Non-cats cleaner than catalytic or pellet stoves in new certifications

In the most recent updated list of EPA certified stoves, 17 more units became 2020 compliant, meeting the 2020 EPA regulations of emitting no more than 2 grams an hour.  While it is not a large sample size, among this batch of newly certified units,  the non-catalytic stoves averaged 1.2 grams an hour, whereas catalytic stove averaged 1.3 and pellet stoves averaged 1.4.  It is not yet clear if the non-catalytic stove designers used new innovative technology or just fine-tuned existing strategies to reduce particulate matter.
Of the 17 newly certified stoves,
non-catalytic models are the cleanest
Many industry experts have argued that the 2020 emission standard of 2 grams an hour favors catalytic and pellet stoves.  But we are seeing some non-cats come in below 1 gram an hour, including 2 of the 5 in this recently certified batch.  Many of the 2020 compliant non-cats do fall in the 1.5 to 2 gram range.  And every once in a while, a stove goes into the lab and doesn’t quite meet the 2.0 gram standard, like a IHP stove that recently came out certified at 2.1 grams.  Assuming this unit was not tested with cordwood (which are allowed up to 2.5 grams per hour), this means that the model can only remain on the market in the US for less than 18 months until May 2020, unless the EPA were to approve a sell-through.
Efficiency

The average efficiencies show a less surprising trend: the 13 newly certified non-catalytic and pellet stoves had the same average efficiency – 69%.  The four catalytic stoves, including one hybrid, had an average of 77% efficiency.  These efficiency numbers are typical of averages of all stoves on the market. Pellet stoves have long had the reputation of being a more efficient technology, but over the last several years, as manufacturers were required to disclose efficiencies,  we saw that pellet stoves had a far greater range on the low and high end, with the average being about the same as non-cats.  Even among this small sample, pellet stoves had the lowest efficiency unit (at 60%) made by Sherwood Industries.  Sherwood also made the highest efficiency pellet stove in this newly certified batch – at 77%.
Efficiency could be a more important metric if Congress re-instates the tax credit for residential wood heaters.  That credit was worth $ 300 but expired in December 2017.  Stoves needed to be 75% efficient to qualify for the tax credit, but manufacturers were allowed to claim eligibility without disclosing their real efficiency, allowing virtually all stoves to qualify.  The practice of exaggerating efficiencies and misleading consumers got to the point that even the industry association, the Hearth Patio & Barbecue Association, changed course in 2018 and recommended that only publicly disclosed efficiencies on the EPA list of stoves be used in the future to determine eligibility.  If the credit is reinstated, there is a chance that the eligibility number could be reduced to 73%, in part to help more non-catalytic stoves qualify.
Carbon monoxide

The other metric that test labs are now required to report is carbon monoxide, another very important test of cleanliness, along with particulate matter.  By far the cleanest technology in terms of CO is the pellet stove. The pellet stoves in this small batch had an average of 0.42. grams an hour of CO, the catalytic had 0.63 grams and non-catalytic stoves had 1.2 grams – almost double the CO of non-cats and triple that of pellet stoves.

A stove’s ability to burn off carbon monoxide often tracks its ability to burn off particulate matter.  Of the pellet stoves, the three with the lowest CO also had a lower average PM (1.2 grams an hour), and the three with higher CO had a higher average PM (1.5 grams an hour).  
Overall progress towards 2020

There are 533 stove models on the latest list of EPA certified stoves that are currently in production.  Many of those units will never be changed to become 2020 compliant and many are already not being produced any more.  Industry experts say that the number of stove models will contract as we get closer to 2020, likely in the range of 300 – 400 models.  As of February 2019, 119 models are 2020 compliant.  (The number of 2020 compliant models is consistently under-reported due to delays in processing and notification.)  Many manufacturers may also have completed their R&D and/or their testing but have not submitted the data to the EPA. 
Most stove manufacturers have at least a third to half of their models 2020 certified – including larger brands such as American Energy Systems, Blaze King, Even Temp, Fireplace Products International, Hearthstone, Pacific Energy, Rais, Ravelli, RSF/ICC, Sherwood Industries, Stuv, Travis and Woodstock Soapstone.
However, the two largest value stove manufacturers in the US market – US Stove and Englander – only have pellet stoves certified and still do not have any 2020 compliant wood stoves.   They sell to big box stores, which buy even earlier than specialty retailers.  It is still too early to tell if big box stores will replace Englander and US Stove models with models from other manufacturers, likely at higher prices.  Some in industry hope that the 2020 emission standards will help specialty heath stores regain some of the market share they had lost to the big box stores over the past decade.  

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Air Quality Groups Be a part of Lawsuit more than EPA Stove and Boiler Rules

On April 15, three air quality groups filed a motion to join the lawsuit that a hearth industry group is bringing against the EPA over their new wood stove and boiler regulations.  These groups said that their interest lies in “defending the Final Rule against challenges brought by industry groups seeking to further weaken or delay it.” This development is likely to make the suit more difficult for the hearth industry.

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The most prominent of the groups, the American Lung Association (ALA), has a long history of both cooperating with the EPA and also being part of suits against it.  Their motion suggests that the EPA’s new rule could or should be stricter, but they do not appear to be suing for stricter emissions standards.  If the air quality groups had chosen to sue for stricter standards, they would have risked having the rule sent back to EPA for revision, which could backfire as a revised rule may not be issued until 2017 or later, when a Republican nominee could potentially be running the EPA.
The industry strategy may be precisely that –to send the rule back to EPA for revision, then to try to delay the revision until a more sympathetic administration takes over.  But this strategy also poses a risk for industry, as the revised rule could emerge even stricter depending on who takes charge of the EPA.
The hearth industry group, the Hearth Patio and Barbecue Association (HPBA) a loose amalgamation of wood, pellet, gas, grilling and outdoor furniture industries has not yet laid out the basis of its suit and is not required to do so until the DC Circuit Court sets a briefing schedule.  The date for oral argument is usually set 6 to 8 weeks after the date final briefs are due, and the three-judge panel for oral argument typically is not be announced until shortly before the argument.
There is still time for HPBA to file a petition for reconsideration with the EPA.  The most likely scenario is that the rule will become law on May 15, 2015 and the HPBA will be focusing on challenging the stricter Step 2 emission standards, which take effect in 2020.  Other parties can still file a suit, or a motion to join this suit, until May 15. 
The other two air quality groups who joined the suit along with ALA are the Clean Air Council (CAC) and Environmentand Human Health, Inc.(EHH).  CAC is based in Philadelphia and focuses on a wide array of energy and environmental issues.  EHH is a small group based in Connecticut and has worked on outdoor wood boiler pollution for many years.  All three groups, the ALA, CAC and EHH, were active in the comment process on the rule.  Earthjustice, a public interest law firm that does not charge its clients, is representing the groups.   The Environmental Defense Fund, which had teamed up with these three groups on earlier litigation, did not join this intervention.
In the groups’ motion to intervene, they said, the “Hearth Association will likely seek to weaken or delay the Final Rule’s requirements, as their comments during the rulemaking sought to weaken protective measures required under the Final Rule. For example, the Hearth Association objected to EPA’s use of emissions testing as a quality assurance tool to verify manufacturers’ ongoing compliance with emission standards.”
One strategic point of this lawsuit will be the selection of the 3-judge panel, which is done at random.  Generally, insiders tend to consider Republican appointees more industry-friendly and Democratic appointees more inclined to support public health groups.  History has shown that judges can be less-than-predicable in terms of how they deal with threshold legal issues such as standing, ripeness, procedural issues, or deference owed to the agency, and their decisions on these issues rarely break down along party lines.  Although everyone will be interested in knowing the three judges that will form the panel, knowing who they are is rarely enough to predict how the case will turn out.
The new EPA rules cover everything from very clean pellet stoves to extremely dirty outdoor and indoor wood boilers.  Most pellet stoves and some wood stoves, for example, already meet the 2020 standards and are very affordable. The industry lawsuit is likely to focus on 2020 standards that some indoor and outdoor wood boilers will struggle to meet, as well as 2020 wood stove standards that will raise the cost for some stoves.  In the 6 months leading up to the announcement of the rule, the industry focused mainly on delaying the rule’s implementation for indoor wood boilers.
For more information about the rule, see “What Consumers Need to Know about the NewStove Rule.”

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Far more than forty,000 new, uncertified stoves bought every calendar year suggests EPA

The EPA recently unveiled a figure of 40,000 uncertified, exempt stoves being sold each 12 months. &nbspAn estimate on the quantity of income of these stoves experienced extended been sought by the EPA and other folks, but makers would not offer them. &nbspExempt wooden stoves are not required by the EPA to fulfill any emissions expectations and they are very likely to emit five to 10 occasions the smoke and particulates of an EPA accredited stove. &nbspThese exempt, uncertified stoves usually offer for $ 200 to $ 500 a piece. &nbspIn distinction, EPA licensed stoves typically start off all around $ 650. More and a lot more utilised EPA stoves are coming onto the second hand market place in the $ 300 – $ 800 price tag selection.

Lit’l Sweetie, a common exempt,
uncertified wood stove that has been
a popular vendor in the US
Because the 12 months 2000, about 135,000 EPA accredited wooden stoves and inserts have been offered each 12 months, making the forty,000 new, uncertified stove industry a appreciable part of total stoves product sales in the US.&nbsp To get a sense of the sturdy exempt wood stove market, buyers can research for “wood stove” at Amazon.com. &nbspUsually the majority of stoves revealed for sale on the web site are exempt, like barrel stove kits.
Next 12 months the EPA is proposing to ban the generation and sale of exempt wood stoves. &nbspThere is little doubt that the closing rule will put an conclude to the sale of stoves that do not need to meet emission standards.&nbsp At the EPA’s pubic hearing in Boston on the proposed regulations, Steve Vogelzang, founder of the business that could have bought the most exempt wooden stoves in the US, referred to as on the EPA to rethink their proposal, arguing that there is nevertheless a want for stoves like these to go into cabins and workshops. &nbspHe additional that, if the EPA moves ahead on the ban, “we are going to remove the most inexpensive stoves from the market.” &nbspTo read through the full evaluation of the effect of the EPA’s proposed restrictions, see pp. one hundred ten – one hundred forty four of the proposed rule.
A single problem with exempt stoves is making an attempt to preserve them out of jurisdictions that they are not allowed to be marketed in.&nbsp Washington and California have long banned new installations of them, and a lot of stores record those states as places they are not able to be shipped to.&nbsp They are also not allowed to be sold or put in in Oregon and the Denver and Salt Lake Town areas.&nbsp Vogelzang, almost certainly the greatest manufacturer of exempt stoves, does not give any details to shoppers on its site about where they can be shipped or set up. &nbspUS Stove, which now owns Vogelzang and is also a major manufacturer of exempt stoves, tells its shoppers that they simply cannot ship to Washington and California, but does not mention Oregon or components of Utah and Colorado. &nbspAccording to Paul Williams, Nationwide Income Supervisor for US Stove, while they could not have the data on their websites, when they get they calls and e-mails for exempt stoves, “our solution … is they are not transported to CA, OR, WA, CO and UT.”
Northern Instrument + Products, a significant in-retailer and on the internet retailer that sells exempt wooden stoves, advertises that the Vogelzang Lit’l Sweetie “meets or exceeds EPA specifications for exempt wood stoves.” &nbspIn truth, the Lit’l Sweetie does not fulfill or exceed any EPA emissions necessity, but is exempt from them. &nbspThe Alliance for Environmentally friendly Heat spotlighted this misleading advertising in September 2012 but misleading language is nevertheless frequent in commercials for exempt stoves. &nbspNorthern Tool’s site is programmed to not consider orders for exempt stoves from addresses in states the place exempt stoves can’t be delivered.
Amazon.com, a location many buyers change to for every day needs, might be the ideal major retail outlet for informing customers that exempt stoves simply cannot be shipped to WA, OR, CA, UT or CO. &nbspThe site has a assortment of sellers with merchandise descriptions and also permits for buyers to immediately inquire and answer queries about the solution. &nbspSimilarly, House-Depot is very good on equally supplying client information and regulating the getting of exempt stoves.&nbsp They obviously label the stove as EPA exempt, say that they are not able to ship to WA, OR, CA, UT or CO and the internet site will not enable customers obtain from people states.

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Outside boilers cleaner than wood stoves, boiler lobby tells Utah legislators

Legislators go to overturn outside boiler restrictions

In a heated combat over no matter whether out of doors boilers ought to be authorized in regions of Utah with inadequate air quality, the outside boiler lobby is swaying lawmakers with information showing that boilers are cleaner than wood stoves.

The lead Utah resident pushing for rules that would permit out of doors boilers, Daniel Leavitt, represented himself as a worried citizen to the Utah Air Top quality Board, and the Utah paper refers to him as a resident who operates his out of doors wooden boiler to heat his property. But what the paper failed to mention is that Leavitt is also a prominent Utah lawyer specializing in authorities relations and the brother of the previous Governor of Utah. What is actually more is that Leavitt is being paid out by Central Boiler, the boiler manufacturer foremost the marketing campaign.

In February, Utah adopted regulations that permitted the installation of Section 2 out of doors boilers in most of the condition but banned them in populated regions that do not meet federal air high quality attainment specifications. Central Boiler had fought against the laws but had been eventually unsuccessful.&nbsp

Following the restrictions were promulgated, the boiler company took its scenario to the legislature. On March 7, a around unanimous legislative committee sided with Central Boiler. They accredited HB394, which “prohibits the Air Quality Board from regulating the sale, set up, alternative, or procedure of an outside wood&nbsp boiler otherwise than other solid fuel burning
 units.” Om March 11, the bill was handed by the Utah Property and moved to the Senate.

Central Boiler submitted comments arguing that Period 2 out of doors boilers “are cleaner than EPA qualified wooden stoves.” David Leavitt, the “worried citizen” hired by Central Boiler, is also carrying that concept. “These outside wooden boilers are vastly a lot more productive than burning anything at all indoors,” he informed the Deseret News.&nbsp&nbsp

“Utah legislators ought to comprehend that even the best wood stoves and wood boilers are only as clean as the wooden that is loaded in them,” mentioned John Ackerly, President of the Alliance for Environmentally friendly Heat, a unbiased non-revenue marketing cleaner and much more successful wood heating.&nbspOutdoor wood boilers have fireboxes normally ranging from 14-sixty cubic ft even though a wood stove firebox is 2-three cubic toes.
“Outdoor boilers are often loaded with huge, unseasoned and unsplit logs and trash, in contrast to stoves.&nbspThis is a important reason that states control out of doors wood boilers and not stoves. Central Boiler adverts exhibiting efficiencies in the 90s are dependent on calculations that have been repudiated by the EPA,” Ackerly additional.

The Utah Section of Environmental Good quality (DEQ) explained the objections that that Central Boiler and Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association (HPBA) experienced with the laws ended up “similar” and publicly responded to them. Privately, some people say the positions of Central Boiler and HPBA had crucial distinctions but the community document does not expose what they have been.&nbsp&nbsp

According to the Utah DEQ, the troubles raised by Central Boiler and HPBA included:
  • DEQ appears to spot increased excess weight to a variety of out-of-point out companies and other individuals who are generally skeptical towards the emissions reduction outcomes reached under the US EPA hydronic heater software.
  • DEQ has not offered scientific information or other rationale supporting what varieties of outside wooden boilers ended up authorized beneath the rule.
  • DAQ has not released any knowledge demonstrating that outdoor furnaces presently make impacts within the nonattainment and routine maintenance regions or that they will contribute to the exceedance of the NAAQS.
  • The 1000 ft. setback from schools is not necessary primarily based on modeling carried out by the State of New York.
In reaction to the initial proposed restrictions, Central Boiler argued that the “rule lacks scientific help and would unfairly prohibit Utah inhabitants from acquiring and employing thoroughly clean-burning wooden furnaces.” A principal thrust of Central Boilers argument is that Period 2 boilers “are cleaner than EPA certified wood stoves.” Exclusively they claim that “average emissions for a Stage 2 OHH are 77% considerably less than these from EPA-Qualified woodstoves.” The total submission by Central Boiler can be discovered&nbspright here.
“These outdoor wooden boilers are vastly more effective than burning everything indoors,” Levitt stated.

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