On July 17, 2007, the Board of Directors of the El Dorado County Air Quality Management District (AQMD) approved a Chimney Smoke Reduction Incentive Program (RIP) to encourage homeowners to permanently remove or replace non-EPA certified wood stoves and inserts (manufactured before 7/1/88), and fireplaces1 with cleaner burning EPA Phase II certified devices. This will improve winter air quality through reduction of particulate matter (PM) emissions caused by inefficient residential wood combustion. On February 3, 2015, the US EPA strengthened these standards to be phased in over the next few years2.
Applying for the RIP is easy but available on a first come, first served basis. RIP is a tiered program that will pay $500 for removal of a non-EPA certified unit and replacement with a certified wood-burning device, or $600 for complete removal, or replacement with an electric, propane, or natural gas heating unit. AQMD will continue this program until the funds are depleted. Pre-approval by AQMD for eligibility is required prior to the old unit being removed. RIP will also cover the cost of the basic Building Permit to install the new device (approximately $100). Applicants will receive reimbursement checks in the mail after all required claim materials have been submitted. When funds are depleted, a notice will be provided on the AQMD website.
The US EPA states the energy efficiency benefits of replacing old wood stoves and fireplaces3 are:
- Saves money, fuel, time and resources.
- Up to 50% more energy efficient.
- Uses 1/3 less wood for the same heat.
- Cuts creosote build-up in chimneys that helps reduce the risk of fire.
- Produces 70% less particle pollution indoors and out.
Environmental benefits include:
- Reduces indoor and outdoor wood smoke pollution which has been linked to cancer, asthma and other serious health conditions. See health effects of wood smoke for more information.
- Improved combustion efficiency reduces CO2, methane and black carbon emissions.
- Saves billions in health benefits each year.
Funding is intended only for primary El Dorado County residence remodels and retrofits. The woodstove or fireplace removed must be a non-EPA certified unit to qualify. Newly constructed homes (homes less than one year old) are not eligible. After being pre-approved and completing the changeout, the following information must be provided for reimbursement:
- After photo of newly installed unit.
- Item-specific receipt for destruction of the old unit from a licensed metal recycler or other satisfactory evidence of destruction of the old unit (i.e., photo showing the stove has been cut, crushed or a receipt proving the steel has been recycled)
- Copy of a new EPA certified woodstove purchase receipt
- Final Inspection Report signed off by the Building Department for the newly installed unit.
This completes the Woodstove Replacement Incentive module.
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