developing partnerships to advance
innovative energy solutions in New York State since 1975. To learn
more about NYSERDA’s programs, visit nyserda.ny.gov or follow us
on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, or Instagram.
The Alliance for Green Heat promotes modern wood and pellet
heating systems as a low-carbon, sustainable and affordable energy
solution. The Alliance works to advance cleaner and more efficient
residential heating technology, particularly for low and middle-
income families. Founded in Maryland in 2009, the Alliance is an
independent non-profit organization and is tax-exempt under section
501c3 of the tax code.
The 2014 Winter Fuel Outlook released by the US Energy Information Agency on Oct. 7, predicted that wood and pellet heating would continue the trend of being the nation’s fasting growing heat source. Overall, wood and pellet heating grew 38% from 2004 to 2013, and now accounts for 2.5% of all home primary heating. The […]
The 2014 Winter season Fuel Outlook launched by the US Power Info Agency on Oct. seven, predicted that wooden and pellet heating would carry on the pattern of becoming the nation’s fasting expanding warmth supply.  Overall, wooden and pellet heating grew 38% from 2004 to 2013, and now accounts for 2.five% of all house principal […]
The deadline for submitting responses on the EPA proposed new wood heater laws is in one particular 7 days, on Monday Might 5.  Shown under are some of the crucial suggestions that the Alliance thinks are necessary to advertise cleaner and a lot more productive wood and pellet heating in the United States.    The […]
For a long time, home owners have appreciated a 30% tax credit rating on the expense of putting in photo voltaic panels on their house or adding geothermal warmth.  In Europe, practically each and every region also includes automatic, large efficiency pellet stoves and boilers. Why hasn’t it transpired right here? Senators Angus King (I-ME), […]
In Praise of Distributed Renewable Power (and why wood and pellet heat helps make so considerably perception)
Dispersed energy era refers to on-site, locally produced power as opposed to the distant and centralized generation of power that has dominated our nation.  Sheila and Bill Powers, renewable strength specialists and activists argue why residential solar and biomass need to be the centerpiece of U.S. strength policy, not centralized services owned by firms this […]
The Board of Directors of the Alliance for Green Heat is seeking nominations for added Board members who can assist increase money, hook up with key constituency groups and offer assistance to the group. The Alliance for Green Warmth was launched in 2009 as an independent 501c3 non-revenue business advertising cleaner and a lot more […]