SALEM — Nearly 700 Oregon homeowners replaced their old, inefficient woodstoves in the past two years with help from Recovery Act funds.
The program saved Oregonians an estimated 13,466 million BTU of energy – enough to heat about 328 homes – and reduced particulate matter by about 23 tons a year. The woodstove replacement program targeted homeowners in areas of the state with poor air quality.
In 2010, the Oregon Department of Energy awarded $2 million in Recovery Act funds to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality to provide partial rebates to homeowners in the Klamath Falls non-attainment area, the Goose Lake basin in Lake County, Oakridge, and the Burns/Hines area that used old, inefficient and uncertified woodstoves as a primary source of heat. The program paid for the full cost of the appliance and installation for qualified low-income homeowners.
Woodstoves that are old and uncertified can waste up to 60 percent of the wood burned and are very polluting.
Under the program, homeowners could choose to replace their old woodstoves with new, certified woodstoves, fireplace inserts, pellet stoves, or heat pumps. The old woodstoves had to be destroyed and not resold.
In addition to the funds spent with vendors for the new heating systems, the program paid contractors to work 6,583 hours to install the equipment. One of the primary purposes of the Recovery Act was to stimulate the economy.
The South Central Oregon Economic Development District, Lane Regional Air Protection Agency and Harney County Senior and Community Services managed the programs for DEQ in the targeted areas.
About the Department of Energy: The Oregon Department of Energy provides tax credits, grants, loans, technical assistance and energy information for homes, businesses, manufacturing, farms, ranches, schools and governments.