For Immediate Release - January 18, 2013

Patrick-Murray Administration Relaunches Woodstove Exchange Program

Popular renewable thermal program reopens with $800,000 in additional funding to swap out hundreds of old, inefficient stoves.

WEST SPRINGFIELD – January 18, 2013 – The Patrick-Murray Administration’s Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs today announced the opening of the second round of the popular Commonwealth Woodstove Change-Out Program, which provides up to $800,000 in rebates for the replacement of old, inefficient wood or coal-burning stoves for Massachusetts residents.

Residents who qualify for the program – which is administered by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) and the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) – will receive a voucher of either $1,000 or $2,000 to replace older non-EPA certified stove models with high-efficiency stoves that use less wood and release less air pollution.

A pilot version of the program opened on Dec. 27 and exhausted its $100,000 initial round of funding after just 12 days.

“The success of the pilot program shows the enthusiasm with which Massachusetts responds to opportunities to adopt clean energy,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rick Sullivan. “With this second round of funding, we’re hoping more people can take part and bring the clean energy revolution into their homes.”

The second round of the program will be funded with $800,000 provided by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), with $300,000 available immediately and another $500,000 to follow. The second round of funding was announced at a kick-off event held at Fireside Designs in West Springfield, one of the program’s participating dealers.

“This program is another example of the Commonwealth’s commitment to clean air and clean energy,” said MassDEP Commissioner Kenneth Kimmell. “The program will deliver localized air quality improvements to areas and neighborhoods where high-emitting stoves are operating for heating purposes. Replacing these units is particularly important in valley locations, which can experience elevated levels of fine particles due to temperature inversions.”

To qualify, residents must already have an existing woodstove to trade in and must receive approval for a rebate before purchasing the new woodstove. Woodstoves purchased before a rebate is awarded are not eligible for the program.

“These newer stoves are more efficient, saving families money on wood costs each month and provide better air quality, protecting our environment and public health,” said MassCEC CEO Alicia Barton McDevitt.

”Providing incentives to upgrade old, dirty stoves with cleaner, more efficient ones just makes sense,” said DOER Commissioner Mark Sylvia. “This woodstove change-out program also helps us meet our energy, environmental and economic goals. It is part of the investment Massachusetts is making in a clean energy future to improve our economy, grow jobs and reduce our impact on the environment.”

“Energy efficiency takes all shapes and sizes. This program is an important and innovative step in our efforts to reduce the amount of energy we use,” said Sen. Benjamin B. Downing, Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy. “I am thrilled that the CEC has announced this second round of funding. With it, residents considering whether they should move ahead with the installation of energy efficient heating systems in their homes can take that step.” 

“I am pleased with the release of this second round of funding,” said Sen. Marc R. Pacheco, Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture. “As we can see by the fact that the first round of funding was consumed so quickly, this program is not just a smart investment, but a popular one as well.”

“I am ecstatic that the Patrick-Murray Administration has continued funding for this program,” said Rep. Anne Gobi, House Chair of the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture. “Being able to reduce the cost of heating while providing greener energy efficiency is great for people and the environment.”

"We applaud the Patrick-Murray Administration for expanding this successful program," said Jeff Seyler, President and CEO of the American Lung Association of the Northeast. "Replacing older, high-polluting woodstoves with new efficient EPA-certified ones will result in significant reductions in air pollution and much less fuel being burned. This program will not only benefit the woodstove owners, but also their neighbors, especially those people living with asthma, COPD and other lung diseases."

Low-income residents, who provide proof of enrollment in the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), MassHealth, Women, Infants and Children (WIC) or Social Security Disability, are eligible for a $2,000 rebate, while other Massachusetts residents are eligible for a $1,000 rebate.

Residents can participate in the program by filling out an online application or submitting a paper application. Once it is approved, MassCEC will issue a voucher, which can be redeemed at any participating woodstove dealer in Massachusetts for a discount on the retail price of the stove. MassCEC will then reimburse retailers for the value of the voucher.

Residents can apply for a voucher, and access more information on the program, by visiting www.masscec.com/woodstove or calling or by calling (617) 315-9340.

About DOER
The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources develops and implements policies and programs aimed at ensuring the adequacy, security, diversity, and cost-effectiveness of the Commonwealth’s energy supply within the context of creating a cleaner energy future.

About MassDEP
MassDEP is responsible for ensuring clean air and water, safe management and recycling of solid and hazardous wastes, timely cleanup of hazardous waste sites and spills, and the preservation of wetlands and coastal resources.

About MassCEC
Created by the Green Jobs Act of 2008, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) is dedicated to accelerating the success of clean energy technologies, companies and projects in the Commonwealth—while creating high-quality jobs and long-term economic growth for the people of Massachusetts. Since its inception in 2009, MassCEC has helped clean energy companies grow, supported municipal clean energy projects and invested in residential and commercial renewable energy installations creating a robust marketplace for innovative clean technology companies and service providers.

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