Project Stove Swap

Environmental Initiative’s Project Stove Swap is a voluntary program that provides financial incentives to consumers and businesses to replace older wood heating appliances with more efficient, less-polluting technologies. Making the switch to a new appliance can cut heating expenses, increase safety, and improve air quality.

Swapping out just one outdated wood stove for a new model is the pollution reduction equivalent of removing over 700 cars from the road per year. Wood smoke can also lead to a variety of short-term and long-term health issues.

WHERE WE’RE WORKING

Project Stove Swap is currently serving residents, small businesses, and nonprofits in 17 Northeastern Minnesota counties. If you or your organization reside in these areas, find out if you’re eligible for a stove change-out and how Project Stove Swap works.

 

Project Stove Swap is one of several efforts underway to help achieve Clean Air Minnesota’s goal of reducing man-made sources of fine particulate matter (soot) and ground-level ozone precursor emissions (smog) by 10%.

Clean Air Minnesota is a diverse coalition of air quality leaders convened by Environmental Initiative who are working voluntarily and proactively to reduce air pollution.

More Information

How it Works

Do you use wood as a primary or major heat source in your home or business? Is your wood stove, pellet stove, furnace, or hydronic heater an old, inefficient model?

If so, participating in Project Stove Swap is a great way to save money on a new, more efficient appliance. Incentive amounts range from $325 to $4,000 discounts depending on the technology selected. Incentive amounts are subtracted from your final invoice following installation of your new stove. Swap out your stove in five easy steps:

1. FIND A VENDOR

Select a vendor from our program map. If your preferred vendor isn’t listed, Environmental Initiative can work with them to get registered with Project Stove Swap.

2. FILL OUT AN APPLICATION

Your vendor will verify your existing appliance’s eligibility, incentive amount, and will help you submit an application for your new device.

Incentive Amounts

Project Stove Swap’s incentive amounts are listed below. Incentive amounts are set based on the new technology installed and are subtracted from the final invoice at the time of payment.

General Residential & Commercial Incentive
Type of Appliance Incentive Amount
EPA Certified Wood Stoves/Fireplace Inserts Up to $750
Other (gas stove or EPA Certified wood pellet) Hearth Appliances Up to $1,500
EPA Certified Indoor/Outdoor Forced Air Furnaces & Hydronic Heaters Up to $4,000
Energy Star Natural Gas or Propane Furnace Up to $3,000
Wood Stove Catalyst Replacement Up to $325
EPA Qualified Fireplace Retrofit Devices Up to $400
Vented Gas Stove Insert into Open Fireplace Up to $1,500

 

Income-Qualified Residential Incentive
Type of Appliance Incentive
EPA Certified Wood Stoves/Fireplace Inserts* Up to $3,000
Other (gas stove or EPA Certified wood pellet) Hearth Appliances* Up to $3,500
EPA Certified Outdoor Hydronic Heaters* Up to $10,000
EPA Certified Indoor Wood Furnaces & Hydronic Heaters* Up to $6,000
Energy Star Natural Gar or Propane Furnace* Up to $5,000
Wood Stove Catalyst Replacement Up to $325

 

*Includes all necessary equipment for use of appliance (e.g. chimneys, liners, hearth pads, etc.)

3. INSTALL YOUR NEW DEVICE

Once your application is approved, work with your vendor to schedule and complete installation of your new device. Installation must happen within 60 days of approval.

After your device is installed, you will receive an invoice with the incentive amount discounted from the total. Customers are responsible for all costs above the incentive amount.

4. COMPLETE TRAINING

Once your new device is installed, your vendor will train you on its operation and fill out a certification form on your behalf. The vendor will be reimbursed once the certification form is complete.

5. TELL YOUR NEIGHBORS

Project Stove Swap has financial incentives available through the end of 2017, at least, in all 17 eligible counties, and is seeking additional funding to expand the program.

Eligibility

ELIGIBILITY

Financial incentives to replace wood burning devices are available to residents, small businesses, and nonprofits in 17 Northeastern Minnesota counties. Appliances used as a primary or major heat source and manufactured before 1992 are generally eligible for replacement through Project Stove Swap. Eligible appliances include wood and wood pellet stoves, fireplace inserts, fireplaces, forced air furnaces, and hydronic heaters. Income-qualified incentives are also available to residents who qualify for any of the following programs, or other pertinent income eligibility criteria used by local community action service providers:

  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Medical Assistance
  • Women, Infants, and Children’s Program (WIC)
  • Low Income Heating Assistance Program (LIHEAP)

ELIGIBLE REPLACEMENT APPLIANCES

The following links provide guidance on eligible replacement appliances. The best way to determine whether or not your old appliance is eligible for replacement is to work with your vendor.

Contact Erin Niehoff at 612-334-3388 ext. 8102 with questions or to learn more.

Wood Smoke & Health

WHAT IS WOOD SMOKE?

Smoke forms when organic matter (like wood), burns. While most people recognize the smell, wood smoke is actually composed of a mix of gases, chemicals, and fine particles. The finest particles are small enough to be absorbed by the lungs and enter into the bloodstream. So, even though wood smoke smells good, it’s not good for you.

WHAT ARE THE HEALTH EFFECTS?

The fine particles and chemicals in wood smoke can lead to a variety of short-term and long-term health issues, including:

  • Irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat.
  • Aggravation of asthma and lung inflammation.
  • Repeated exposure is linked to chronic illnesses such as emphysema and bronchitis.
  • Heart disease and irregular heartbeat.

WHO IS MOST AT RISK?

  • Children have growing lungs and a faster breathing rate than adults, making them more susceptible to the effects of wood smoke.
  • People with existing heart, lung, or upper respiratory conditions can also be impacted.
  • The elderly and people with already weakened immune systems are also more sensitive to wood smoke.

MORE INFORMATION

Learn more about the connection between wood smoke and health with these resources from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency:

Frequently Asked Questions

WHY SHOULD I CHANGE OUT MY WOOD BURNING APPLIANCE?

In recent years, technological advances have made new wood burning appliances much more efficient, enabling them to produce the same amount of heat while burning up to 50% less wood and producing up to 70% less smoke, which is harmful to human health. Installing new wood and gas appliances saves homeowners and businesses time and money while helping us all breathe easier.

HOW DO I KNOW IF I AM ELIGIBLE TO PARTICIPATE?

Older wood burning appliances manufactured before 1992 that are used as a primary or major heat source in a residence, business, or institution across 17 northeastern Minnesota counties are eligible for the program. This includes wood stoves and fireplace inserts, pellet stoves and inserts, forced air furnaces, and hydronic heaters. Project Stove Swap vendors can help you determine whether or not your existing appliance is eligible for replacment.

WHY IS PROJECT STOVE SWAP ONLY WORKING IN NORTHEASTERN MINNESOTA?

Environmental Initiative is currenlty partnering with Minnesota Power to offer financial incentives for stove replacement through Project Stove Swap. It is our hope to expand this pilot project to other regions of Minnesota over time.

WHAT ARE THE INCENTIVE AMOUNTS?

Based on the type of appliance and your income level, you are eligible for different financial incentives to swap out your machine. You can view a detailed chart on our How it Works page »

HOW DO I KNOW IF I AM INCOME QUALIFIED?

If you can show proof that you qualify for one of the following programs, you are automatically income-qualified for Project Stove Swap. See the Eligibility and Incentive Amounts page for more information.

  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Medical Assistance
  • Women, Infants, and Children’s Program (WIC)
  • Low Income Heating Assistance Program (LIHEAP)

WHAT DOES THE PROCESS LOOK LIKE?

The process of replacing wood burning applicances has been designed to be as quick and easy as possible for both vendors and consumers. Qualified vendors partners are equipped to facilitate most of the process – from the application to installation. Learn more about how it works »

WHAT NEW DEVICES CAN I INSTALL?

Wood and pellet stoves & inserts, hydronic heaters, and wood furnaces must be EPA-certified. Gas stoves and inserts must be reasonably energy efficient and gas furnaces must be Energy Star certified. See our Eligibile Replacement Appliances breakdown for more information and lists of eligible replacement devices.

WHY DOES MY NEW DEVICE NEED TO BE INSTALLED BY A CERTIFIED PROFESSIONAL?

Proper installation is critical to the safety, efficiency, and easy operation of heating appliances. Properly certified professionals have the industry standard in training and will make sure that your device is ready to run for the long-term.

WHY DOES MY OLD APPLIANCE NEED TO BE RECYCLED?

The goal of Project Stove Swap is to reduce air pollution by retiring old, inefficient wood burning appliances. If an old appliance is re-installed, it is still producing emissions and jeopardizing the safety and health of its users. Old appliances must be destroyed and recycled in order to make sure that this doesn’t happen.

HOW LONG WILL FUNDING INCENTIVES BE AVAILABLE?

Financial incentives to replace wood burning devices will be available at least through the first half of 2018, subject to program funding.

THE PROGRAM IS NOT AVAILABLE WHERE I LIVE. WHAT CAN I DO?

Currently, we only have program funding to serve 17 northeastern counties, but our goal is to secure additional funds to expand Project Stove Swap state-wide. If you are interested in having Project Stove Swap come to your area, contact Erin Niehoff at 612-334-3388 ext. 8102 to learn what you can do.

WHERE DOES THE FUNDING FOR THIS PROGRAM COME FROM?

Project Stove Swap is currently funded by Minnesota Power, and managed by Environmental Initiative.

WHO IS ENVIRONMENTAL INITIATIVE?

Environmental Initiative is a nonprofit organization that builds partnerships to develop collaborative solutions to Minnesota’s environmental problems. Project Stove Swap is one of several efforts underway to help achieve Clean Air Minnesota’s goal of reducing man-made sources of fine particulate matter (soot) and ground level ozone precursor emissions (smog) by 10%.

Clean Air Minnesota is a diverse coalition of air quality leaders convened by Environmental Initiative who are working voluntarily and proactively to reduce air pollution.

WHY  ARE  CLEAN AIR MINNESOTA PARNTERS WORKING TO REDUCE WOOD SMOKE?

According to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, the majority of the air pollutants of concern today come from smaller, widespread sources that are not regulated in the way power plants and factories are. These smaller sources include cars, trucks, construction equipment, residential wood burning and residential garbage burning.

These sources contribute nearly 75 percent of air pollution emissions in the state.

Project Stove Swap is one of several efforts underway to help achieve Clean Air Minnesota’s goal of reducing man-made sources of fine particulate matter (soot) and ground level ozone precursor emissions (smog) by 10%.