HPBA's Government Affairs Department is constantly promoting the industry through a rich variety of projects. Whether through the legislative process or our grassroots advocacy work, we work hard to get our members' voices heard.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) issued final regulations on April 16, 2010, that regulated the energy efficiency of all heater-rated and decorative gas fireplaces – regulating all as room heaters, essentially banning the sale of decorative gas fireplaces. HPBA sued DOE in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in May, 2010, followed by settlement negotiations that lasted for one year. On February 8, 2013, the D.C.Circuit Court of Appealsof HPBA’s position, striking down both of DOE’s rules. In response to the Court's direction to define hearth heaters prior to making a rule, HPBA has been working with Congress and successfully introduced , a bill that defines and distinguishes between decorative hearth products and vented gas fireplace heaters. In light of DOE's recently proposed definitions of hearth products, this legislation and industry's efforts to properly define hearth products in statue is all the more important.
The Libby, Montana changeout replaced or repaired 1,130 old, polluting stoves with new wood, pellet, gas or electric heating appliances. HPBA, its member companies, EPA and other Montana partners provided direct grants, equipment donations and in-kind support worth more than $2.5 million to finance the program.
Based on preliminary data, Libby residents are now breathing significantly cleaner air both outdoors and inside their homes. Average wintertime fine particulate levels in the outdoor air decreased by 28% in 2007 -- the first year following completion of the changeouts. The results are even more dramatic for indoor air quality with initial research by the University of Montana finding the air 72% cleaner inside homes with new, EPA certified stoves.
Today, several changeouts are occurring all over North America.
The USEPA's (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) is the program which governs emissions for wood burning appliances and is undergoing its first revision in 20 years. Since this revision may impact all wood burning appliances, the HPBA Board of Directors has asked its members to partner with the association in the fight against results that would be potentially harmful for our industry. Our legal, research & development and legislative staff are working hard to advocate on behalf of the interests of our industry and our members. HPBA members can enter our MyHPBA members-only Solid Fuel Section page for information on upcoming industry meetings.
This event is organized by HPBA's Government Affairs Department and taught by staff, Government Affairs Committee members, and outside consultants.Our members and Affiliate staff from all over the United States travel to Washington D.C. for a crash course in grassroots advocacy, lobbying and to learn the nuances of our industry. Our instructors teach attendees how to interact with elected officials to press our industry agenda forward. We give you the tools to start your very own grassroots advocacy campaign!
In the beginning of April 2014, the U.S. Senate Finance Committee voted to include the Residential Energy Efficiency (25C) Tax Credit in a tax extension package of 50+ tax breaks, know as the EXPIRE Act (S. 2260). This provision, which expired on December 31, 2013, includes a tax credit for biomass-fueled stoves that would be applicable for qualifying appliance purchased between January 1, 2014 and December 31, 2015. This legislation has not yet been passed; therefore, the 25C tax credit remains expired and not available for consumers, unless the legislation is passed later this year.