Wood Stove Changeout Program
What is it?
The American Lung Association in Massachusetts is fighting for cleaner air by making available $1,000,000 in vouchers for participants to use toward the purchase of new EPA certified woodstove, pellet stove or gas stove to replace their non-EPA certified woodstove or hydronic heater. Residents of Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden or Hampshire counties that use older woodstoves for primary or significant heat are eligible for a voucher of $300-$5000, depending on the type of replacement appliance and income level. Vouchers in the amount of $3000 will be available for income qualified residents in the counties listed above.
Eligible Replacement Stoves
This program will replace or retrofit, high-polluting wood-burning stoves with cleaner-burning, more energy-efficient heating appliances and technologies. Specifically, the following replacement scenarios are eligible:
- Replacing older hydronic heaters with EPA Phase II certified hydronic heater, or EPA certified woodstoves, wood pellet, gas or propane appliances or ENERGY STAR gas furnace.
- Replacing non-EPA certified woodstoves with EPA certified woodstoves, EPA Certified wood pellet, gas or propane appliances.
Coal and cook stove replacements are not eligible.
Many residents of Western Massachusetts have wood-burning stoves in their home as a primary or significant source of heat. Smoke from residential wood heaters can be harmful to the health of those in your community. This is especially true for people with lung conditions, as well as children, older adults, people with cardiovascular disease and diabetics. Smoke from wood-burning stoves can have both short-term and long-term effects. This is because wood smoke contains carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds, black carbon and air toxics such as benzene. It also contains fine particle pollution (PM2.5), a particle so tiny that it can get deep into the lungs, harming the lungs, blood vessels and heart. Breathing in pollutants from wood-burning stoves can trigger coughing, wheezing, asthma attacks, heart attacks and even lead to lung cancer and premature death, among other health effects. New wood, natural gas, and pellet stoves are much more efficient and are regulated by the EPA to control emissions, so a stove bought today is much cleaner-burning and releases fewer harmful air pollutants and carcinogens. By upgrading to cleaner-burning, more energy-efficient heating appliances and technologies, residents will:
- Improve local air quality indoors and out
- Warm homes for less money
- Cut creosote build-up in chimney and reduce the risk of fire
- Improve family lung health by reducing indoor air pollution by 70%
- Support the local economy
How it works
Qualifying residents will submit a voucher application to the American Lung Association of the Northeast (ALANE). If the application is approved, the voucher is valid for 4 weeks, and in that time the approved resident will bring the voucher to a participating retailer to determine the type of eligible replacement appliance. Residents must have the voucher in hand when entering into a purchase and sale agreement with the participating retailer. The agreement must be made prior to the expiration date on the voucher. The voucher acts as a “coupon” discounting the new appliance unit or installation immediately at the time of purchase for the resident. After sale and installation, it is the retailer’s responsibility to submit the voucher and all qualifying documentation to ALANE for payment.
Approximately $1,000,000 will be available in vouchers to help with the purchase of a new EPA certified woodstove, EPA certified pellet stove or gas stove to replace their non-EPA certified woodstove or hydronic heater. Vouchers are for $1000 toward a new EPA certified woodstove; $1500 if changing from a hydronic heater to an EPA certified woodstove; There is an additional $500 incentive for those who choose a replacement unit with 70% or greater efficiency and/or 2.5 grams per hour or less of emissions; $2000 for an EPA certified pellet or gas stove if changing from woodstove or hydronic heater and $3000 for income qualified participants (income qualified vouchers may use the voucher for EPA certified wood, pellet or gas stoves); $4000 for replacement of an old hydronic heater with a new EPA Phase II (EPA qualified) hydronic heater or ENERGY STAR gas furnace or $5000 for hydronic heater replacement if income qualified; $300 for the retrofit of an existing woodstove with a new catalyst.
Income qualified status will be determined by proof of current participation in the following programs:
- Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP)
- State Health Insurance (Medicaid)
- Woman, Infants and Children (WIC) Supplemental Food Program
** To receive an “Income Qualified” voucher, you MUST provide proof of current participation in state Medicaid, Low Income Heating Assistance Program or the Women, Infants and Children Supplemental Food Program.
- Must be a resident and homeowner in Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden or Hampshire Counties.
- Must be currently using a non-EPA certified woodstove (build pre-1990) as a home heating source. Coal and cook stove replacements are not included. Woodstoves in workshops and sheds do not qualify. Workplaces, rental properties, seasonal or vacation properties are not eligible to apply.
- Must trade your old non EPA-certified woodstove or catalyst in for a new EPA certified woodstove, pellet stove or gas stove only at a participating retailer. List will be supplied.
- Must trade in your hydronic heater for a new ENERGY STAR gas furnace or EPA Phase II certified hydronic heater at a participating retailer. List will be supplied.
- Must have the new EPA certified stove, furnace or parts professionally installed in compliance with all relevant building and fire codes. No do-it –yourself option.
- Must fully complete a voucher application form including a photo of the existing stove/hydronic heater/catalyst and any documentation required if applying for the income qualified voucher. Documentation should be a copy of your current Medicaid card (front and back), copy of an official letter certifying that you are currently participating in the LIHEAP or WIC program. Application should be mailed to: the American Lung Association of the Northeast, 122 State Street, Augusta Maine 04330 c/o Michelle Edwards.
- Must have the voucher in hand when entering into a purchase and sale agreement with a participating retailer. The agreement should be made prior to the expiration of the voucher (4-week period). The stove does NOT have to be installed within that timeframe, but must be within 30 days of the expiration date of the voucher.
- Vouchers will be available on a first come, first served basis and only received by the American Lung Association via mailed application. No walk-ins. The post mark date will be used to establish the voucher list and any waiting list.
- Limit of one voucher per household.
How do I apply?
Complete the voucher application form in its entirety (download application form). Application instructions are at the beginning of the voucher application, and voucher approval or denial should be received within two weeks of submission. After voucher approval, recipient will have a 4 weeks to enter into a purchase and sale agreement with a participating retailer. Please see the Application Form and Resources sections below for additional materials.
Please submit applications directly to the American Lung Association of the Northeast via email or physical mail:
Woodstove Changeout Program Coordinator
American Lung Association of the Northeast
122 State Street
Augusta, Maine 04330
- Voucher Application
- Retailer Agreement (for retailers only)
- Voucher Tracking Form (for retailer/installer only)
- One Page Fact Sheet
- Residential Burning
- Step by Step Guide
- List of Participating Retailers
- Map of Participating Retailer
- List of EPA Certified Wood Heaters
- List of EPA Certified Hydronic Heaters
- Why and How to Use a Wood Moisture Meter
- Burn Wise Awareness Kit