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Commonwealth Wood Stove Changeout

Commonwealth Wood Stove Changeout

The Commonwealth Woodstove Change-Out program, a partnership between MassCEC and the Department of Energy Resources, offers rebates to assist Massachusetts residents in replacing non-EPA-certified wood stoves with cleaner, more efficient EPA-certified wood or pellet stoves.

EPA-certified stoves on average require one-third less wood than older models to produce the same amount of heat, while releasing 70 to 90 percent less particulate matter, which has been shown to exacerbate health conditions like asthma, heart disease and lung cancer. Residents installing new stoves can expect to save an average of $5,000 over the lifetime of the stove. Each woodstove switched out for a newer model is equivalent to eliminating the particulate emissions from five old diesel trucks.

In this year’s program, standard rebates will range from $500 to $1,750, depending on the emission levels and type of stove purchased.  Rebates from $1,500 to $3,000 are available for residents who meet certain income requirements. For the first time this year, the program will provide higher incentives for stoves that achieve a superior efficiency level.

To qualify for a rebate, a resident must have an operational, non-EPA-certified woodstove.

Step 1: Contact a Participating Stove Professional

Each homeowner should first select a participating stove professional, who will submit the rebate application on his or her behalf. MassCEC maintains a list of stove professionals and tips for finding an installer participating in the 2017 Commonwealth Woodstove Change-Out Program.

When contacting a stove professional, a homeowner should be prepared to provide:

  • The year the stove was manufactured.
  • Pictures of the front and back of the stove, if possible. All EPA-certified stoves have a metal tag on the back of the stove indicating EPA certification.

Homeowners can also learn more about woodstoves, including information on stove pricing and the differences between non-catalytic, catalytic, pellet stoves, and fully automotive woodstoves.

Step 2: Homeowner Verifies Eligibility for Low-Income Rebate, if Necessary

If a homeowner wishes to apply for a low-income rebate, he or she must confirm eligibility by providing the stove professional with a current fuel assistance letter, OR electric bill issued within the last six months showing a residential-assistance utility rate, OR verifying annual income using our confidential, third-party income verification portal.

Please note that documentation must be submitted through MassCEC’s income verification portal on or before July 17, 2017 to be considered for income-based rebate funding. After this date the portal will be closed. All projects submitted for income verification via portal on or before July 17 will be granted one month for rebate application submission beginning on the date that income is verified. MassCEC will receive automatic notification of homeowner eligibility for income-based rebates through the portal.

Step 3: Stove Professional Completes Change-Out and Applies for Rebate

Once a homeowner has determined the old stove’s eligibility, selected a stove professional and signed a contract with stove professional to complete the change-out, he or she can move forward with the project.

The stove professional should:

  1. Ensure that the change-out can be completed by the August 21, 2017 application deadline.
  2. Ensure that the project meets program eligibility requirements, and that program procedures are followed, as described in the program manual.
  3. Complete the change-out. This includes:

    Removing the old stove and having it rendered inoperable by a stove recycler.

    Installing the new stove.
    Discussing best practices for operating and maintaining the stove, including best practices for wood burning and chimney cleaning. Additional information on how to burn wood more cleanly and efficiency can be found on the EPA’s Burn Wise website and on the Department of Energy’s wood and pellet heating website.
    Apply for the rebate on behalf of the homeowner. The rebate amount should be treated as an instant discount to the homeowner on the total cost of the project and listed as such on the project invoice. The homeowner will need to provide the stove professional with:
    A signed participant’s agreement
    An electric bill from the past six months
    Pictures of the old stove (before removal) and new stove (after installation)

Please read the program manual for full details on eligibility, program requirements and rebates. Installers looking to participate in the program, or apply on behalf of homeowners, should visit the installer resources page.


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