Incentives to Remove Old Wood Stoves

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG TV9)-Linn County Public Health has a first ever offer for owners of wood burning stoves used to heat homes. A utility settlement could help those owners replace old and inefficient stoves with something less polluting.

Of course, there’s a catch. And that catch is rules and regulations that need to be met before the rebate money is offered.

First off, the wood burning appliance change-out program is only available to gas or electric customers of Alliant Energy in Linn County. And those customers have to live either inside or within ¼ mile of the limits of an incorporated town or city.

And the wood burning appliance to be replaced should be the primary heating source for the home. That may be determined by how much wood is burned to heat the home during the winter.

But the incentive to replace the older-style wood stoves, mostly those built before the late 1980s, is substantial.

The incentives range from $1,000 up to $8,000. One retailer participating in the program says swapping out one old and inefficient wood stove for a modern efficient model might qualify a home owner for up to half the cost.

The program would also help pay for those who want to convert from wood heat to a gas furnace.

Amy Drahos, a senior air quality worker at Linn County Public Health, says other states have had programs to replace older wood burning stoves. But this is a first for Iowa.

“We have $225,000 in incentive money that we can allocate to removing these older, dirty burning appliances, so we’re looking to improve outdoor air quality and indoor air quality and both of those, we know, will have a positive impact for the health of the residents that live in that home and the people living nearby,” Drahos said.

Drahos says the program is similar to the rebates offered by utilities for owners to replace old furnaces and air conditioners.

An approved retailer will submit paperwork for a potential customers to see if the buyer qualifies for the assistance. The assistance would then be deducted from the purchase and installation.

So far, Stone Works in Marion and Colony Heating and Cooling in Cedar Rapids have applied to take part in the program as retailers.

Drahos says Linn County Public Health will begin taking sign-ups for the incentives on September 4th. More information is available from the public health office at 319-892-6000 or click here.

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