The Utah Clean Air Partnership (UCAIR) and the Utah Department of Environmental Air Quality (DEQ) held a press event today for the launch of a Wood Stove Conversion Assistance Program to limit air pollution from wood burning stoves. The program was developed to incentivize residents to convert their fireplace or wood stove into a natural gas or propane fueled appliance. Governor Gary Herbert, Bryce Bird, Director Division of Air Quality and Thom Carter, Executive Director of UCAIR all attended the event where former grant recipient Zach Robison showed the Governor his new gas insert and talked about his seamless and easy experience.
Smoke from wood burning stoves and fireplaces is a significant source of emissions during winter inversions—up to 150 tons of emissions over the life cycle of a stove. The fine particulate matter, known as PM2.5, can travel into your respiratory system and be harmful to our health.
“Converting a stove or fireplace is a healthy change for our families and communities, but budgets may have been a barrier for many that want to do their part in clearing our air,” said UCAIR Executive Director, Thom Carter. “With thousands of dollars in rebates available to homeowners, now is the perfect time to make a change. There are no simple solutions to our winter inversions, but converting your wood stove or fireplace to a clean burning appliance is a practical, and now more affordable, solution.”
Gov. Gary R. Herbert, who recently declared September as Idle-Free Awareness Month, applauded the Wood Stove Conversion Assistance Programfor providing another practical solution to improve air quality.
“As we prepare for the coming winter inversion season, I encourage everyone to find a way to make a change to improve our air quality,” said Gov. Gary R. Herbert. “If that means taking the opportunity to convert your wood stove to a clean fuel stove, your exchange can help reduce the wintertime pollution caused by wood burning.”
Rebates are available to homeowners living in Davis, Weber, Utah counties and portions of Cache, Box Elder and Tooele counties. The Salt Lake applications have been put on hold due to an overwhelming number of applicants in the first few days. Low-income homeowners can receive up to a $3,800 rebate to convert a wood burning appliance to natural gas or propane. Non low-income homeowners can receive up to at $2,800. Income qualifications, registration details and other information can be found at stoves.utah.gov.
The incentive funding is provided through a grant from the EPA. This marks the second wood stove conversion program held in Utah. Zach Robinson and his family were recipients of a 2017 incentive and expressed the ease of switching their wood burning stove for a gas stove:
“As a family, we are cognizant of our environment and do our part. We conserve water, we recycle and we do everything we can to improve our air quality,” Zach Robinson, Sandy resident and recipient of a 2017 conversion rebate, said while showing the Governor the insert he received through the last grant. “When we learned of the rebate opportunity last year, we jumped at it. We would adhere to red burn days, which meant there were many days we could not use our fireplace. By converting to gas, we were excited about being able to further minimize our impact on air quality and be able to freely use our fireplace to heat and enjoy the full comfort of our home. The conversion process was quick and efficient. We used a trusted local vendor and now look forward to another winter of enjoying our new clean burning fireplace. We encourage all of our family, friends and neighbors to apply for the rebate this year.”
Homeowner Zach Robinson participated in the initial conversion program funded by Chevron, Andeavor and the Eccles Foundation. The success of the initial program paved the way for the 2018 conversion program launched last week.
Homeowners can use the rebate to:
- Exchange an operational wood stove (including pellet) for a gas stove (natural gas or propane)
- Convert a wood burning fireplace to natural gas or propane
- Exchange an operational uncertified wood stove for an EPA-certified wood stove
- Turn in an operational wood stove or insert for metal recycling
To learn more about the exchange, visit stoves.utah.gov.