Three questions to answer before beginning to plan a woodstove changeout:
- Is a woodstove changeout right for my community?
- What are the keys to a successful program?
- How do I claim emissions credit in my clean air plan?
Is a woodstove changeout right for my community?
Communities that would benefit from a changeout are typically characterized by some or all of the following characteristics:
- Non-attainment designation by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for fine particles (soot and dust), also known as PM2.5 ;
- High levels of wood smoke and other emissions caused by wood stoves and other hearth products;
- Location in a valley or some other geographic/topographic area that causes smoke to become trapped over the community for long periods of time;
- Significant number of households that use wood-burning appliances not certified by EPA; and
- Populations of low-income residents who could realize health benefits from a changeout campaign. This is particularly true for low-income residents who rely on wood heating.
What are the keys to a successful program?
Just as every community is unique, so is every woodstove changeout program. Although changeouts can take a variety of forms depending on the nature of the coverage area, there are certain qualities that are shared by most successful campaigns.
How do I claim emissions credit in my clean air plan?
The Clean Air Act requires that all areas of the United States reach and maintain health-based standards for air quality. States are responsible for developing and executing plans for meeting these standards. Failure to meet federal air quality standards on time can result in severe economic sanctions for that area. When states take actions, such as implementing a changeout, to reduce emissions, they can claim credits that help them meet air quality standards.
U.S. EPA Guidance for Quantifying and Using Emission Reductions from Voluntary Woodstove Changeout Programs in State Implementation Plans (PDF)