Tax-Credits & Incentives

Change-Out Program

What is a change-out program?

A wood stove change-out program is a voluntary campaign organized to remove high-emission old stoves from use in an area and reduce air pollution caused by wood smoke. Consumers receive financial incentives like rebates, low interest loans, or discounts to replace their existing older stoves with either pellet stoves, EPA-certified wood stoves, or low-emission fossil fuel burning stoves. Old stoves must be surrendered for destruction and recycling. Funding is usually supplied by a combination of state, federal, and industry groups like the HPBA (Hearth, Patio, and Barbeque Association) or smaller wood stove retailers.

Why are change-outs important for wood stoves?

Unlike cars, refrigerators and virtually every other appliance, wood stoves can last so long that they can remain in use for 30 – 50 years. As a result, most wood stoves are still not EPA certified, a program that started in 1990. Pollution from older stoves, or from incorrectly used new stoves, is a serious health concern, and one of the best ways to get them out of circulation is a change-out program. The Alliance for Green Heat urges all change-out programs to use the stricter Washington State emission standards instead of the most lax EPA ones.

How effective are change outs?

Exchanging an old or unregulated woodstove for an EPA-certified model can reduce emissions by more than 3 lbs/million BTU when the new stove is used properly. This 60% cleaner burn is due largely to updated technology like catalytic converters and insulation.

Under some change-out programs, residents also have the option to replace their uncertified stove with a pellet stove. The lower moisture content and controlled fire box can reduce particulate matter emissions from 4.6 lbs/million BTU from the old wood stove to 0.49 lbs/million BTU from the pellet stove.

These large scale change-out programs were organized in order to help regions designated non-attainment for particulate matter (PM10) and fine particulates (PM2.5). Officials learned through these pilot programs that public awareness, timing, and local staff make a huge difference in the success of a change-out program. Residents must be aware of the program and its eligibility limitations. They will not apply or will not apply correctly if they are not made aware of the income caps and the types of funding available to them.

Position of the Alliance for Green Heat

 The Alliance for Green Heat believes that many wood stove changeout  programs have not taken a holistic approach and as a result, air quality improvements have been undermined.  We believe that towns or counties in areas with air quality non-attainment problems should ban the installation of non-certified wood stoves after a changeout program.  While this is being done in Libby it has not been done in most cases.  The Alliance for Green Heat is urging the EPA not to release funds for changeouts until a town or county has agreed to take measures to ban the installation of exempt wood stoves (such as Vogelzang stoves) and old, second hand uncertified wood stoves.   We also believe that EPA funds should only be used to subsidize the purchase of stoves that emit 4.5 grams per hour or less.  A county could also consider requiring that uncertified stoves be removed when a house is sold (which is already required state-wide in Oregon). For statewide programs, the state should also consider adopting the stricter Washington state 4.5 gram emission standards

Selected Change-Out Programs

  Pittsburg, PA Delta County, CO Libby, MT
Size 11 counties 1 county 1 community
Time Frame 2005 1995 - Present 2005 - 2007

EPA/Allegany County Health Department


SEP through the EPA from a lawsuit against the Louisiana-Pacific Corporation
HPBA/EPA/State Department of Environmental Quality/Lincoln County
Phase I $2,000 vouchers, low income Rebates averaging $670, low income Full upgrade (around $2,900), low income
Phase II Discounts, any income Smaller discounts, any income $1,050 for woodstoves, $1,750 for furnaces, any income
Number Replaced PI- 31/ PII- 200 PI and PII- 162 PI- 260 / PII- 870
More Information HPBA Page HPBA Page Final Report

In Pittsburg, officials learned not to conduct a change-out in the fall. This is the busiest time for most wood stove dealers, and creating extra demands through the program often leaves dealers unable to supply residents. Change-out programs should be run in the �off season� of spring and early summer.

Local support for programs funded through national groups can come from county or health department staff. They can personalize the process and conduct in-person interviews to simplify the application process for residents. Local support also helps to keep the program flexible and able to handle unexpected problems.

Did You Know?

Replacing 25 non-certified, older stoves with 25 EPA certified stoves can prevent the emissions of one ton of particulate matter (PM2.5) into our environment per year.

Change-Outs in Your State

This is not a comprehensive list, and many states have discontinued funding for change-out programs. Please contact your local health or air quality department to see if any programs are currently being funded in your area.


In March 2009 there was a request for proposals to conduct a change-out, but the RPF was cancelled later that month and the change-out did not occur. The Fairbanks/North Star Borough has initiated a change out program to improve air quality.

Incentive specifics available here:


The HPBA, Arizona HPBA and the Arizona Chapter of the American Lung Association will kick-off the Eastern Arizona Woodstove Changeout on June 12, 2010. Funded with $750,000 from a major settlement organized by U.S. EPA, this changeout will offer cash incentives for low and middle income families in a region with a large number of old woodstoves. Several manufacturers announced their own programs to support this effort.
For more information on the Arizona Changeout, contact Larry Grogan at
For information on HPBA efforts to foster more changeouts, contact John Crouch at


Yolo/Solano County, Sacramento, Santa Clara, and Truckee all regularly offer rebates for the replacement of an old wood burning stove with an EPA-certified unit or one that burns natural gas, propane, or pellets. Other lesser known programs are available in Placer, El Dorado, Shasta, and Butte Counties. Incentive specifics available here:

California provides local rebates in some areas for removing old, non-EPA compliant stoves in several counties, particularly in the Bay Area.

Marin County- $250 rebate for removing non-compliant woodstoves, fireplaces and inserts that are destroyed. Rebate can be used towards an EPA Phase II wood, pellet, or gas stove.

Yolo County- $200 rebate for replacing a non-certified wood burning stove or insert with a natural gas, propane, pellet stove or EPA certified wood stove.

Sacramento County- $200-750 for Environmental Justice-area residents and $75- 450 for non-Environmental Justice-area residents replacing existing uncertified wood stoves, inserts, or open hearth fireplaces with an EPA-certified stove.

Del North/Humboldt/Trinity Counties- Residents can apply for assistance when replacing a non-EPA certified wood heating appliance with an EPA certified appliance.

Incentive specifics available here:
Del North/Humboldt/Trinity:

The Mesa County Woodstove Replacement Program provides between $3,000 and $750.00 depending on income to change out old stoves. Funds can be used to install certified wood or pellet burning stoves and fireplace inserts. Grant funds will not be available to upgrade from gas or pellets to certified wood stoves.

Colorado has helped to conduct local change outs with HPBA and other stakeholders since 1995, like the Delta County change-out. This ongoing program offers rebates averaging $670 for low-income residents, and smaller discount systems for all incomes

Incentive specifics available here:

Under the Residential Alternative Energy tax deduction, 40% of purchase and installation costs can be deducted in the first year, and for 20% next three years. There is a maximum deduction of $5,000 each year, and a maximum of $20,000 total. This tax incentive is only available for residents who turn in old stoves and replace an old, non-EPA certified stove in their home. Preten, Pinehurst and the Nez Perce Tribe also have had local change-out programs

Incentive specifics available here:
Incentive specifics available here for Presten:
Incentive specifics available here Nez Perce Tribe:


Local incentives are available in Lincoln County. Residents using an old, uncertified stove are eligible for a full woodstove replacement.

Incentive specifics available here:

Libby, Montana was the site of a very well publicized concentrated effort by the EPA and HPBA to conduct a full change out between 2005 and 2007. The Libby change-out replaced 1,130 non-EPA woodstoves in one community.

Incentive specifics available here:

Eligible low-income residents of Ravalli County can receive up to $2,570 towards the purchase or installation of an EPA certified stove. Old stoves are dismantled and recycled.

Incentive specifics available here:


Provides a change-out rebate program in some counties. When replacing a pre-1992 manufactured stove in Washoe County, residents can receive up to a $600 rebate towards the purchase of a new, EPA-certified stove.

Incentive specifics available here:

Provides a change-out rebate program in some counties. When replacing a pre-1992 manufactured stove in Washoe County, residents can receive up to a $600rebate towards the purchase of a new, EPA-certified stove.

Incentive specifics available here:

In 2008, The Great Michigan Change-out Campaign offered up to $500 in rebates and discounts toward the purchase and installation of a new stove. Retailers and the Michigan United Conservation Clubs also offered significant discounts and/ or rebates as a part of the campaign.

Incentive specifics available here:

New Hampshire:
The Keene Change-Out provides rebates of $1,000 to homeowners in Keene for replacement of currently operating non-EPA-certified woodstoves with new certified wood, pellet or gas stoves. New wood stoves must meet the State of Washington certification standards. Applications will be accepted until January 29, 2010.

For more information, visit

The Alliance and environmental activists in Keene are still urging the city to ban future installations of stoves that are not EPA certified, in order to protect the important air quality gains that the Change-Out program will likely achieve.


The Regional Air Pollution Control Agency provided Clean Air Coupons ($300-$400) to residents of Clarke, Darke, Greene, Miami, Montgomery, and Preble counties in 2006 and 2007 to help replace pre-1992 wood stoves with cleaner-burning wood, pellet, corn, or gas stoves. Incentive specifics available here:

Yes, in 2006-2007 Dayton, Ohio helped to fund the Greater Dayton Woodstove Change-out Program. Ninety-two stoves were changed out

Incentive specifics available here:


The Southwest Pennsylvania Air Quality Partnership has previously conducted large-scale change-out programs in the Pittsburgh area.

Incentive specifics available here:


Provided a change-out rebate program in the spring of 2009. Incentive specifics available here:
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