Pro-wood heat group opposes more time to sell dirtier stoves

On November 21, 2018, the EPA announced it was taking comment on a 2-year sell-through provision for wood stoves and on other issues in the 2015 wood heater regulation. The Alliance for Green only submitted comments on the 2-year sell-through that would allow manufacturers to build and sell Step 1 wood and pellet stoves that emit up to 4.5 grams an hour and retailers to see them until June 15, 2022.  All stakeholder comments will be available to the public by going to and typing in EPA-HQ-OAR-2018-0196. 

Comments of the Alliance for Green Heat
Responding to

The United States Environmental Protection Agency
Comments on the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking; Standards of Performance for New Residential Wood Heaters, New Residential Hydronic Heaters and Forced-Air Furnaces

Docket No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2018-0196

Feb. 13, 2018

The Alliance for Green Heat (AGH) offers the following comments on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM),Standards of Performance for New Residential Wood Heaters, New Residential Hydronic Heaters and Forced-Air Furnaces, published at 83 Fed. Reg. 61,585 (Nov. 30, 2018). 

AGH is a national, non-partisan, non-profit association that promotes advances in wood stove technology to ensure that wood and pellet stoves become steadily cleaner and more efficient.  AGH has held four Stove Design Challenges to highlight the potential of innovative design in wood and pellet stoves and to educate policymakers and consumers.

AGH opposes any proposal to provide “sell-through” periods or to extend other compliance deadlines when there are sufficient products available that comply with EPA’s applicable standards.  Achievable emission regulations, such as EPA’s NSPS for New Residential Wood Heaters, New Residential Hydronic Heaters and Forced-Air Furnaces, are based on levels that manufacturers can meet through the use of technology that has been adequately demonstrated for the source category. These standards, that recognize such demonstrated technologies, are vital to driving the innovation process that encourages more manufacturers to develop and manufacture cleaner and more efficient stoves.  

1.    There is no technical or legal justification to change the timeline for Step 2 compliance

EPA fails to provide any compelling technical or legal basis to justify aproposed sell-through for wood stoves.  The assertion that some manufacturers and retailers would financially benefit from a delay or sell-through is not consistent with the mandates of section 111.                                                                                                                                      
Section 111(a)(1) of the Clean Air Act defines “standard of performance” as  “a standard for emissions of air pollutants which reflects the degree of emission limitation achievable through the application of the best system of emission reduction . . . .”  42 U.S.C. § 7411(a)(1) (2013) (emphasis added).  The proposal in the ANPRM to revise the applicable deadlines does not explain why such an approach would be consistent with the requirements in section 111.  Moreover, when developing the NSPS in 2015, EPA already took into account the cost of achieving the applicable standards as well as the available technology, which is why the Agency provided 5 years for the implementation of the Step 2 standards. The ANPRM fails to state how a sell-though is consistent with the requirements in section 111 and presents no other legal justification. 
2.    The 5-year timeline in the 2015 NSPS was sufficient

The 5-year timeline provided in the 2015 NSPS was sufficient for achieving the environmental and innovation goals of the NSPS while providing flexibility to industry.  AGH supports the timelines outlined in the 2015 NSPS that allows industry flexibility during the period between 2015 and the 5 years following.  Indeed, at the time these deadlines were promulgated, industry and EPA agreed that these time frames were sufficient for industry to transition to cleaner stoves.  Unfortunately, given the information in the record for this ANPRM, it appears that industry has been spending more resources on obtaining time extensions from Congress, the Executive Branch, and the courts than devoting such financial support to research and development (R&D) and testing.  

3.    A sell-through is not justified to protect non-catalytic stoves

Apparent from the docket for this rulemaking, a form letter comments for retailers made it easier for this market segment to comment on the need for a stove sell-through.  Much of that letter made the case that the range of choice of non-catalytic stoves for consumers would diminish.  The letters noted that, while “traditional catalytic wood heaters on the market today might meet the Step 2 requirements” in the lab, the stoves on the market may not meet the requirements “over a lifetime of realworld, in-home use.” The letter went on the express confidence that “[n]ew technologies will emerge as the result of regulation with technology that will surpass Step 2 emission limits while maintaining the ease of operation that consumers demand through the lifecycle of the stove.”

This assertion in the form comment letter has simply not played out in the market.  AGH notes that 27 models of non-catalytic stoves had achieved 2020 compliance as of October 2018, and that number will likely rise when the EPA next updates the list of certified wood stoves.  While the ratio of catalytic to non-catalytic models of stoves will rise, AGH believes it is premature to artificially protect the market for non-catalytic stoves by extending a sell-through to all classes of stoves, including pellet stoves.

AGH also highlights the rise of “hybrid stoves,” stoves that use both catalytic and non-catalytic technology to reduce particulates.  These stoves offer more options to homeowners to reduce particulates, options neither catalytic nor non-catalytic stoves can fully provide on their own.

         4.    Insufficient cost data on Step 2 stoves

While we are likely to see a small rise in the price of many stoves as a result of Step 2 compliance, there is a noticeable lack of data supporting such a conclusion.  The consolidation of models may help manufacturers sell more of each model, which is likely to help keep impacts on the price of stoves to a minimum.  Some stove prices may decrease or remain the same, as we saw when some uncertified stoves were required to become certified in 2015.  Prices of stoves are likely to be equally, if not more greatly, impacted in a positive way by improved automation processes, and in a negative way by tariffs and prices of steel. 

    5.    Insufficient data on the assertion that consumers will hold off buying new stoves

There is very little data about the proportion of consumers buying a wood or pellet stove for the first time, as compared to those who are replacing an older stove.  And often families switch from wood to pellet stoves, or vice versa.  First time stove buyers and those who will buy a stove anyway, may be far more numerous than those who would have bought a new stove if it were $ 100 cheaper. Trends show that extremely affordable stoves are still available at big box stores, including some Step 2 models. What may be more likely to occur is that more consumers will buy the more affordable stoves from big box stores instead of specialty hearth stores. There also are a growing number of certified stoves on the second-hand marketplace; these stoves still offer a better alternative than even older, uncertified stoves.   We hope that this comment process results in more data about the assertion that a sizable population of consumers will hold on to older stoves.  

6.    2018 was a great year for stove sales

Industry argues that manufacturers do not have the resources to undertake the certification process for Step 2 stoves, and that retailers cannot financially weather the transition.  Wood stove and especially pellet stove sales are significantly influenced by cold winters, the state of the economy and other factors which can be more significant than this NSPS. However, we note that industry – both manufacturers, retailers and chimney sweeps — have just experienced a very successful year.   A successful 2018 is helping to propel industry in the final leg leading up to 2020.  

Hearth & Home magazine routinely interviews retailers about the state of their businesses.  Only one retailer in the February 2019 issue mentioned maintaining an inventory of Step 1 products, and the retailer did not express concern regarding the business climate. The majority of retailers sell hearth, patio and barbecue products, and often the retailers express viewpoints regarding all three sectors. These magazine interviews also show that retailers have increasingly diversified products.  We reproduced all the specific comments about stoves in the February 2019 issue of Hearth & Home.  Reproduced below are retailer comments from pages 68 – 70 of the magazine. To protect the identity of the retailer, the magazine only quotes identify the state in which the retailer resides rather than the name of the retailer.

Arkansas: “2018 turned out to be a good year overall.”

California: “We have been in business for 33 years and this was the best year yet.”

California: “Hearth department was up 8%.”

Connecticut: “This was one of our top Decembers since we’ve been in business; 2019 looks to be a great year, even though we had a very good 2018.”

Illinois: “Woodburning is slowly fading away, even in a rural wooded area like ours.”

Louisiana: “Our service business is up 67%.”

Nebraska: “Hearth sales were stagnant from 2017.  All in all, business was good, but we’re interested in seeing where the trade war steel prices go, along with tariff surcharges.”

New Jersey: “Another year has flown by.  Solid growth once again.”

Oregon: “We opened a new hearth showroom in fall of 2018.”

Pennsylvania: “Best calendar year in the last five years.  Also, very profitable.”

Virginia: “Wow, what a year!  I’ve worked here for 27 years and have never seen it this busy.  Thanks President Trump.  Business is a boomin’.  Can’t wait for this coming season.  Woo-hoo. $ $ $ .”

Virginia: “2018 ended with record sales and installations of vent-free gas fireplaces, log sets and inserts.”

Wisconsin: “No slowing down in sales of high-end fireplaces, wood and gas.  Wow, what a time in our industry.”

Wisconsin: “Overall year-end we were way up.  Wood seems to be really strong.”

Wisconsin: “Busy year.  Easily could have had greater sales if we could find another good employee.  We have had some warranty issues and manufacturers did not stand behind their product.”

Wisconsin: “Wood and gas fireplaces are strong.  Plain steel wood stoves is a weak spot.  We’re clearing inventory of all non-2020 compliant wood stoves.  Will restock only 2020 compliant.”

7.    The number of stove models will temporarily shrink

While the number of different stove models will temporarily shrink due to the increased stringency of the standards, not all consumers will notice because there will continue to be a variety of products on the market.  Many manufactures are getting around any perceived limitation of products by certifying one firebox, then offering it in a variety of models –  such as with a pedestal, with legs, or even as an insert.   More manufacturers are beginning to offer a variety of stove models, so the standards’ impact on consumers will decrease even further.

8.    There is minimal public support for sell-throughs 

In 2014, EPA received 1,750 Comments in response to proposals that set 2020 as the deadline for Step 2 compliance.  Just 5 years later, the process led by the current administration’s EPA generated only 75 comments for the sell-through for furnaces and boilers, including comments from less than 10 individual citizens.  In addition, there is no state, county or city that supports providing a sell-through for what constitutes the dirtiest appliance class among wood heaters.  Clearly, the populations that are most greatly impacted by such a sell-through, recognize that this deregulatory action increases pollution far more than the financial benefit for manufacturers.
AGH appreciates the opportunity to submit these comments. If there are any questions regarding any statements above, please contact John Ackerly at 301-204-9562.
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The Alliance for Green Heat pursues retailers advertising uncertified wood furnaces

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., 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.


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Push release: Alliance for Eco-friendly Heat and NYSERDA Announce 7 Finalists in International Pellet Stove Competitors

Two New York teams are among the finalists

Alliance for Green Heat and the New York State Energy Research and 
Development Authority (NYSERDA) today announced that seven pellet 
stoves have been chosen as finalists in the Pellet Stove Design 

This international competition, administered by the Alliance for Green 
Heat, identifies innovative low emissions and high efficiency pellet 
stoves for the residential home heating market. The competition
supports Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Renewable Heat NY initiative,
which is building a sustainable, high-efficiency, low-emissions wood
heating sector in New York.

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 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 or follow us
on TwitterFacebook, YouTube, or Instagram.

About the Alliance for Green Heat

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.

Heated Up!

Government Report Says Wood & Pellet Heat Dominates Residential Renewables

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 EIA predicts wood and pellet heating will grow again in the 2014/15 winter by 4.7%.  Electricity is predicted to grow second fastest at 3.1%. Natural gas is at .07% growth and oil and propane are each predicted to drop by about 3.2%.  Regional data shows wood and pellet heating growing more than 7% in the northeast and Midwest, and only 2.5% in the south and 1.8% in the west. It was only two years ago that the EIA started to include wood and pellets in the 2012 Winter Fuel Outlook, even though far more homes have wood and pellet stoves than have oil furnaces.

Nationally, solar and geothermal dominate headlines and media imagery, but wood and pellet heating remain the dominant players in reducing fossil fuel usage at the residential level.  In 2014, the EIA says wood and pellet heat will produce .58 quadrillion Btu, or 67% of the nation’s total, while residential solar will produce .25 quadrillion Btu, or 29%.  Meanwhile, geothermal produces only .04, or 4%, and is not showing steady increases like solar.
While wood and pellets are the fastest growing heating fuel in America, residential solar is growing even faster in the electricity marketplace. At current rates, residential solar could produce more energy than residential wood and pellet stoves by 2020.  Solar has enjoyed generous taxpayer subsidies with a 30% federal tax credit in addition to state incentives.  The federal solar credit is set to expire at the end of 2016, but by then the cost of solar panels may have decreased enough for continued growth without federal subsidies.
Wood and pellet heating and solar are not competing technologies in that one produces electricity and the other heat.  They are often combined to make a home virtually carbon neutral, a process which is moving far faster in Europe than in the US due to higher fossil fuel prices and favorable government policies.  
In Europe, many countries are aggressively incentivizing higher efficiency pellet stoves and pellet boilers.   In the US, the Bush and Obama Administrations did not push for incentives for cleaner and more efficient pellet equipment but rather has let Congress and industry shape a tax credit without any effective efficiency or emission criteria.  As a result, the 38% growth of wood and pellet heating since 2004 documented by the EIA is not predominantly an expansion of cleaner and more efficient equipment, as it is in Europe.  Sales of cleaner pellet stoves are rising in the US, but the growth of wood heating in America includes some very polluting equipment such as outdoor wood boilers, also knows as outdoor hydronic heaters and new unregulated wood stoves, neither of which have emissions standards.  After many years of delays, the EPA is finally regulating these technologies and requiring them to meet emission standards by summer of 2015. 
Without effective federal regulations from the EPA, some states have been guiding the market toward cleaner and more efficient wood and pellet heating equipment, with Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Oregon and Washington taking the lead.

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Federal government Report States Wood & Pellet Heat Dominates Household Renewables

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. &nbspOverall, wooden and pellet heating grew 38% from 2004 to 2013, and now accounts for 2.five% of all house principal heating.
The EIA predicts wooden and pellet heating will expand once more in the 2014/15 winter by 4.7%. &nbspElectricity is predicted to increase second quickest at Organic fuel is at .07% development and oil and propane are each and every predicted to drop by about 3.two%. &nbspRegional knowledge shows wooden and pellet heating developing more than 7% in the northeast and Midwest, and only two.five% in the south and 1.eight% in the west. It was only two a long time in the past that the EIA started out to contain wooden and pellets in the 2012 Winter Fuel Outlook, even however considerably more residences have wooden and pellet stoves than have oil furnaces.

Nationally, solar and geothermal dominate headlines and media imagery, but wood and pellet heating stay the dominant gamers in minimizing fossil fuel utilization at the residential degree. &nbspIn 2014, the EIA says wooden and pellet heat will produce .58 quadrillion Btu, or 67% of the nation’s total, although household solar will generate .twenty five quadrillion Btu, or 29%. &nbspMeanwhile, geothermal creates only .04, or 4%, and is not showing constant increases like solar.
Whilst wood and pellets are the quickest growing heating gas in The united states, residential solar is increasing even faster in the electrical energy market. At current rates, residential photo voltaic could produce a lot more strength than residential wood and pellet stoves by 2020. &nbspSolar has loved generous taxpayer subsidies with a thirty% federal tax credit rating in addition to condition incentives. &nbspThe federal solar credit rating is set to expire at the conclude of 2016, but by then the expense of solar panels may have diminished ample for ongoing expansion with out federal subsidies.
Wood and pellet heating and solar are not competing technologies in that 1 generates electricity and the other heat. &nbspThey are usually mixed to make a residence practically carbon neutral, a approach which is transferring far more quickly in Europe than in the US due to higher fossil gas costs and favorable govt policies. &nbsp
In Europe, a lot of international locations are aggressively incentivizing greater effectiveness pellet stoves and pellet boilers. &nbsp&nbspIn the US, the Bush and Obama Administrations did not push for incentives for cleaner and more efficient pellet tools but relatively has permit Congress and industry shape a tax credit score with out any successful efficiency or emission criteria. &nbspAs a outcome, the growth in the wood and pellet sector is not predominantly an enlargement of cleaner and far more efficient products, as it is in Europe.&nbsp Sales of cleaner pellet stoves are increasing in the US, but the progress of wooden heating in America contains some really polluting products this sort of as outdoor wood boilers, also knows as outside hydronic heaters and new&nbspunregulated wooden stoves that have no emissions expectations.&nbsp Right after several many years of delays, the EPA is last but not least regulating these systems and necessitating them to meet up with emission specifications by summer time of 2015.&nbsp
With no successful federal laws from the EPA, some states have been guiding the marketplace towards cleaner and much more effective wood and pellet heating products, with Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Oregon and Washington having the guide.

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Key Tips for the Proposed Wooden Heat Restrictions

The deadline for submitting responses on the EPA proposed new wood heater laws is in one particular 7 days, on Monday Might 5.&nbsp 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. &nbsp&nbsp
The Alliance welcomes any input about these suggestions prior to the Monday submittal deadline. &nbspHere are more comprehensive feedback listed here for your review and enter.

&nbsp&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbspClosing loopholes so that federal emission specifications implement to all wood heating appliances – wooden and pellet stoves, boilers, furnaces and masonry heaters.
&nbsp&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbspFollowing the 5-12 months implementation interval, rather of the different 8-12 months period of time.
&nbsp&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbspRequiring wood stoves to satisfy a 4.5 gram an hour normal and pellet stoves a 2.five normal from 2015 to 2020.
&nbsp&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbspNot grandfathering any system that does not satisfy Step A single standards in 2015 and Action Two standards in 2020.
&nbsp&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbspDemanding manufacturers to disclose the efficiency of their heaters inside of six months of finalizing the rule. &nbspAccess to correct wood and pellet heater effectiveness figures is notably crucial for minimal-income households.
&nbsp&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbspRequiring a buyer hangtag that contains emissions, performance and BTU output as measured by an unbiased 3rdget together test lab.
&nbsp&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbspStrengthening the capability of OECA (Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance) to expeditiously make much more testing and other information clear to the general public and to states.
&nbsp&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbspSupporting the EPA to create a database of emission knowledge using wire wooden tests prior to finalizing the emission normal for cordwood in the rule.&nbsp
Simply because this NSPS contains so a lot of variables for both market and the EPA, the Alliance urges the EPA to defer some regulations until the subsequent NSPS, 8 a long time from now.&nbsp This includes regulating fireplaces and dealing with the installation of pre-1988, uncertified stoves as “new sources” and only allowing the set up of qualified stoves made right after 1988.&nbsp
To submit responses to the EPA, click on right here for details.&nbsp

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Senators Propose Introducing Wooden and Pellet Heat to Renewable Strength Incentives

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.&nbsp 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), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) launched the Biomass Thermal Utilization (BTU) Act to do just that. The tax credit for photo voltaic panels has disproportionately benefited wealthy urban and suburban citizens, who can currently find the money for fossil gasoline energy, but want to help the earth. By incorporating tax credits for contemporary wood and pellet stoves, you gain a far more rural demographic that is not necessarily attempting to be “green” but who are merely wanting to use a much more reasonably priced gas than fossil fuels to warmth their houses.&nbsp
Congress can select and decide on which technological innovation it wants to favor, and which demographic it desires to favor.&nbsp But a much more engineering neutral method has a lot of positive aspects and the circumstance for higher-performance wood and pellet appliances is a sturdy 1: it displaces about the exact same sum of fossil gasoline as the regular photo voltaic panel set up. Wood and pellet stoves have a shorter payback period of time, which makes it more probably that a center-income family members chooses a pellet stove. The technological innovation is less costly thus it charges the tax-payer much significantly less to displace the exact same amount of fossil gasoline. Using thermal biomass assists ordinary people without having entry to organic gasoline that battle to pay substantial heating expenses. The BTU Act extends technologies options to low and middle earnings households.
The BTU Act will add a provision to include biomass fuels to the listing of current technologies that qualify for the household renewable strength expense tax credit history in Segment 25d of the Interior Earnings Code. To qualify, the residence utilizing biomass gasoline need to function at a thermal performance fee of at least 75% HHV and be employed to both heat area within the dwelling or to heat drinking water. The BTU Act enables for both wooden and pellet appliances to be suitable but the 75% increased heating price (HHV) implies that only the most clear and efficient ones will be incentivized.
The justification for solar subsidies is not just the displacement of fossil fuel, but also to help an rising technology off the floor so that it can be price competitive with no subsidies.&nbsp Pellet stoves and boilers want a related increase.&nbsp The larger up entrance price of a pellet stove or boiler is a significant deterrent and until there is increased desire, when the for each unit expense is probably to fall. Like photo voltaic, there demands to be a much more robust infrastructure to allow, install and fix the appliances.&nbsp More than ten million Americans use wooden or pellet stoves to heat their properties but only probably 20% have contemporary higher performance appliances that do not emit smoke. If our country is to switch to contemporary, clean, substantial performance wood and pellet heating, we need to have to incentivize these appliances.&nbsp Our recent approach is not doing work.
Urge your Senator to turn out to be a sponsor of the BTU Act, simply click listed here:
For much more details: BTEC url

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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.&nbsp 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 kind of as nuclear, gas and coal fired plants or huge solar or wind farms.
“Distributed technology most commonly entails solar photovoltaics (PV), but can also include modest hydroelectric, modest-scale biomass facilities and micro-wind.&nbsp There are numerous rewards to dispersed generation when excellent guidelines are applied.&nbsp Foremost is that the bulk of the financial positive aspects of extensively distributed, domestically developed cleanse strength can go straight to price-payer turbines and residence homeowners by means of mechanisms such as the feed-in tariff, a generous for every-kilowatt-hour payment made to ratepayers who generate clear energy on their residences and firms.

“Remote, centralized electricity production and its related transmission are substantially much more vulnerable to significant electrical shutdowns from earthquakes, hurricanes, fires, wind, ice, human error, cyber assault or terrorism than distributed era.

“Because distributed energy can be regionally created, regionally owned and domestically eaten – bringing both financial benefits and positions to communities – there is usually significantly less regional opposition to employing dispersed vitality projects than to building (and funding) centralized, huge-scale energy assignments.&nbsp Big-scale renewable strength projects – this sort of as most proposed solar energy crops and industrial wind technology sited in remote areas – symbolize a continuation of the previous paradigm of big scale industrial development, owned and managed by monopoly pursuits which externalize the vast majority of their expenses onto ratepayers, taxpayers and the surroundings even though privatizing the revenue.&nbsp In distinction, small scale initiatives are frequently strongly meant by regional communities.”
Sheila Powers is a citizen activist with For numerous a long time she has been studying the economic, political and authorized biases that promote industrial-scale vitality development even though artificially impeding the growth of environmentally sound distributed era.&nbsp Monthly bill Powers is the principal of Powers Engineering, an air-top quality consulting engineering company recognized in 1994.&nbsp
The previously mentioned prices are taken from a longer essay which appeared in the e-book “Energy: Overdevelopment and the Delusion of Countless Growth” by the Put up Carbon Institute,

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Alliance for Inexperienced Heat Seeks Board Users

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 efficient residential wooden and pellet heating. The Alliance focuses on the passions of consumers, low-earnings populations and communities that expertise higher stages of wooden smoke. Our 2013 flagship system is the Wood Stove Layout Problem, a technological innovation competitors modeled soon after the DOE’s Photo voltaic Decathlon that encourages, showcases and exams modern technologies that may guide to cleaner and more productive wooden heating.

The Alliance has a budget of $ a hundred and seventy,000 in 2013, a complete-time employees of two and a five member Board. Nominations ought to include a brief assertion about the candidate’s qualifications and despatched to by Friday, June 28.
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