Maryland getting wood burning stove grants
Thousands of wood burning stove owners are to be on the receiving end of wood burning stove grants – just in time for Christmas.
Residents of Maryland in the US learned this week that their local Energy Administration had introduced a Clean Burning Wood Stove Grant Programme which would result in many householders being able to trade in their old wood burning stove for a newer model or upgrade the most recent version.
It came as a nice surprise for residents in the state who were used to similar grants being awarded to householders installing solar panels, wind turbines and other energy saving heating means.
Those who will benefit most from the new initiative are from poorer income families living in more rural areas. Currently around 85 per cent of families in Maryland rely on wood burning stoves for heating with an estimated 25,000 families relying on wood as the main source of heat and 20,000 as a secondary source.
Wood stoves don’t just reign supreme in carbon saving terms. Experts suggest just one wood stove can reduce one and a half times as much carbon as a solar PV system. And it is far less costly too, coming in at around one sixth of the cost of the sun and light dependent solar system.
Modern advances in the wood burner world has seen new stoves fitted with catalytic converters which makes stoves far more efficient and cleaner than ever before. A few new designs are even utilising information technology such as high-speed microprocessors and sensors.
The new programme offers a £315 rebate to install a new stove – around 30 per cent of the cost of a new pellet stove. The actual pot total for the grant is £31,500 which, it has been calculated, should benefit around 100 families every year. Local Democrat politicians are currently campaigning for the grant to continue in the hope that ultimately up to 500 families in total could benefit from a monetary award from the Clean Burning Wood Stove Grant Programme.
Here in the UK wood burning stove grants are also available for householders intending to use wood as a means of heating their home. For instance, individuals or families who sign up to the Renewable Heat Premium Payment scheme could save themselves as much as £950 for a biomass boiler.
Meanwhile those who connect their wood burner to a back boiler for the purposes of heating up their water supply could save even more in the long run when it comes to reducing the overall cost of utility bills.
The National Energy Foundation (NEF) quotes the cost of an average new wood burning stove at around £1500. This could rise to £1800 for those who intend to connect it to a boiler for heating. A pellet stove is far more expensive, coming in at around £4,300, according to the NEF.
Prior to purchasing a wood burner residents are advised to check with their local authority whether or not they live in an area with smoke-free restrictions. If this is the case then they would likely be forced to purchase a more up-to-date and expensive model of stove – one which is approved by the local authority – otherwise they could find themselves on the receiving end of a hefty fine.