First page of the Heater archive.

$300 wood heater tax credit extended retroactively for 2017

Posted by Earth Stove on February 10, 2018 with No Commentsas , , , , , ,

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!

Congress to Extend Wood Heater Tax Credit through 2016

Posted by Earth Stove on December 19, 2015 with No Commentsas , , , , , ,
Labs test wood and pellet heaters for
efficiency and ones that are 75%
efficiency or  higher  can qualify
for the $ 300 tax credit.

The United States Congress is on the verge on finalizing a massive omnibus spending bill that would fund the government and provide tax breaks to businesses and individuals.  Among them is the $ 300 tax credit to purchase a wood heating appliance.  The bill extends that credit through Dec. 31, 2016 and is retroactive to Jan. 1, 2015.

In a far more widely anticipated move, Congress is poised to extend the 30% tax credit for residential solar panels through 2019 and then gradually reduce it.  This credit was set to expire at the end of 2016 and offers that industry a level of support and certainty for strong growth.
For wood and pellet heaters, the bill extends the $ 300 tax credit, contained in Section 25C of the IRS tax code, which states taxpayers are entitled to a $ 300 tax credit for the purchase of a wood or pellet heating appliance that is 75% efficient or greater.  Consumers need to obtain a certificate from the manufacturer, stating that the appliance is qualified for the credit.
For consumers who purchased a wood or pellet stove in 2015, or who will do so in 2016, they will likely be entitled to the $ 300 credit if they have not used up their $ 500 lifetime maximum credit for energy efficient property. 
For wood, pellet stove, and boiler manufacturers, the process of issuing a certificate claiming their appliance is 75% efficient may be more complicated than in the past.  In previous years, manufacturers claimed that every single stove they made was at least 75% efficient, flouting the letter and intent of the law, which was to only qualify stoves at 75% efficiency or higher, measured by the lower heating value (LHV). As of May 15, 2015 all stoves and boilers certified in the US are tested for efficiency using the CSA B415.1-10 efficiency test.  This efficiency test provides a guideline for how to test and not all stoves will achieve an efficiency of 75%.
“Higher efficiency wood and pellet heaters deserve renewable energy incentives to help American families reduce reliance on fossil fuels and to encourage companies to build higher efficiency appliances,” said John Ackerly, President of the Alliance for Green Heat, an organization that advocates for wood and pellet heating. “In the past, some in industry has made a mockery of this tax credit, misleading tens of thousands of consumers into thinking they are buying higher efficiency stoves.  Its time to start measuring efficiency and reporting it honestly and only qualifying those heaters that are 75% efficient or higher, using the lower heating value,” Ackerly said.
The Alliance for Green Heat estimates that up to half of all wood and pellet stoves and boilers could meet the 75% efficiency threshold, giving consumers a wide range of choices.  Appliances that are 75% efficient using the European lower heater value (LHV) are usually between 69 – 71% efficient using the North American higher heating value (HHV).  A leading industry expert, Rick Curkeet concluded in a 2008 letter to an industry trade association that “the intent of the solid fuel appliance incentive program recently enacted by Congress is … to require a minimum of 69.8% efficiency.”

Stove manufacturers do not have to publicly disclose their efficiencies and very few of them doA few stove companies, such as Blaze King, Jotul, Kuma, Seraph, Travis, Woodstock Soapstone publicly disclose actual efficiencies of most of their models on the EPA website and almost all of those models appear to qualify for the tax credit.  The EPA considers higher heating value as a more accurate measure of efficiency for devices in the U.S. and therefore uses only those number on its list of EPA certified wood and pellet stoves.  
Unlike other heating and cooling appliances, prior to May 2015 wood and pellet heating appliances did not have to test or report efficiencies and there are still few accepted norms on advertising practices.  Websites and promotional materials of many major stove brands contain exaggerated efficiency claims, some of which may come from the company’s internal laboratory, not from a reputable, third party lab.  

Heated Up!

Legislation repealing EPA wood heater regulations passes House of Representatives; Obama promises veto

Posted by Earth Stove on December 9, 2015 with No Commentsas , , , , , , , , , ,

29 Republican House memberssponsored the bill to repeal the newEPA heater regulations An energy bill passed the House of Representatives with an amendment that repeals the EPA’s new residential wood heater regulations.  The bill is not likely to pass the Senate and President Obama vowed to veto it, if it comes to his desk.  The […]

Non-public talks yield consensus on key problems in EPA wooden heater restrictions

Posted by Earth Stove on September 5, 2014 with No Commentsas , , , , , , ,

In July, three gentlemen fulfilled in Canada for delicate, private meetings to see if they could achieve settlement on important sections of the proposed EPA wood heater rules.&nbsp Two represented regional air high quality agencies and a single represented the wood stove and boiler business.&nbsp They were ready to compromise on many troubles, but have […]

AGH Comments on the EPA’s Wood Heater NSPS

Posted by Earth Stove on May 9, 2014 with No Commentsas , , , ,

Alliance for Green Heat Comments on EPA’s Proposed Standards of Performance for New Residential Wood Heaters, New Residential Hydronic Heaters and Forced-Air Furnaces, and New Residential Masonry Heaters Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0734 Download a PDF copy of comments. May 5, 2014 SUMMARY OF COMMENTS The Alliance for Green Heat (Alliance), appreciates the opportunity to comment on […]

EPA to Publish Wooden Heater Laws by February three, 2015

Posted by Earth Stove on April 30, 2014 with No Commentsas , , , , , ,

In accordance to a tale filed right now by E&ampE’s Greenwire, the&nbspU.S. EPA has settled a lawsuit filed by seven states and environmental teams on wood-heater emissions with an agreement that the agency will release overdue laws up coming 12 months. In a consent decree at the U.S. District Courtroom for the District of Columbia, […]

The Importance of “Notices of Intent to Sue” the EPA above the Wood Heater NSPS

Posted by Earth Stove on September 6, 2013 with No Commentsas , , , , , , ,

Well prepared for the Alliance for Green Warmth by the law organization Van Ness Feldman, LLP &nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp On August 1st, a coalition of states and a team of a number of environmental companies despatched individual notices to EPA notifying of their intent to file a lawsuit in excess of the hold off in issuing revised […]