Updated Nov 10, 2016
State Policies on Wood and Pellet Stoves
|In 2001, the Alliance for Green Heat did a report card on how well states were promoting cleaner wood heating and clean burn practices. See report here|
A wide range of policies toward wood and pellet stoves has cropped up across the country. Some areas with widespread air inversions need to curb wood smoke, whereas other areas promote modern wood and pellet heating to reduce reliance on fossil fuels. Virtually all areas are open to change out programs to swap out old wood stoves with new wood, pellet or gas stoves. (Full List of State Incentives)
This list of state policies does not attempt to cover every policy. Burn bans, for example, are not covered here, although they are an important policy and regulatory tool when needed. County and other municipal policies are often difficult to find. If you know of policies that we've missed, please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
. If you live in a state with biomass-specific policies, tell us if you think the policy is effective or not.
Forbids Use of Uncertified Stoves
: Forbidding the use of old, uncertified stoves is rare in the US and likely only used after years of offering funding to change out old stoves.
Forbids Sale and/or Installation of Uncertified Stoves:
- Tacoma-Pierce County, Washington: As of October 2015, it is illegal to purchase or operate an uncertified wood stove in the Tacoma-Pierce County Smoke Reduction Zone.
- Marin County, California: Forbids use of non-certified appliances since July 2008 and forbids installation of non-certified stoves in new construction or remodels.
Two states, and a number of urban areas and counties do not allow old, uncertified stoves to be sold or installed off the second hand market. Where change out programs occur, banning the future installation of old stoves is a key way to preserve air quality gains.
Forbids Installation of Fireplaces
- Washington: Since 1992, has forbidden sale and installation of wood stoves or inserts that are not certified to the stricter Washington state emission standards.
- Oregon: Forbids sale and installation of wood stoves or inserts that are not certified. Oregon began certifying stoves in 1984 and the EPA in 1988.
- Denver-Metro area, Colorado: Prohibits sale and installation of new or used uncertified wood burning appliances
- Summit County, Colorado: Forbids the installation of a non-certified wood stove in a new home or as a replacement unit for an existing non-certified stove.
- San Joaquin Valley, California: Forbids sale and installation of non-certified stoves.
- Town of Mammoth Lakes, California: Uncertified stoves prohibited from being installed in the town. No more than one EPA-certified wood stove can be installed in new single-family detached dwellings.
- Pinal County, Arizona: Uncertified stoves prohibited from being installed in “Area A”.
- Denver Metro area: The installation of fireplaces is not allowed unless they are equipped with an EPA Phase II wood or pellet burning insert, or electric or gas log.
- California Bay Area: Forbids installing fireplaces or stoves in new construction
Tax credits for purchasing an EPA compliant or premium efficiency stove are designed to help overcome the initial purchase and installation price of renewable energy equipment.
State Tax Deductions:
- The Federal government has long provided a tax credit for EPA certified stoves that are 75% efficient or greater. (Many stove manufacturers issue letters for tax purposes falsely claiming that their stoves are 75% efficient.)
- Montana: $500 (& $1,000 for a couple) for purchase of a compliant wood or pellet stove.
- Oregon: provides up to $1,500 based on efficiency and gives preference to those stoves that have an actual, measured efficiency on the EPA list of certified stoves. If the manufacturer just uses a default efficiency, and won't release an actual one, the tax credit is $144 for non-catalytic stoves, $216 for catalytic and $288 for pellet stoves.
State Stove & Boiler Rebates:
- Alabama: 100 percent tax deduction of the purchase and installation cost for conversion from gas or electricity to wood, when the system is used as the primary source for heating a home.
- Arizona: Up to $500 for converting a fireplace to a certified wood stove
- Idaho: 40 percent of stove/system first year, 20 percent per year for the next three years (up to $5,000 per year) for replacement of non-certified stove
A number of states provide cash rebates (for links and more details click here
- Maine: Certain EPA approved wood and pellet stoves are eligible for a $500 rebate and automated pellet boilers eligible for up to $5,000 rebate through Efficiency Maine.
- Maryland: $500 for wood (no more than 3 g/hr), $700 for pellet (no more than 2 g/hr). Only available to state residents who heat with electric or non-natural gas fossil fuel heating systems.
- Massachusetts: Up to $15,000 rebate for automated pellet boilers.
- New Hampshire: Up to $6,000 rebate for automated pellet boilers that are at least 80% efficient.
- New York: $1,500 (Up to $2,5000 low income) for pellet stove; 25% of installed cost (up to $5,000) for 'advanced cordwood' boiler or 45% (up to $36,000) for a high efficiency, low emissions pellet boiler, with an additional $5,000 for documented recycling of old wood boiler, or $2,500 for recycling whole house wood furnace.
- Vermont: $2,000 for qualifying, automated wood pellet boilers.
Many local programs give rebates to change-out old, uncertified stoves in the West, and increasingly in the East. Here is a sampling of programs running in the summer of 2016. Rebates are for replacing a non-certified stove with compliant wood, pellet, gas or oil one.
Sales Tax Exemptions
- Puget Sound, Washington: $750 for wood, $1,500 for pellet; $2,800 for wood and $3,000 for pellet for low-income residents.
- Tacoma-Pierce County, Washington: $1,500 for electric heat pumps, gas furnaces, natural gas or propane stoves or inserts, pellet stoves or inserts, or certified woodstoves or inserts (woodstoves or inserts available for low-income households only).
- Marin County, California: $250 to remove non-compliant wood stoves.
- Cheshire County, New Hampshire: $300 to replace a catalyst; $1,000 for woodstoves; $1,500 for pellet or gas stoves; $3,000 for wood, pellet, or gas for low-income residents.
- Rumford, Maine: $1,000 for wood, pellet, or gas stoves.
- El Dorado County, California: $500 for wood or pellet; $600 for electric, natural gas, or propane; $300 bonus for Tahoe residents.
- Boulder, Denver, Jefferson, Larimer, and Weld Counties, Colorado: $400 for EPA Phase II qualified retrofit devices or natural gas fireplace; $750 for wood stoves; $1,000 for wood stove that meets Step 2 emissions criteria; $1,500 for natural gas, propane or pellet, $3,000 for any eligible device (low-income).
- Placer County, California: $650 for wood, gas, or pellet appliance.
- Vancouver, Washington: $250 for removing a non-certified stove. $750 ($1,250 low-income) for a approved wood stove or insert; $1,250 ($2,500 low-income) for pellet; $2,000 ($4,000 low-income) for gas, electric, or oil
Non-Certified Stoves Must Be Removed
- Maryland: no sales tax on cordwood or purchase of a corn stove.
- New York: no sales tax on pellets.
- Oregon: Uncertified stoves must be removed when a home is sold.
- Marin County, California: Non-certified stoves must be removed upon a home's remodel.
- Truckee, California: All non-certified stoves must be removed by May 1, 2008. A fund gave rebates to those turning in their old stoves to recycling centers. No interest loans were also available for low-income families for the purchase of a newer model wood stove. Masonry stoves and pellet stoves are not required to be removed, even if they are not certified.
- Libby, Montana: A well-publicized effort to remove polluting stoves in this community required an all-out ban of non-certified stoves in order to ensure the success of the program in 2007.