For Immediate Release - January 25, 2013

Commonwealth Woodstove Trade-in-Program Closes

Popular renewable thermal program funds more than 750 cleaner stoves

BOSTON – January 25, 2013 – Due to high demand, the Commonwealth Woodstove Change-Out Pilot Program – which provides rebates for the replacement of old, inefficient wood- or coal-burning stoves – will close to online applications on Sunday, Jan. 27 at 5 p.m. and will no longer accept applications. All paper applications must be postmarked by Saturday, Jan. 26.

Applications received after these deadlines will not be accepted.

The program, which was launched by the Department of Energy Resources (DOER), the Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC), has exhausted its second round of funding after nine days.

During this second round of the program, the initial funding was $800,000. State officials announced today an additional pledge of at least $250,000 to meet the increased demand.

Completed applications submitted electronically by Jan. 27 and paper applications postmarked by Jan. 26, will be honored. The programs’ two rounds – which were available to residents on a first-come first-serviced basis – will help to have more than 750 new efficient stoves installed in homes across the state from Williamstown to Wellfleet. 

“The tremendous success of this program is another example of the way Massachusetts residents respond enthusiastically to clean energy opportunities,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rick Sullivan. “We’re excited that so many families have been able to participate and bring the clean energy revolution into their homes.”

New stoves are more than 50 percent more efficient and require less fuel, saving owners money on fuel costs. The efficient stoves also emit 70 percent less harmful particles than older models, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

“The replacement of hundreds of older woodstoves with lower-emission units will greatly improve the air quality across the Commonwealth,” said MassDEP Commissioner Kenneth Kimmell. “With a 70 percent reduction in fine particles emitted, the new stoves installed during this popular change-out program will protect the health of our neighbors and improve the quality of life in our communities.”

"We are so pleased that these two rounds of funding have inspired residents to upgrade their systems, save themselves money and reduce pollution,” said DOER Commissioner Mark Sylvia. “We look forward to continuing to offer innovative, accessible programs that will protect our environment and reduce energy consumption.”

Customers whose voucher covers the cost of their stove and installation will see an immediate cost savings on the amount of firewood they have to purchase. For others who purchase higher-priced models, the payback on their investment will occur within one to two years after the fuel cost savings.

“Not only are we saving homeowners money on wood costs, but we’re also keeping the air cleaner for everyone, helping to meet our statewide goal to reduce harmful emissions,” said MassCEC CEO Alicia Barton McDevitt.

As part of the Global Warming Solutions Act, the Patrick-Murray Administration set a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent below 1990 levels by 2020.

The Commonwealth Woodstove Change-Out Program provides vouchers of $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. To qualify, residents must already have an existing woodstove to trade in and must receive approval for a rebate before purchasing the woodstove. Woodstoves purchased before a rebate is awarded are not eligible for the program.

The first round of this pilot program opened on Dec. 27 and exhausted its $100,000 initial round of funding after just 12 days.