FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Larry Calkins, DEQ, 541-567-8297 x225
Ann Grim, ODOE, 503-378-4912
In Oregon 1-800-221-8035
Kenneth Smith, a Klamath Falls homeowner, loves the feel of wood heat. “I’m a traditionalist,” Smith said. “Nothing is better than a wood fire.”
But he doesn’t like to check daily with Klamath County Air Quality Advisory to see if he can burn wood – the primary source of heat for his 1940s-era four bedroom home.
“It always seems that when it is the coldest, there is no wind and they consider it a “red” or “yellow” day, which means we can’t burn,” Smith said. “When that happens, we have to use our space heaters and that really racks up our power bill.”
He doesn’t like the job of hauling wood in and out of the house when it is cold outside either. He especially doesn’t like the potential of flue fires like the one his family experienced on Christmas Eve 2009.
There appeared to be no alternative to the woodstove, however, as Smith, who was in the military for 12 years, is currently unemployed. When Smith’s sister-in-law told him she had just read about a woodstove replacement program for homeowners in Klamath Falls – including low-income homeowners – Smith was interested. He needed to find something more affordable and less labor-intensive than a woodstove to heat his home.
Today, Smith and his family are enjoying an electric ductless heat pump that is “a wonderful thing.” It heats the house up, even the back bedrooms that the woodstove could not. It is extremely quiet. “You can barely hear it running,” Smith said. Best of all, the cost to run the unit has been about $20 per month since it was installed in late October.
The woodstove replacement program provides a rebate for homeowners in Klamath Falls’ non-attainment area – and other targeted areas of the state with poor air quality – who purchase a more efficient, certified woodstove or a non-wood burning heating system. Qualifying low-income homeowners can qualify for a fully paid replacement unit.
The Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE) recently awarded $2 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (stimulus) funds to Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) for the program to assist homeowners in Klamath Falls non-attainment area, the Goose Lake basin in Lake County, Oakridge and the Burns/Hines area who currently use old, inefficient and uncertified woodstoves as a primary source of heat. The funds are administered under ODOE’s State Energy Program.
Woodstoves that are old and uncertified can waste up to 60 percent of the wood burned in them and are very polluting. This program is in areas that DEQ has targeted due to their poor air quality and high use of uncertified woodstoves. DEQ expects to replace nearly 800 woodstoves with program funds.
The partial rebate program offers:
The cost of the appliance and installation will be fully paid for those that qualify as low-income.
a $500 rebate to any homeowner regardless of income who wants to change out their uncertified woodstove for a premium-efficiency certified woodstove,
a $750 rebate for a pellet stove, and
a $1,000 rebate for qualifying ground or air-source heat pump or a minimum 92 percent efficient gas, propane or oil heating device.
Applicants must verify that their old stove has been destroyed by having a signed certification from a recycling company. The old stoves may not be reused or sold.
Interested homeowners in Klamath Falls’ non-attainment area and the Goose Lake basin in Lake County should call South Central Oregon Economic Development District (SCOEDD) at (541) 884-5593 for program details. In Oakridge, homeowners should call Lane Regional Air Protection Agency at (541) 736-1056. In the Burns/Hines area, homeowners should call Harney County Senior and Community Services at (541) 573-6024. The woodstove replacement programs will continue until funds are depleted or February 1, 2012, whichever comes first.
Kenneth Smith found the process of getting a replacement an easy one.
“Pam Ruddock with SCOEDD was great to work with and the Seasons Change installer was very nice,” said Smith. “It was a real pleasurable experience. We love our new heating system.”
About the Department of Energy: The Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE) provides tax credits, loans, technical assistance and energy information for homes, businesses, manufacturing, farms, ranches, schools and governments. For more information, visit ODOE’s website at www.oregon.gov/energy.
Oregon Department of Energy
|Main Office||Hermiston Field Office
|625 Marion St. NE, Salem, OR 97301-3737
|395 E Highland Rd.
|Phone: 503-378-4040||Hermiston, OR 97838
|Toll-free in Oregon: 1-800-221-8035||P: 541-567-3840