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National Wood Stove Changeout Provision Included in Climate Change Measure

Wood Stove Changeout Programs Shown to Effectively Clean the Air

Contact: Seth Voyles (703)522-0086 (ET)   

June 1, 2009 (Arlington, VA)  After a massive four-day markup, the Energy and Commerce Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives approved an amendment that would authorize $20 million over five years for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to set up and operate a federal wood stove changeout program.

The amendment was offered to H.R. 2545, “The American Clean Energy and Security Act,” by U.S. Representatives Welch (D-VT), Inslee (D-WA) and Harman (D-CA), all members of the Energy and Commerce Committee. The committee approved the amendment by a 33-25 vote.

“For consumers across the country, this bill would mean that cleaner burning stoves could help warm their homes, help reduce spending and clean the air in their neighborhoods,” announced the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue (HPBA) President Jack Goldman.  “We are very grateful to U.S. Representatives Welch, Inslee and Harman for helping to highlight the value of changeouts as a means to remove old, inefficient and polluting heating units and replace them with new cleaner-burning technology.”  

Wood stove changeouts have been regional programs to replace older, inefficient wood stoves with cleaner-burning EPA-certified models.  A pilot-program in Libby, Montana, which replaced or repaired 1,130 old stoves, showed that the changeout reduced pollution by 70 percent per stove, on average.

Data shows that Libby residents are now breathing significantly cleaner air both outdoors and inside their homes with the average wintertime fine particulate levels in the outdoor air decreased by 40 percent in 2008.  The results are even more dramatic for indoor air quality with initial research by the University of Montana finding the air 72 percent cleaner inside homes with new, EPA-certified stoves.  (Details can be found at www.woodstovechangeout.org.)

The success of the Libby pilot program and its remarkable air quality improvements earned the attention of congressional leaders who are now working to put significant funding behind a nationwide wood stove changeout program.

"I'm proud to sponsor the national wood stove changeout program,” said U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA).  “My constituents from the 1st District of Washington came to me with this idea, and I worked to make sure this great program was included in the bill. This program will give people the opportunity to change out old, inefficient wood stoves for newer, cleaner models - improving public health and the environment at the same time.  It's a win-win." 

And, Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT), added, "I am pleased we were able to further strengthen the American Clean Energy and Security Act by including the wood stove changeout program.  This amendment will create jobs, reduce carbon pollution and help those who heat their homes with wood save money."

The bill will now be considered by other committees of jurisdiction before moving to the floor of the House of Representatives for final consideration. 

About Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA)

The Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association is an international trade association first established in 1980 to represent and promote the interests of the hearth products industry in North America. In 2002, the Hearth Products Association (HPA) merged with the Barbecue Industry Association (BIA) to form HPBA. The association includes manufacturers, retailers, distributors, manufacturers' representatives, service and installation firms, and other companies and individuals - all having business interests in and related to the hearth, patio and barbecue products industries.

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