Keene Woodstove Changeout Program Deadline Extended -
Limited Number of Rebate Vouchers Still Available
KEENE, NH – City of Keene officials announced today that there are still a limited number of rebate vouchers available through the citywide woodstove changeout program, and they urge eligible homeowners to apply before the funds are gone. The woodstove changeout program provides a $1,000 rebate voucher to homeowners who replace older non-EPA certified woodstoves with cleaner burner models.
Keene is the first community in New Hampshire to have a woodstove changeout program, and its goal is to replace 100 old woodstoves. To date, approximately 70 old woodstoves have been changed out and replaced by cleaner burning more efficient new stoves. Originally slated to end at the end of January, the deadline to apply is being extended until March 12th in order to distribute the remaining vouchers.
Chuck and April Weed have completed the process of changing out their old woodstove. They have been very pleased with the program and are happy to answer questions that others may have about their experience with the program. According to the Weeds, “The City made the process an easy one, and the modifications we made improved the safety of our wood burning. We love our new stove (a Napoleon purchased from Green Energy Options), and we have already noticed its efficiency. We are burning less wood, and we feel good about putting less pollution in the air.” The Weeds said that the city inspector was thorough, conscientious and friendly, and they strongly recommend that others take advantage of this program while it is available.
Keene Planning Director Rhett Lamb urges any resident who heats with wood to contact the Planning Department at City Hall for an application. In addition to the $1,000 rebate incentive, participants who select a new pellet stove are eligible for a free ton of pellet fuel.
“We recognize that some residents may have concerns about shutting down their current systems during the winter heating season to install a newer stove,” Lamb noted. “My office is available to assist homeowners through the process to make it as easy as possible and to address any concerns. If you are eligible and have not yet applied, you should do so before funds are gone. You have nothing to lose and lots to gain from participating in this program!”
The benefits of a woodstove upgrade far outweigh any short-term inconveniences. In addition to improving air quality in Keene, replacing older stoves will save homeowners money in fuel costs, since many new stoves use one-third less fuel than older stoves.
“This is a great opportunity for homeowners and residents of Keene,” noted Keene Mayor Dale Pregent. “This effort helps stimulate local business, and results in increased energy efficiency, reduced fuel usage, and improved overall air quality.”
Whether they sign up for the rebate program or not, all homeowners who heat with wood are reminded to follow some basic tips for achieving a clean and efficient burn. For example, “best burn practices” include recommendations such as the following: burn only dry, well-seasoned firewood with low moisture content; start fires with newspapers or dry kindling; regularly remove ashes from your stove and place them outside in a covered metal container; have your chimney cleaned annually and inspected for safety; and never burn household trash, garbage, cardboard, plastics, styrofoam, or painted or pressure-treated wood which can release harmful chemicals when burned.
The Keene Woodstove Changeout Campaign is a cooperative effort between the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services and the City of Keene, with support from EPA, the Hearth Patio and Barbeque Association, and participating local woodstove dealers. No taxpayer dollars are used for the rebates, which come instead from a large multi-state enforcement settlement with out-of-state power plants. For more information and program details, visit www.ci.keene.nh.us/sustainability/woodstove-changeout . If you are a Keene homeowner and would like to apply for a rebate voucher, call the Keene Planning Department at 603-352-5474.
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