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Water Lake Landscape

Transforming Wood Heat in America

A Toolkit of Policy Options

Residential Biomass Appliance programs designed to incentivize the purchase of new biomass appliances are motivated by a wide variety of policy goals. These policy goals can include: phasing out outdated appliances to achieve EPA air quality requirements, promoting energy efficient appliances, assisting low-income families to invest in an affordable heat source or reducing fossil fuel consumption by switching to a sustainable fuel.

One of the primary benefits of incentive programs is that they encourage those interested in buying wood stoves to buy the cleaner burning appliances. The programs can support homeowners in either purchasing a heating device or replacing an old one. The policy motivation and available funding may determine the shape a residential wood heat incentive program will take. Among the suite of policy options available are rebates, tax credits, tax exemptions, tax deductions and loans. Of course, each program type has various strengths and weaknesses, which will be explored in this chapter. This chapter will also specifically discuss wood stove changeout programs in detail because successful changeout programs require the consideration of many factors.

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