New Source Performance Standards | NSPS | Initiatives| HPBA

Issue Overview

HPBA has supported reasonable standards for wood and pellet-fueled appliances to burn more cleanly and efficiently for more than 30 years and worked closely with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to achieve these results. All of today's low-emission woodburning appliances produce significantly less smoke and particulate emissions than older products. Hearth manufacturer and retailer members have benefited from HPBA's efforts, and homeowners have enjoyed new technologies to conserve energy and burn cleaner.

EPA Database of EPA-certified Wood Heaters

February 2022 Update

In February 2022, EPA withdrew broadly applicable test methods ALT-125 and ALT-127.Appliances certified to ALT-125 or ALT-127 will not be eligible for recertification pursuant to 40 CFR 60.531 and 60.534(a)(2). As ALT-125 and ALT-127 were the only cordwood tests any appliances were certified to, this effectively reverts industry testing to a cribwood standard that does not closely reflect how appliances are burned in owners’ homes.

November 18, 2020 Update

Despite HPBA efforts, EPA will not be providing sell-through of any kind for Step 1 products.

HPBA has received official word from the U.S. EPA that they will NOT be providing a sell-through period for Step 1 appliances.

Thank you to everyone who helped us with our advocacy efforts on this issue. EPA made it clear that it was not for lack of effort on our part, just that EPA was delayed during other parts of the process by other agency priorities.

Is there still a donation option?


We asked EPA if they might still allow dealers to donate Step 1 products to non-profits HPBA has been working with to replace older products with EPA-certified units. EPA has told us this would not be possible due to the need to publish a rule change to distinguish between prohibited sales and donations. There is not enough time for EPA to do even this, and the rule change would face opposition that would kill the effort.

What can dealers do now with any remaining Step 1 products?

With no sell-through or a donation option, any Step 1 products remaining can only be recycled or destroyed. They cannot even be given away as the EPA prohibits the transfer of ownership of a Step 1 product after May 15, 2020.

This is extremely disappointing news, especially in light of the second wave of COVID-19 cases impacting families and small businesses. We urge you to share this with your dealer network. More information and updates can be found on our website.

If you have any additional questions, please contact Ryan Carroll.

Many of your question are likely answered on our FAQ page. 


To read more about the recent history of this issue, read our May 6 blog post, here

HPBA Retailer NSPS Toolkit

To assist our members, retailers in particular, HPBA continues to update resources on our NSPS Toolkit. Access a compliance visit checklist, FAQs, myths and facts, labeling guide, past NSPS webinars, and more.

Launch the HPBA Retailer NSPS Toolkit

Quick Facts 

  • The EPA updated the NSPS for New Residential Wood Heaters in March 2015, which was the first update to the rule for woodstoves since 1988. Wood and pellet stoves were required to meet new emission targets, and hydronic heaters and forced-air furnaces became newly-regulated.
  • Step 2 of the NSPS came into effect on May 15, 2020.
  • If you sell a Step 1 product before or on May 15, you can still install it at a later date. Most importantly, transfer of ownership OR control must occur before the effective date. See our FAQ page for more on this.
  • Any covered product that is not certified to meet Step 2 cannot be manufactured, sold, ownership transferred, or even given away after May 15, 2020. 
  • Truly used products (with a clear chain of non-commercial ownership) can continue to be sold after the effective date.
  • See our FAQ page and NSPS Toolkit for more information.


Understanding the Issue