Top 10 stories in 2017 for wood and pellet heating

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 fossil fuel prices are likely the main causes of continued sluggish sales of wood stoves and inserts in 2017.  Gas appliances continue to gain in popularity.  The 2015 EPA regulations are rarely cited as contributing to the current malaise in the market, and local restrictions are unlikely to have much of an impact either.  The final weeks of 2017 and first week of 2018 brought arctic temperatures to much of the US, boosting sales of both pellets and stoves.  But will it last?
2. Funding for change out programs rolled back
Whoever thought a motorcycle company would deal a big blow to the stove industry?  To be fair, it had little to do with motorcycles and a lot to do with the Trump Administration wanting to do away with out-of-court air quality violations settlements that allowed polluters to pay part of their fine in programs that improve air quality.  Harley Davidson happened to be the poster child of companies willing to support a change out program, but not allowed to do so by the Trump Administration.  That pipeline of funding, up to 10 million a year, is now cut off, dealing another blow to programs seeking to get people to part ways with their old wood stove, and exchange it for a new pellet, gas or wood stove.
3. Congress – lots of expectation but no action
Three key initiatives – the BTU Act, the NSPS delay and the biomass heater tax credit – did not come to fruition in 2017.  All three initiatives remain in play in 2018, but with each passing month, 2018 will get more consumed by the fall election season. The BTU Act would help the entire biomass thermal energy sector and has some key backers, such as Senator Susan Collins (R-ME). The bills to delay NSPS deadlines by 3 years passed committees, largely on party lines.  With the razor thin majority in the Senate, Democratic support for these initiatives may be more important in 2018.
4. Cordwood test methods are on the rise
The ASTM E3053 cord wood test protocol developed largely by industry members was completed and is now an accepted alternative test method.  However, companies don’t appear to be lining up to use it to certify their stoves.  Meanwhile, NESCAUM is taking the lead in designing what they say is a much more realistic cordwood test method as it takes into account more frequent reloading.  That method appears to have EPA’s interest and may be more likely to be referenced by the federal and/or state governments.
5. The renewable energy movement gains steam, helping pellet systems
Despite a President who champions coal and fossil fuels, the renewable energy movement is gaining ground worldwide.  Automated pellet and chip heating systems are being installed more rapidly in Europe and are gaining wider acceptance in the US.  Pellet stoves and boilers are also becoming more recognized in green building circles.  Campuses, towns, cities and states striving to reduce fossil fuel use usually start with electricity and transition to green heating options. 
6. Anti-wood smoke groups gain legitimacy
In 2017, we saw a rise of clean air groups campaigning for more restrictions on wood stove installation and use.  Some of the core activists emerged years ago when their communities or homes were subjected to excessive smoke from outdoor wood boilers.  In 2017, the focus shifted more to wood stoves, mostly in communities in the West, but to some extent in the Northeast.  Often, tensions rose over lack of enforcement by local jurisdictions who didn’t have the resources, training and/or political will to deal with those creating excessive smoke.  Overall there is a growing recognition that wood smoke is a serious health concern and debates in local and state forums will likely grow in coming years.
7.  Consolidation of stove and pellet plants continues
In the wood and pellet stove world, Hearth & Home Technologies (HHT) did not announce major new acquisitions in 2017, but the company consolidated by moving Quadra-Fire and Vermont Castings production to its Pennsylvania facility.  However, 2017 also saw market share continue to slip away from higher-priced manufacturers like most HHT brands to the lower priced manufacturers that sell from hardware chains.  On the wood pellet front, Lignetics continued its buying spree, finalizing a deal to acquire New England Wood Pellet at the very end of 2017. 
8. DOE co-sponsors Wood Stove Design Challenge
After many years of sitting on the sidelines of thermal biomass, the Department of Energy found an entre in the 2018 Wood Stove Design Challenge.  DOE is providing funding and its PR department is issuing news releases, lending greater credibility and a higher profile to the event.  The competition features automated stoves and stoves that produce electricity to supplement wintertime solar PV output, showcasing new roles that wood stoves could play if they run more reliably cleaner in real world settings.  The competition will also showcase cordwood testing protocols and fossil fuel reductions achievable by wood stoves compared to solar panels.
9. NY, MD and MA recognize efficiency in stove programs
In 2017, three states began using efficiency criteria to determine eligibility in incentive or change out programs.  NY now requires pellet stoves to have verified efficiencies on the EPA list of certified stoves.  MD & MA provide higher incentives for stoves with verified efficiencies, as Oregon does, but with a far simpler formulas.  The rampant practice by most manufacturers of providing misleading and exaggerated efficiency values – a practice not tolerated in other HVAC sectors – motivated these states to act.
10. The new EPA wood heater regulations move forward
OK, 2017 was not a big news year for the new heater regulations, known as the NSPS.  But in 2017 all large forced air wood furnaces were required to be certified (including smaller ones who pretended to be large to evade certification in 2016).  In April, there were only six EPA certified furnaces ranging from 48% to 89% efficiency, now there are 16.  2017 was a pivotal year in that it marked the midpoint between 2015 and 2020, when all heaters must meet stricter emission standards.  And, with each passing month, more heaters become 2020 compliant as manufacturers hedge their bets in case Congress, the Administration or the courts do not derail the 2020 deadline. In 2017, some exciting new innovation hit the market, including automated MF Fire Catalyst, the Optima designed just to burn pressed logs and more coming soon.

Did we miss something?  Post a comment!

Heated Up!

Coal Heating in the United States

By John Ackerly & Melissa Bollman
Alliance for Green Heat

This paper was prepared for the Warsaw Stove Summit which brought AGH and scores of experts in coal and wood heating from 19 countries to Poland in May 2017.

Summary
The US Census Bureau estimates that approximately 127,000 households used coal as a primary heating fuel in 2015, or about 0.1% of American homes. Residential coal heating dropped rapidly until 2000 and since then has been relatively stable.

More than half of homes using coal heat are concentrated in Pennsylvania and New York, right where it is mined. It appears to be based on cultural traditions and local support for local jobs because its still a very inexpensive way to heat and easy to transport. Most of the United States has no restrictions on coal heating and there have been few attempts to restrict it. Rather, it seems to have gradually died out except in pockets of states where anthracite is mined. Bituminous and sub-bituminous coal is much more widely dispersed but it is used far less than anthracite.

Coal stoves, particularly those fueled with anthracite coal that principally comes form Pennsylvania, typically have less particular matter than wood or possibly even pellet stoves. However, their health impacts may be far worse, as coal often emits high levels of SO2 and oxides from nitrogen.  In addition, coal often has poisonous toxins such as flourine, arsenic, selenium, mercury and lead.  For more on health impacts of coal and wood heating in the US and Europe, we excerpted key parts of a World Health Organization report here.

Who heats with coal and why?

Homes that heat with coal tend to be concentrated near anthracite coal mines and in homes with lower or mid level incomes. In the wealthier and more urban counties of Pennsylvania that are within 100 miles of anthracite mines, virtually no households heat with coal. High use of coal heat does not correlate with high use of wood heat. Both coal and wood are favored by rural, lower-income populations but coal appears to be favored near anthracite mines, and wood is favored in nearby, rural counties, according to data from the US census. The highest percentage of homes heating with coal at the county level is about 13%.

A prominent 2008 New York Times article reported that residential coal heating was on the rise, but rise was modest, and petered out a few years later. That rise corresponded with a major recession from 2007 – 2009 during which rates of wood heat soared far higher than coal. The New York Times also reported that an additional 80,000 homes use coal as a secondary heat source and the US Census reported 104,000 used it as a secondary heat source in 2005. Only 4,000 homes use it to cook with and 22,000 used it to heat domestic hot water in 2005, according to the US Census.


In 2015, the top five states for residential coal heating were Pennsylvania, New York, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Indiana. Over 50% of US homes that heat primarily with coal are located in Pennsylvania, where anthracite coal is mined.

The primary benefits of heating with coal, compared to wood, is 1. it burns for longer periods of time, so less reloading is needed and a home can easily stay warm overnight; 2. Like pellets, it can be delivered in bags on pallets by a forklift, and does not need the time consuming splitting, stacking and seasoning that cordwood needs; 3. It is even more inexpensive per BTU (assuming you don’t cut the wood yourself); and 4. It is a very dense fuel, and takes up half the space that the same amount of wood takes, per BTU.

The downside of heating with coal is 1. The odor, which most people find moderately unpleasant; 2. The black dust which is harder to clean than dirt and wood pieces from cordwood; and 3. Its hard to light, requiring most people to start the fire with wood, before switching to coal.

While the above pros and cons are widely agreed upon, other less tangible factors play a role. Coal has increasingly gained a stigma as a dirty, non-renewable fuel, whereas wood is regarded as far more environmentally friendly (even though particulate matter from wood can be equally high). On the other hand, the dwindling economic prospects of coal towns and counties tends to make those populations want to support the fuel to combat what they often see as an unfair bias against coal.

Coal and coal stoves

Coal stoves are either stokers or batch. Stokers automatically feed coal pellets (much like pellet stoves) into the stove, require electricity and only use anthracite. Batch stoves are loaded by hand and can take anthracite or bituminous.

Most coal used for heating in the US is anthracite but anecdotal estimates by experts say that no more than 25% is bituminous, primarily in areas where its abundant.

The EIA stopped collecting data on residential coal consumption in 2008. In 2007, the EIA reported that US residents consumed 353,000 short tons (320,171 metric tons) of coal, which represented only 0.03% of the nation’s annual coal use (1.1 billion short tons or around 1 billion metric tons). The overwhelming majority of course (93%) of US coal is used to generate electricity.

Usually coal is sold in 40 or 50 pound bags or by the ton. Coal may be sold directly to consumers from the mine, a fuel supplier, or a hardware store. Blaschak is one of the largest suppliers of bagged anthracite coal and sold 374,000 tons in 2014. Forty pound bags of anthracite coal (any size) from Pennsylvania usually run $ 6-$ 8. A ton of anthracite typically costs between $ 190 and $ 210 per ton, before delivery charges (which can increase price to $ 250-$ 300). One fuel seller, Central Maine Coal, sells about 200 short tons (181 metric tons) of residential coal per heating season.

Bituminous coal is usually considered a better coal for blacksmithing than heating, but can be burned in some coal stoves and is often only $ 80-$ 100 per ton.

Institutional heating with coal is somewhat relevant to residential coal heating and data indicates that institutional coal heating is declining much more rapidly that residential heating.

According to the EIA, US educational institutions consumed 700,000 short tons (634,900 metric tons) of coal in 2015, down from 2 million short tons (1.8 metric tons) in 2008. Twenty of the 57 US educational institutions that used coal in 2008 reported not using it 2015 due to sustainability initiatives. It is likely that most of the coal consumed at educational institutions is used to generate heat. Most US schools no longer heat with coal. Recent (2015-2016) news articles report that only five public schools heat with coal in West Virginia and four schools heat with coal in Cumberland, Maryland. One of the Maryland schools uses 517 tons of coal annually at a cost of $ 120 per ton.

Coal stove companies

Most coal stoves are made in Pennsylvania except for one big producer, Hitzer stoves located in eastern Indiana. Sales of coal stoves are reported to average 4,000 to 7,000 a year, but in 2008 they may have topped 10,000. In comparison, about 140,000 wood stoves are sold each year. There are about a dozen companies making coal stoves and one notable trend is that the larger wood stove companies are getting out of the coal stove business. Vermont Castings, Harman and Moreso used to sell coal stoves and now don’t. The one company that still focuses on both fuels is US Stove Company, based in Tennessee. Coal stoves cost about the same as wood stoves and range between $ 2,000 – $ 3,500.

Stove policy

Coal stoves remain exempt from EPA emission regulations. Coal stoves have never had a certification program at the EPA or at any state level, although the federal government and some states have indicated an interest in developing emission regulations. Regulation would likely drive up the cost of coal stoves and may reduce sales of coal stoves but other strategies may reduce their use faster and more economically. But without emission regulations, there is little data on coal stove emissions from various types of coal stoves, and there is little incentive for stove companies to try to produce cleaner stoves. Tests conducted in the 1980s suggested that wood stoves emitted higher levels of particulate matter than anthracite stoves, but lower levels than bituminous stoves (Houck, 2009). Of course, wood emits fewer other toxic chemicals than coal.

One significant policy change in 2015 was the ban on advertising dual coal/wood use in stoves unless the stove was certified with wood, and the company also tested for coal emissions and provided that data to the EPA. To our knowledge, no company has done this so no stove should advertise the ability to burn wood and coal any more.

The EPA is currently funding research on coal emissions and has developed an unofficial, draft test method at Robert Ferguson’s lab. However, this is being undertaken only because of an EPA program to change out coal stoves on the Navajo Indian reservation, not because it has any apparent mandate or serious plan to start regulating coal stoves.

It is unlikely under the Trump administration that any certification program would be initiated by the EPA, and the only state with enough coal stoves to justify the effort would be Pennsylvania, which is unlikely to do so.

Restrictions of the use of coal stoves

Unlike the United Kingdom, there has never been any national effort in the US to reduce reliance on coal stoves. Krakow, a major Polish city is banning coal stoves in 2019, after a multi-year effort to provide subsidies for alternative heating sources.

Two states – Washington and Oregon – effectively ban them because they only allow stoves that meet specific emission requirements, but those states would have very little coal heating anyway.

Many air districts that have poor air quality and high particulate matter levels employ temporary burn bans apply to coal stoves and well as wood stoves. A few jurisdictions, such as Fairbanks, Alaska, offer homeowners financial incentives to recycle their solid fuel burning appliance (including coal stoves) or replace it with a less polluting appliance (coal stoves are not eligible). However, most change out programs only remove old wood stoves and do not allow coal stoves to be replaced with wood stoves. A Pennsylvania county offered $ 200 to trade in old wood or coal stoves, but that program has been suspended.

Oregon is the only state where it is illegal to sell a coal stove, or any other uncertified solid fuel burning appliance. Oregon also requires uncertified solid fuel burning appliances, including coal stoves, to be removed and destroyed when a home is sold. According to the latest (2015) Census data, only 143 homes rely on coal for primary heat in Oregon.

At the local level, there may be a number of cities or counties that do not allow coal stoves, but the only one we could find is Summit County, Colorado that forbids the installation of a coal stove (uncertified solid fuel burning device) in a new home or as a replacement unit for an existing non-certified stove.

Key sources

Dr. James Houck, “Let’s Not Forget Coal,” Hearth & Home Magazine, December 2009, pp.

World Health Organization, “Residential heating with wood and coal: Health impacts and policy options in Europe and North America,” 2015.

Tom Zeller, “Burning Coal at Home Is Making a Comeback,” New York Times, Dec. 26, 2008 
Heated Up!

Residential heating with wood and coal in the US and Europe (excerpts)

This site contains excerpts from a very crucial and readable report released by the Planet Health Organization (WHO) in 2015. &nbspIt is mainly from a wellness and policy perspective and is extremely useful for North American as it provides more of a European point of view and is balanced in its technique. The complete 58-page report can be downloaded listed here.&nbsp

The report is notably interesting as it hits on a lot of themes that were considered or provided in the 2015 EPA wood heater laws, some of which will be litigated in 2017. It addresses greatest available technologies, indoor air quality, effectiveness specifications, stove changeout programs, black carbon, carbon neutrality, HEPA filters and a lot of other troubles. One of the overarching conclusions is that nationwide policy ought to strongly favor pellet above cord wooden appliances, a changeover that has already happened in elements of Europe, but not in the US.

Authors consist of authorities from the US, Austria, Canada, Finland and Germany.&nbsp This publication was prepared by the Joint WHO/United Nations Financial Fee for Europe (UNECE).
The report describes the overall health consequences of and coverage possibilities for working with household heating with wooden and coal in Europe and the United States. The benefits introduced indicate that it will be tough to deal with difficulties with outside air pollution in numerous parts of the globe with out addressing this resource sector. National, regional and nearby administrations, politicians and the community at huge need to have a far better knowing of the position of wood biomass heating as a main resource of harmful outdoor air pollutants (specifically good particles). This report is meant to aid boost these kinds of an comprehending.&nbsp
Executive Summary:
Actions are offered to minimize emissions of solid fuels for household heating in most locations. Encouraging gas switching (away from coal and other strong fuels) and use of far more effective heating systems (this kind of as qualified fireplaces or pellet stoves) can lessen the emissions from residential wooden and coal heating gadgets. Educational strategies might also be beneficial equipment to decrease emissions from residential reliable gasoline heaters.
In addition, filters may possibly reduce well being results from indoor air pollution. Present regulatory measures include ecodesign regulations and labels in the European Union (EU) and technological innovation based emission boundaries in the United States of The united states and Canada. Fiscal gas switching and technological innovation changeout incentives – as well as specific “no burn” times and ecolabelling – are other equipment accessible to plan-makers.
p. two. Household heating with wood is a sector in which PM2.5 and BC emissions can potentially be decreased with higher cost– efficiency than several other emission reduction possibilities. Even so, in Europe and North The usa only a handful of nations or states have established legal boundaries for minimal combustion effectiveness or greatest emissions of PM and damaging gaseous compounds like CO and gaseous natural compounds (see part six).
Coal:
p. eight. In the United states fifty five% of properties employed coal/coke for room heating in 1940, but this fell to 12% in 1960, beneath five% in the early seventies and below one% from the early nineteen eighties (Schipper et al., 1985 United States Census Bureau, 2011).
A single review estimates that reductions in the use of bituminous coal for heating in the United states of america from 1945–1960 reduced winter all-age mortality by one% and wintertime infant mortality by 3%, preserving virtually 2000 life for each wintertime month, including 310 toddler lives (Barreca et al., 2014).
Primarily based on this and proof that indoor emissions from family combustion of coal are carcinogenic to human beings, the latest WHO indoor air top quality tips strongly advise in opposition to the household use of unprocessed or uncooked coal, such as for heating (WHO, 2014a).
Infiltration of smoke into homes
p. 10. A home with wood-burning appliances is likely to be surrounded by other homes with wood-burning appliances, and wooden burning also tends to combination temporally as a result, on cold evenings and evenings most residences in the region may possibly be burning wood.
Presented that most wooden burning occurs in cold places exactly where homes are properly insulated, properties are predicted to have lower infiltration (which means that comparatively modest quantities of out of doors air pollution, such as wooden-burning smoke, enter the property and contribute to indoor air pollution), specially in the course of the heating year.
In North The usa heating-time outside temperature is an critical determinant of infiltration, and infiltration ranges are usually lower in the heating than the non-heating time, when doorways and windows are probably to be open a lot more (Allen et al., 2012). In British Columbia the mean infiltration portion of PM2.5 in winter was located to be .28, when compared to .61 in summer, although infiltration factors for person properties in winter season ranged from .1–0.6 (Barn et al., 2008) yet another research reported in the same way reduced mean infiltration stages of .32 Å}.17 throughout the winter season (Allen et al., 2009). Combustion of wood in residential areas and frequently beneath cold, calm meteorological circumstances can even so lead to substantial publicity compared to other air pollution sources, owing to the principle of ingestion fraction.
&nbsp&nbsp
Indoor pollution
Modern wooden stoves and fireplaces, when operated according to the manufacturers’ directions, release some PM and gaseous pollutants directly into indoor air, although in most instances the proof for considerable indoor emissions from these modern day stoves is quite minimal. With poor procedure, very poor air flow or backdrafting, even so, elevated concentrations of combustion items (such as PM, CO, VOCs, NOx and aldehydes) may possibly consequence indoors. Acute CO poisoning, which can at times even be fatal, may possibly happen thanks to indoor wood burning and infiltration of filthy ambient air), specifically when air flow of the wood-burning appliance is not managed effectively.
Stove Alter outs
p. 21. This sort of modify-out initiatives have likely constraints. The Canadian Council of Ministers of the Surroundings (CCME) – the association of atmosphere ministers from the federal, provincial and territorial governments – evaluated twelve stove exchange and instructional initiatives carried out in Canada and concluded that exchange programmes could have limits relating to equally the expense of new technologies and the lengthy services existence of appliances when set up. The evaluation supported the use of regulation effectively to curb the sale of large-emission appliances. This method is utilised in a quantity of Canadian provinces and American states.

The Canadian National Collaborating Centre for Environmental Well being discovered that emissions standards (based mostly on greatest offered systems) are essential to ensure that the newer units put in by way of alter-out programmes are amid the cleanest offered in the marketplace. Without these requirements, alter-out programmes may, in truth, be dropped possibilities to set up the cleanest obtainable wooden-burning units, which will be in use for a long time to come.
The examine also located that removal of traditional noncertified appliances (through exchanges, time limits or prior to the sale or transfer of a house) was the most powerful approach provided in a model municipal by-law for mitigation of household wood smoke (Setting Canada, 2006) (see “Other rules and voluntary measures” in area 6). [Click for much more on stove alter out packageseditor.]
HEPA Filters
Although family or individual-amount methods are not typically element of air good quality administration programmes, two studies from Canada show that inhome&nbspHEPA filtration might lessen overall health impacts from wooden smoke. An first solitary-blind randomized crossover study of 21 homes during winter season, in an location afflicted by household wood combustion as properly as site visitors and industrial sources, reported a suggest 55% (normal deviation = 38%) reduction in indoor PM stages when HEPA filters were operated (Barn et al., 2008). Use of the HEPA filters reduced indoor PM2.5 and levoglucosan concentrations by 60% and seventy five%, respectively. [Click for much more on HEPA filterseditor.]
Regulatory Emission Limitations
p. 26. Over the past 10 years, the European Commission has worked in the direction of the possibility of regulating strong fuel local space heaters and boilers, especially individuals that use different types of woody biomass gas (wood logs, pellets and biomass bricks), to produce proposed ecodesign emissions restrictions.
According to the Commission proposals, implementation of ecodesign specifications would lead to significant reductions of PM2.5 emissions from solid gas regional place heaters and boilers compared to baseline projections. The draft regulation for sound fuel local room heaters2 states that in 2030 the proposed demands for individuals merchandise, combined with the influence of the energy labelling, are anticipated to conserve about forty one petajoules (.nine million tonnes of oil equivalent (Mtoe)) per yr, corresponding to .four million tonnes of CO2. They are also envisioned to reduce
PM emissions by 27 kilotonnes per yr,
Voluntary Actions
p. thirty. The Wood Stove Decathlon, an initiative of the Alliance for Environmentally friendly Heat, was structured in 2013 to emphasis creativeness and methods on planning subsequent generation wood stoves. The principal purpose was to problem groups of combustion engineers, engineering pupils, inventors and stove makers to construct wooden stoves that are low-emission, large-efficiency, revolutionary and inexpensive, in a common approach that may possibly position to commercially desirable up coming generation stove manufacturing (Alliance for Environmentally friendly Heat, 2013).&nbsp
Policy Wants
p. 31 Any renewable power or local weather modify relevant policies that assist combustion of wooden for residential heating want to take into account the local and global ambient air pollution impacts and quickly advertise the use of only the most affordable emission or ideal obtainable combustion technologies.
Lawful rules for wood combustion effectiveness in new heating appliances are urgently necessary during the globe. These will each sluggish down the present quick pace of worldwide warming (relating to BC in good particles and VOCs that market ozone formation) and minimize the great load of condition triggered by wood combustion-derived particles (especially organic compounds carried by BC). Such rules ought to incorporate tight – but technically achievable – boundaries in distinct for the main emissions of particulate mass, gaseous hydrocarbons and CO from new boilers and heaters.
p. 32. As new wood-burning units turn out to be far more vitality effective and emit less air pollution (specifically PM), nationwide governments require to prepare heater exchange regulations or voluntary programmes. Municipalities, counties and states need to take into account demanding heater exchanges at the time of residence remodels or product sales. In many instances, these laws will be most profitable if monetary compensation is provided to support with the cost of changing aged heaters with these assembly restricted strength effectiveness or emission boundaries regulations.
“No burn” regions are necessary. Particularly with recent combustion technologies, it is crucial to determine urban places with dense populations and/or geographical features (such as valleys amongst mountains) where household heating or cooking with tiny-scale appliances burning reliable fuels (wood and coal) is not permitted at all or is at the very least minimal to registered versions of reduced-emission wood combustion devices. Residential heating with coal in little-scale appliances must also be completely prohibited, at least in communities of developed international locations, as need to the use of wood log burners for central heating with out a sufficiently large water tank (which or else qualified prospects to poorly incomplete combustion and extremely huge emissions).
Co-rewards for health and local climate
As wood is burned … carbon is unveiled back to the ambiance, not only as CO2 but in most household combustion also in the kind of quick-lived greenhouse pollutants this sort of as BC, CO and VOCs like CH4. Thus, to be completely “carbon neutral”, wooden gas has to be not only harvested renewably but also combusted completely to CO2. For both local weather and wellness needs, the type these fuels’ carbon requires when it is introduced matters greatly, given that BC and CH4 are both strongly local weather-warming.
p. 34. A Planet Lender review located that changing recent wooden stoves and household boilers used for heating with pellet stoves and boilers and replacing chunk coal fuel with coal briquettes (mainly in jap Europe and China) could supply significant local climate positive aspects.
One more study coordinated by the United Nations Surroundings Programme and the Entire world Meteorological Group identified that prevalent dissemination of pellet stoves (in industrialized nations) could increase overall health, since these interventions lead to reductions in PM2.5.
If Arctic weather change turns into a emphasis of specific mitigation action (due to the fact of threats from climbing sea amounts, for case in point), popular dissemination of pellet stoves and coal briquettes may possibly warrant further thought simply because of their disproportional reward to mitigating warming from BC deposition in the Arctic (UNEP &amp WMO, 2011). The World Bank found that substitute of wood logs with pellets in European stoves could direct to a fifteen% better cooling in the Arctic (about .1 ÅãC). For Arctic nations the modeling strongly suggests that the most successful
BC reduction actions would target regional heating stoves for equally local weather and well being advantages (Pearson et al., 2013).
Conclusions
p. 35. Given that household wood combustion for heating will continue in a lot of areas of the planet simply because of financial concerns and availability of other fuels, an urgent want exists to build and encourage the use of the lowest emission or ideal accessible combustion systems.
&nbspIt might be preferable in a lot of cases to target on making biomass-based residence heating much more successful and significantly less polluting rather than transitioning away from biomass to fossil fuels, presented the weather change implications of using fossil gas for heating.


Heated Up!

Mapping wooden heating and wood smoke in the United States

Wood heating has created a comeback in the United States and has been the quickest expanding heating gasoline for most several years given that 2005, according to US Census figures. Currently, 2.36 million houses in the United States use wood as a primary heating gas (ACS, 2015, 1-year estimates). And 8.eight U.S. million houses use it as a secondary heating gas (EIA, RECS, 2009). Wood was the dominant residential heating gasoline in the United states until coal started to get in excess of in the eighties. Soon after that, heating oil and then gas turned well-liked. The percent of the inhabitants mainly heating with wood dropped from 23% in the forties, when the US Census first began tracking warmth, to a minimal level of one.3% in 1970, when fossil fuels have been low cost and common.
This map shows PM 2.five emissions from residential wooden combustion by county, in accordance to the 2008 EPA report, “New Methodology for Estimating Emissions from Household Wooden Combustion.” It seems to display the densest concentrations of PM2.5 in Wisconsin and Minnesota in which the most out of doors wooden boilers are manufactured and set up.

This map, from the identical 2008 EPA, report offers further depth on the source of PM 2.5 emissions by equipment sort. Each and every appliance kind is represented by a diverse coloration. Pink represents fireplaces, green signifies fireplaces with inserts, dim blue signifies woodstoves, light blue represents indoor furnaces, magenta represents outside hydronic heaters, and yellow signifies wax/sawdust firelogs. Whilst the terminology is fairly perplexing, the map shows some exciting trends. &nbspFor occasion, wooden stoves emit the greater part of PM in the Northeast, although outdoor hydronic heaters are the premier resource in the Great Lake states (outside wood boilers continued their popularity in these states soon after the 2008 EPA report). Fireplaces with inserts are the biggest emitter in most of the south and California. Indoor furnaces are the most typical resource of PM pollution in Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois.

The next map was produced by the Census Bureau, displaying for every capita use of wooden stoves. It demonstrates 17.eight% of houses in Vermont use wood or pellets as a major heat resource in 2012. Maine had the next greatest share at thirteen.seven% of residences. Out West, Montana has the greatest proportion with nine.two% of residences, followed by Idaho at seven.9% and Oregon at seven.one%. On the US mainland, the states with the the very least wooden heating are predictably Florida, at .2% of the populace and then Texas at .four%.



The Alliance for Green Heat made a map utilizing Census knowledge to present the ongoing progress of wood heating amongst 2000 and 2012. By 2010, the expansion development was properly recognized, owing in portion to the housing crisis and recession. In that period of time, wooden warmth doubled in about ten states, primarily in the Northeast.

This map underneath, manufactured the Alliance for Green Warmth, also employs Census knowledge but breaks down primary wood heating households by Congressional districts. This offers a a lot more detailed look at the geography of wooden heating in contrast to state level specifics. Presumably, a map displaying wooden usage at the county amount could also be created. &nbsp

This final map displays a curious phenomenon in 1950 in which the Census Bureau discovered higher charges of primary wooden heating in southern states than in several northern ones. This is most likely because of to the more quickly penetration of fossil fuels in northern states, while place heaters in southern states, including those in several poor, rural black and white households, continued to run on cordwood.

Heated Up!

US government projects continued increase in wood and pellet heating

On October 6, the US government agency responsible for tracking energy supply and usage released its annual winter fuels outlook. The report predicted that next winter will be warmer than average but energy prices will be lower. Consequently, consumers are expected to pay 10 – 20% less on their household heating than last winter. 
The report notes that the use of cord wood and wood pellets as the primary residential space heating fuel has increased by 33% since 2005 and estimates that about 2.6 million households mainly used this fuel source in 2014. About 8% of households use wood as a secondary source of heat, making wood second only to electricity as a supplemental heating fuel.
The report, produced by the Energy Information Agency (EIA), projects primary wood and pellet heating to grow by 1.4% during the 2015-2016 winter. Electric heating is projected to rise even faster, by 2.5%. Natural gas is projected to remain basically flat, and oil and propane heating are projected to decline by 4.4% and 3.4%, respectively.
The overall national residential wood heat rise of 1.4% includes quicker projected growth in the Northeast and a slight decline in the West. Wood and pellet heating is projected to rise fastest in the Northeast at 2.8% and the South at 2.6%. It’s only projected to rise 0.8% in the Midwest and decline by 0.3% in Western states.
In 2014, the Pellet Fuels Institute reported that shipments of pellet stoves grew by 41%. On average, 2 out of every 5 new stoves sold is a pellet stove and 3 are wood stoves. This ratio does not include the popular, though polluting, uncertified wood stoves that are still on the market until the end of this year.
“The trend towards more pellet heating is crucial as wood heat expands in America,” said John Ackerly, President of the Alliance for Green Heat. “The growth in pellet heating, even as oil and gas prices fall, show a demand for a cleaner, local fuel that still can be greatly scaled up,” Ackerly said.

Wood heating was increasing faster than electric heating for many years, but since 2008, wood has increased by nearly 10% and electricity increased by nearly 15%.
In terms of the amount of energy generated by residential renewables, wood continues to be the dominant player, generating 66% of all residential renewable energy in 2014. Solar produced less than half the energy as wood and pellet stoves, making up 29% of residential renewable energy in 2014. Geothermal produced nearly 5%.
 

However, solar will soon be catching up to wood according to EIA projections, thanks to extensive state and federal subsidies. In 2016, the EIA projects that wood and pellet stoves will only produce 54% of residential renewable energy and solar will produce 40%. Geothermal is projected to rise to nearly 6%.
The EIA did not include data or projections on wood and pellet hearing until their 2012 report. Senator Shaheen (D-NH), the Alliance for Green Heat, and other groups pressed the agency to be more inclusive of the technology that was used by more households than oil or propane. Since then, the EIA has gone much further and is about to start surveying wood pellet producers to provide accurate and timely data about pellet production and usage.
Click here for a full copy of the EIA report.

Heated Up!

Wood Heating Trends in Utah


The proposal by the Governor of Utah to ban the wintertime use of wood and pellet stoves was met with intense opposition from a large majority of Utah residents and the wood stove industry. It also underscored the need for Utah state agencies, the media, and the public to better understand the role of wood heating and its prevalence in the United States. This short paper compares census data of wood heating in Utah compared to the rest of the country. As of 2013, 10,500, or 1.2%, of Utah residents use mainly wood and pellets for their primary heating, far less than the national average of 2.1%, according to the US Census. There are likely to be an additional 40,000 to 50,000 who use it as a secondary heat source, though the US Census does not track secondary heating.  The EPA however estimates that there are about 93,000 wood and pellet stoves in Utah, some of which may not be used at all or only occasionally. Utah is one of the states that buck the national norm, in that far more homes heated with wood and pellets in 1990 compared to 1940. Utah residents gave up wood heating faster than the United States as a whole, with the number of homes mainly heating with wood hitting a low point in 1950, two decades before the rest of the country. But between 1970 and 1990, Utahns embraced wood heating far more aggressively than the rest of the country. The number of Utah homes mainly heating with wood rose from 0.3% in 1970 to 3.2% in 1990, a high point that the state has not hit since then.
The rapid growth of wood and pellets in Utah since 1970 is likely due to many of the same reasons it has grown so quickly elsewhere: both gas and oil prices had been climbing, until gas prices finally dropped in 2008 and oil prices just starting dropping in 2014.  And, the increase of wood and pellet heating may also be linked to an increased desire for household energy security by both conservative and liberal households, but for different reasons.
Median household income remained relatively static in Utah for most of the 2000s before they began falling in 2008 and rising again in 2012, compared to the US where incomes first decreased in 2007 and only started recovering in 2013. Often, more households turn away wood heating as incomes rise and this is likely a factor in Utah since 2012 as well.
Since 2005, the percent of Utahns using wood or pellet as a primary or sole heat source has ranged between 1% and 1.4%, and since 2010 has remained steady at 1.2%, significantly below the national rate of 2.1% that has remained unchanged since 2009. Wood heating peaked in 2009, at the height of the recession and dropped slightly as the economy has picked up.
Wood and pellets are the fastest growing heating fuel in Utah, followed by electricity, as it is the US overall. Wood and pellet heating as a primary heat source had increased nearly 40% in Utah from 2000 to 2013, slightly less than the nation overall. Utah is quite different than national heating trends when it comes to gas and oil. Gas heating has grown 30% in Utah since 2000, yet has only grown by 4% nationally. This increase in gas heating may be tied to slower growth of wood heating in areas with gas lines, while wood heating remains robust in areas without gas lines. Accurate county data could confirm this.  And oil heating has dropped far quicker in Utah than it has in the nation overall, although it has not been a very widespread form of residential heating in Utah.
Utah has the lowest percentage of homes heated primarily with wood in the West.  The Census does not have county level data of wood heating in Utah, but typically rural counties have far more wood heating than more urban ones.  And, lower income counties typically have more primary wood heating and higher income counties have more secondary wood heating. EPA Estimates of Fireplaces, Stoves and Boilers in Utah
The EPA figures, above, estimate nearly a quarter million wood fueled devices in Utah.  A majority of those are fireplaces and studies show that a large percent of fireplaces are never used or only used once a week, unlike stoves which are often used every day.  About 93,000 units are stoves, nearly 16,000 of which are pellet stoves, 48,000 uncertified stoves (most made prior to 1990) and 26,000 are EPA certified stoves, made since 1990.
As this chart shows, 84% of Utah residents heat with gas, one of the highest percentages in the U.S. The second most popular heating fuel is electricity, which heats 11% of Utah homes, followed by propane, which heats 2%.  The fourth most common heating fuel is wood and pellets which account for 1.2% of homes.
Heated Up!

New EPA Stove Regulations Begin Cleaner Chapter for Wood Heating

Statement by the Alliance for Green Heat on the Wood Heater NSPS

Key EPA architects of this NSPS include
Greg Green, left, and Gil Wood,  right  and
Amanda Simcox. Gil retired on February 3. 
Overall, the EPA did a good job and released a fair rule that includes many compromises between industry and air quality agencies.  We think these rules are good for consumers and will not drive prices up substantially for most product categories, but will result in cleaner and more efficient appliances that will ultimately save consumers time and money. This is our initial reaction to the rule, which we will be followed by a more thorough analysis.

High performance stoves: The EPA took some key steps to address the lack of recognition for high performing appliances. Notably, stoves that test with cordwood in the next 5 years can use a special EPA label that will alert consumers that the device is designed and tested for use like the consumer will use it. This shift is possibly as important than just lowering emission standards for wood stoves. Along these lines, the EPA is also allowing stoves that already meet the 2020 standards, to use a special label so consumers can more easily recognize these higher performing stoves. We are, however, very disappointed that the EPA removed the long-standing requirement that all stoves have a consumer hang-tag that helps consumers better appreciate the basic differences between all stoves on the showroom floor.

Boiler testing: Another positive step forward is EPA’s recognition of the European test method EN303-5 to certify European style indoor pellet boilers that have been accepted by Renewable Heat New York (RHNY). Also boilers certified by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) will be automatically deemed EPA certified. This is another step to recognizing higher performance equipment. NYSERDA deserves credit for the R&D, test method and other funding that EPA and DOE should have been doing to develop higher performance equipment. These parts of the new EPA rule will help give consumers more options to buy cleaner and more efficient devices.

Stove emission standards: As expected, the EPA is staying with the de facto status quo for the next 5 years, at 4.5 grams an hour (g/hr). The 2 g/hr standard for stoves as of 2020 is fair and reasonable. As the EPA explained in the rule “nearly 90 percent of current catalytic/hybrid stoves and over 18 percent of current non-catalytic stoves” already meet the Step 2 emission limit of 2 g/hr. We hope that those manufacturers who have to redesign stoves use the opportunity to redesign to use cordwood and to reduce start-up and fugitive emissions. The optional Step 2 certification test for cordwood at 2.5 g/hr represents a very creative and positive approach by the EPA to move towards required cord wood testing.

Some independent stove and boiler companies played a vital role in broadening the debate and sharing key data sets that enabled the EPA to show that some stoves can already meet the Step 2 standards of 2 g/hr with cordwood. We are pleased that companies who participated in the 2013 Wood Stove Design Challenge helped the EPA and OMB understand that smallest manufacturers can undertake the R&D to make very clean and affordable stoves that operate well on cordwood.

Key issues not addressed: Some of the most important issues with wood stoves are difficult to address in regulations, such as indoor air quality from fugitive smoke and the ability for homeowners to reduce air-flow so much that the stove smolders for hours on end, which is often a nightly occurrence. Ultimately, we believe that some types of automation are needed to prevent the widespread consumer misuse of wood stoves. The attempt by the EPA to set a maximum emission level while the stove is on its lowest burn rate was a good start. We had urged the EPA to more formally address alternative tests for automated stoves that hold tremendous promise to reduce widespread poor operation by consumers.

Warm air furnaces: Delaying the standards for all warm air furnaces for 1 – 2 years was a mistake because some companies have little ability or intention of meeting the Step 1 standards. An interim measure after 6 months to distinguish between companies on their way towards meeting standards and those who aren’t would have been far better.

Exempt wood stoves:
We are very pleased to see that the era of exempt wood stoves is over. About 1 out of every 3 or 4 new wood stoves sold in America has been exempt in recent years and EPA had considered a weaker standard for them, but is now holding them to same standard as all other stoves.

Masonry heaters:
The EPA was not able to set standards for masonry heaters but we are glad to see that the EPA has charted a path forward to work with the Masonry Heater Association so that masonry heaters become a certified appliance category

Sell-through period: The sell-through period, set at 8 months through December 31st is fair for certified wood stoves, pellet stoves and qualified or EN303-5 approved boilers, but too long for exempt wood stoves and traditional outdoor boilers which should have come off the market sooner.

Electronic reporting: We were very glad to see that the EPA will begin electronic reporting for stove certification tests and provide more transparency for the public and access more data that is not Confidential Business Information (CBI) about stove tests.

Efficiency: Achievable efficiency standards are important in the near future and we are pleased that the EPA will finally require the manufacturers to test for, and report actual efficiency numbers not only to the EPA, but also on their websites. In practice however, many existing stoves many not have to retest for 3-5 years and it is unclear if they will have to disclose efficiency before then, unless they do it voluntarily. This is particularly important for boilers and pellet stoves that have a very wide range of efficiencies.

Renewable energy: We are very disappointed that the EPA did not mention the term “renewable” in this rule. The EPA Office of Air and Radiation should take into consideration that this sector has potential not just to make cleaner energy, but to use a renewable energy source and displace fossil fuels. Governor Cuomo’s Renewable Heat New York is investing tens of millions into the sector and integrates the goal of driving down emissions, driving up efficiency while replacing fossil fuels and offering homeowners an affordable, renewable heating source. In addition to setting minimum emission standards for lab testing, the EPA should adopt a more integrated approach to this technology that is being increasingly adopted not just by New York, but by other states as well.

In conclusion, the EPA crafted a fair and balanced rule overall and took some important steps towards testing with cordwood and recognizing those companies who take steps to build stoves based on how consumers operates them. In the long run, this new rule will result in cleaner appliances and a better foundation for renewable wood and pellet heating.

Full EPA rule and fact sheets

Wood and pellet stoves

Step New PM emissions limit Compliance deadlines
Step 1: All uncertified wood and pellet stoves (cat and non-cat) 4.5 grams per hour for crib wood test method

If tested with cordwood, emissions test method must be approved, and stoves must meet crib wood limit

60 days after publication in the Federal Register
Step 2: All wood and pellet stoves (cat and non-cat) 2.0 grams per hour, or 2.5 grams per hour if tested with cordwood (test method must be approved) 5 years after publication in the Federal Register (2020)

Hydronic heaters

Step New PM emissions limit Compliance deadlines
Step 1 0.32 pounds per million Btu heat output (weighted average), with a cap of 18 grams per hour for individual test runs (crib wood test method)

If tested with cordwood, emissions test method must be approved, and stoves must meet crib wood limit

60 days after publication in the Federal Register
Step 2 0.10 pounds per million Btu heat output for each burn rate, or 0.15 pounds per million Btu heat output for each burn rate. If tested with cordwood; method must be approved 5 years after publication in the Federal Register (2020)

Warm air furnaces

Step Standard Compliance deadlines
Step 1 Operational/work practice standards 60 days after publication in the Federal Register
Step 2 Emissions limit of 0.93 pounds of PM per million Btu heat output, weighted average. Cordwood testing is required for forced air furnaces Small furnaces: 1 year after publication in the Federal Register (2016)

Large furnaces: 2 years after publication (2017)

Step 3 Emissions limit of 0.15 pounds of PM per million Btu heat output for each individual burn rate. Cordwood testing required All furnaces: 5 years after publication in the Federal Register (2020)

Related stories:
Private Talks Yield Consensus on Key Issues in NSPS
Paper Undermines Stove Industry Variability Study

Heated Up!

New EPA Stove Rules Begin Cleaner Chapter for Wooden Heating

Statement by the Alliance for Green Heat on the Wood Heater NSPS

Key EPA architects of this NSPS include
Greg Green, left, and Gil Wood,  right  and
Amanda Simcox. Gil retired on February 3. 
Overall, the EPA did a good job and released a fair rule that includes many compromises between industry and air quality agencies.  We think these rules are good for consumers and will not drive prices up substantially for most product categories, but will result in cleaner and more efficient appliances that will ultimately save consumers time and money. This is our initial reaction to the rule, which we will be followed by a more thorough analysis.

High performance stoves: The EPA took some key steps to address the lack of recognition for high performing appliances. Notably, stoves that test with cordwood in the next 5 years can use a special EPA label that will alert consumers that the device is designed and tested for use like the consumer will use it. This shift is possibly as important than just lowering emission standards for wood stoves. Along these lines, the EPA is also allowing stoves that already meet the 2020 standards, to use a special label so consumers can more easily recognize these higher performing stoves. We are, however, very disappointed that the EPA removed the long-standing requirement that all stoves have a consumer hang-tag that helps consumers better appreciate the basic differences between all stoves on the showroom floor.

Boiler testing: Another positive step forward is EPA’s recognition of the European test method EN303-5 to certify European style indoor wood and pellet boilers that have been accepted by Renewable Heat New York (RHNY). Also boilers certified by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) will be automatically deemed EPA certified. This is another step to recognizing higher performance equipment. NYSERDA deserves credit for the R&D, test method and other funding that EPA and DOE should have been doing to develop higher performance equipment. These parts of the new EPA rule will help give consumers more options to buy cleaner and more efficient devices.

Stove emission standards: As expected, the EPA is staying with the de facto status quo for the next 5 years, at 4.5 grams an hour (g/hr). The 2 g/hr standard for stoves as of 2020 is fair and reasonable. As the EPA explained in the rule “nearly 90 percent of current catalytic/hybrid stoves and over 18 percent of current non-catalytic stoves” already meet the Step 2 emission limit of 2 g/hr. We hope that those manufacturers who have to redesign stoves use the opportunity to redesign to use cordwood and to reduce start-up and fugitive emissions. The optional Step 2 certification test for cordwood at 2.5 g/hr represents a very creative and positive approach by the EPA to move towards required cord wood testing.

Some independent stove and boiler companies played a vital role in broadening the debate and sharing key data sets that enabled the EPA to show that some stoves can already meet the Step 2 standards of 2 g/hr with cordwood. We are pleased that companies who participated in the 2013 Wood Stove Design Challenge helped the EPA and OMB understand that smallest manufacturers can undertake the R&D to make very clean and affordable stoves that operate well on cordwood.

Key issues not addressed: Some of the most important issues with wood stoves are difficult to address in regulations, such as indoor air quality from fugitive smoke and the ability for homeowners to reduce air-flow so much that the stove smolders for hours on end, which is often a nightly occurrence. Ultimately, we believe that some types of automation are needed to prevent the widespread consumer misuse of wood stoves. The attempt by the EPA to set a maximum emission level while the stove is on its lowest burn rate was a good start. We had urged the EPA to more formally address alternative tests for automated stoves that hold tremendous promise to reduce widespread poor operation by consumers.

Warm air furnaces: Delaying the standards for all warm air furnaces for 1 – 2 years was a mistake because some companies have little ability or intention of meeting the Step 1 standards. An interim measure after 6 months to distinguish between companies on their way towards meeting standards and those who aren’t would have been far better.

Exempt wood stoves:
We are very pleased to see that the era of exempt wood stoves is over. About 1 out of every 3 or 4 new wood stoves sold in America has been exempt in recent years and EPA had considered a weaker standard for them, but is now holding them to same standard as all other stoves.

Masonry heaters:
The EPA was not able to set standards for masonry heaters but we are glad to see that the EPA has charted a path forward to work with the Masonry Heater Association so that masonry heaters become a certified appliance category

Sell-through period: The sell-through period, set at 8 months through December 31st is fair for certified wood stoves, pellet stoves and qualified or EN303-5 approved boilers, but too long for exempt wood stoves and traditional outdoor boilers which should have come off the market sooner.

Electronic reporting: We were very glad to see that the EPA will begin electronic reporting for stove certification tests and provide more transparency for the public and access more data that is not Confidential Business Information (CBI) about stove tests.

Efficiency: Achievable efficiency standards are important in the near future and we are pleased that the EPA will finally require the manufacturers to test for, and report actual efficiency numbers not only to the EPA, but also on their websites. In practice however, many existing stoves many not have to retest for 3-5 years and it is unclear if they will have to disclose efficiency before then, unless they do it voluntarily. This is particularly important for boilers and pellet stoves that have a very wide range of efficiencies.

Renewable energy: We are very disappointed that the EPA did not mention the term “renewable” in this rule. The EPA Office of Air and Radiation should take into consideration that this sector has potential not just to make cleaner energy, but to use a renewable energy source and displace fossil fuels. Governor Cuomo’s Renewable Heat New York is investing tens of millions into the sector and integrates the goal of driving down emissions, driving up efficiency while replacing fossil fuels and offering homeowners an affordable, renewable heating source. In addition to setting minimum emission standards for lab testing, the EPA should adopt a more integrated approach to this technology that is being increasingly adopted not just by New York, but by other states as well.

In conclusion, the EPA crafted a fair and balanced rule overall and took some important steps towards testing with cordwood and recognizing those companies who take steps to build stoves based on how consumers operates them. In the long run, this new rule will result in cleaner appliances and a better foundation for renewable wood and pellet heating.

Full EPA rule and fact sheets

Wood and pellet stoves

Step New PM emissions limit Compliance deadlines
Step 1: All uncertified wood and pellet stoves (cat and non-cat) 4.5 grams per hour for crib wood test method

If tested with cordwood, emissions test method must be approved, and stoves must meet crib wood limit

60 days after publication in the Federal Register
Step 2: All wood and pellet stoves (cat and non-cat) 2.0 grams per hour, or 2.5 grams per hour if tested with cordwood (test method must be approved) 5 years after publication in the Federal Register (2020)

Hydronic heaters

Step New PM emissions limit Compliance deadlines
Step 1 0.32 pounds per million Btu heat output (weighted average), with a cap of 18 grams per hour for individual test runs (crib wood test method)

If tested with cordwood, emissions test method must be approved, and stoves must meet crib wood limit

60 days after publication in the Federal Register
Step 2 0.10 pounds per million Btu heat output for each burn rate, or 0.15 pounds per million Btu heat output for each burn rate. If tested with cordwood; method must be approved 5 years after publication in the Federal Register (2020)

Warm air furnaces

Step Standard Compliance deadlines
Step 1 Operational/work practice standards 60 days after publication in the Federal Register
Step 2 Emissions limit of 0.93 pounds of PM per million Btu heat output, weighted average. Cordwood testing is required for forced air furnaces Small furnaces: 1 year after publication in the Federal Register (2016)

Large furnaces: 2 years after publication (2017)

Step 3 Emissions limit of 0.15 pounds of PM per million Btu heat output for each individual burn rate. Cordwood testing required All furnaces: 5 years after publication in the Federal Register (2020)

Related stories:
Private Talks Yield Consensus on Key Issues in NSPS
Paper Undermines Stove Industry Variability Study

Heated Up!

Wooden Heating Trends in Utah


The proposal by the Governor of Utah to ban the wintertime use of wood and pellet stoves was met with intense opposition from a large majority of Utah residents and the wood stove industry. It also underscored the need for Utah state agencies, the media, and the public to better understand the role of wood heating and its prevalence in the United States. This short paper compares census data of wood heating in Utah compared to the rest of the country. As of 2013, 10,500, or 1.2%, of Utah residents use mainly wood and pellets for their primary heating, far less than the national average of 2.1%, according to the US Census. There are likely to be an additional 40,000 to 50,000 who use it as a secondary heat source, though the US Census does not track secondary heating.  The EPA however estimates that there are about 93,000 wood and pellet stoves in Utah, some of which may not be used at all or only occasionally. Utah is one of the states that buck the national norm, in that far more homes heated with wood and pellets in 1990 compared to 1940. Utah residents gave up wood heating faster than the United States as a whole, with the number of homes mainly heating with wood hitting a low point in 1950, two decades before the rest of the country. But between 1970 and 1990, Utahns embraced wood heating far more aggressively than the rest of the country. The number of Utah homes mainly heating with wood rose from 0.3% in 1970 to 3.2% in 1990, a high point that the state has not hit since then.
The rapid growth of wood and pellets in Utah since 1970 is likely due to many of the same reasons it has grown so quickly elsewhere: both gas and oil prices had been climbing, until gas prices finally dropped in 2008 and oil prices just starting dropping in 2014.  And, the increase of wood and pellet heating may also be linked to an increased desire for household energy security by both conservative and liberal households, but for different reasons.
Median household income remained relatively static in Utah for most of the 2000s before they began falling in 2008 and rising again in 2012, compared to the US where incomes first decreased in 2007 and only started recovering in 2013. Often, more households turn away wood heating as incomes rise and this is likely a factor in Utah since 2012 as well.
Since 2005, the percent of Utahns using wood or pellet as a primary or sole heat source has ranged between 1% and 1.4%, and since 2010 has remained steady at 1.2%, significantly below the national rate of 2.1% that has remained unchanged since 2009. Wood heating peaked in 2009, at the height of the recession and dropped slightly as the economy has picked up.
Wood and pellets are the fastest growing heating fuel in Utah, followed by electricity, as it is the US overall. Wood and pellet heating as a primary heat source had increased nearly 40% in Utah from 2000 to 2013, slightly less than the nation overall. Utah is quite different than national heating trends when it comes to gas and oil. Gas heating has grown 30% in Utah since 2000, yet has only grown by 4% nationally. This increase in gas heating may be tied to slower growth of wood heating in areas with gas lines, while wood heating remains robust in areas without gas lines. Accurate county data could confirm this.  And oil heating has dropped far quicker in Utah than it has in the nation overall, although it has not been a very widespread form of residential heating in Utah.
Utah has the lowest percentage of homes heated primarily with wood in the West.  The Census does not have county level data of wood heating in Utah, but typically rural counties have far more wood heating than more urban ones.  And, lower income counties typically have more primary wood heating and higher income counties have more secondary wood heating. EPA Estimates of Fireplaces, Stoves and Boilers in Utah
The EPA figures, above, estimate nearly a quarter million wood fueled devices in Utah.  A majority of those are fireplaces and studies show that a large percent of fireplaces are never used or only used once a week, unlike stoves which are often used every day.  About 93,000 units are stoves, nearly 16,000 of which are pellet stoves, 48,000 uncertified stoves (most made prior to 1990) and 26,000 are EPA certified stoves, made since 1990.
Heated Up!

Australia Firewood Association Scores Earn for Wood Heating

A green constructing common in Australia has assigned very reduced carbon values for wood and pellet heating, which will encourage builders and architects to specify wood heating, since it is now a expense powerful implies of achieving factors towards the inexperienced creating. The regular, named BASIX stands for the Building Sustainability Index (BASIX) and aims to provide equitable, efficient water and greenhouse fuel reductions across the condition.&nbspBASIX is a single of the strongest sustainable arranging steps to be carried out in Australia.&nbsp The US equivalent is LEED, Management in Power and Environmental Layout, and overseen by the US Green Developing Council, which is also grappling with how to assign points to wooden and pellet heating techniques in LEED qualified properties and structures.

From the Firewood Affiliation of Australia – This relates to New South Wales (NSW) developing regulations, but the science behind it applies just about everywhere, anywhere there are restrictions on making use of wood fires, or strategies in opposition to the environmental credentials of firewood.

NSW BASIX, the Developing and Sustainability Index, is an integral portion of the arranging method in NSW. All new dwellings and alterations/additions in excess of $ fifty,000 in NSW have to have a BASIX certification just before they can be accredited by the council. It has taken 7 many years but we have finally achieved a key change in the BASIX guidelines, which, rather of discriminating in opposition to wooden fires, now gives them a significant benefit.

Right here is how it all occurred, and what it indicates. &nbspIn August 2007 we sent a letter to the NSW Section of Arranging that set out our scenario for a lower in the “greenhouse factor” that is used for wood heaters inside the on-line ranking resource employed to make BASIX certificates. We felt that wood heaters were unfairly prejudiced in the score method by becoming presented the same “greenhouse” emissions score as a 4 Star gas heater, when it had been confirmed by the 2003 CSIRO Life Cycle Analysis that firewood was (pretty much) a greenhouse neutral heating gasoline. The department’s reaction to our letter was that they could not settle for firewood as currently being greenhouse neutral since the 2003 CSIRO review did not incorporate an evaluation of non-CO2 greenhouse gases like methane and carbon monoxide.

The FAA subsequently contacted the CSIRO study team that experienced carried out the 2003 investigation. They eventually agreed to revise and prolong their preliminary review to contain carbon monoxide and methane. The final results ended up formally revealed by CSIRO in April 2012 in a scientific journal (see the report on the front web page of the FAA web internet site). The revised lifestyle cycle analysis confirmed that the greenhouse result of non-CO2 gas emissions from firewood is minimal.
Pursuing the, we approached the Section of Arranging again to request that they re-consider a revision of the BASIX score for wooden heaters. This time we gained a much more optimistic response and the staff from the Department’s Sustainability Device agreed to think about our thorough submission.

Ultimately on the tenth of June 2014, following practically eighteen months of negotiation with the DPI Sustainability Unit, the BASIX on-line score resource was updated to replicate a very a lot diminished emission aspect for wooden heaters. As noted in preceding troubles of the FAA e-news, the proposed change was strenuously opposed by the NSW EPA due to the fact they are funding a neighborhood govt marketing campaign to lessen the variety of wooden heaters in the Point out.

Due to the fact of the complexity of the BASIX system the effect of this alter on any person score assessment is a tiny hard to quantify precisely, but it will have the effect of making wood heaters a lot far better than a 5 Star gas heater or a 6 Star reverse cycle air conditioner and in truth far better than every single other variety of domestic heating which includes ground source warmth pumps.

One particular of the probably results of this adjust is that builders and architects will be inspired to specify wood heating, just because it is now the most cost efficient indicates of achieving the essential BASIX focus on.

Clearly producers and suppliers of wood heaters will be the huge winners from this change. However, from a firewood industry standpoint there will certainly be an improved desire for wooden, even if some of the new wooden heaters are only employed from time to time. The other principal gain for each sectors of the wood heating market is that we have lastly received official govt acknowledgement of the greenhouse advantages of firewood, which is something that the total sector can use to its edge.

The following thing to do is to make positive that we effectively communicate and encourage what is truly a landmark acquire for wooden heating. To get the ball rolling the FAA is obtaining prices from industrial advertising organisations in NSW for the preparing and shipping of an built-in and targeted advertising technique. When we are in possession of these prices the FAA will invite all get-togethers with a vested curiosity in the NSW wooden sector to go to a assembly where the in depth ramifications of the rating change can be defined and a advertising technique can be agreed.

We would like to specific our many thanks to the staff from the DPI Sustainability Unit for their cooperation in what has been a extended and difficult approach. Our many thanks also go to Joel Belnick of Jetmaster Fireplaces (Aust) Pty Ltd for his encouragement and support.

Heated Up!