Officials and residents in Maine are worried that a federal proposal to reduce wood smoke pollution, will make new stoves too expensive. Here’s more on what the proposal is about, and how it can impact local retailers and manufactures.
The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing upgrades to wood stoves and other wood burning devices to make them more efficient and cut smoke pollution to meet their emission standards. But officials from the Department of Environmental Protection say this could impact local retailers and the customers who use these products.
Will Labbe, County Stove Shop, “it’s probably going to effect my business because people will not want to change their old stoves, they’ll probably try to improve on the stove or fix it some way that they can still burn wood even though that’s kind of dangerous, because they probably won’t pay the increase in price.”
The county stove shop in caribou is worried that if these proposals do go into effect, that when a customer walks into the store in the future, and sees price tags way higher than before, they’ll walk out the door.
Will Labbe, “in the furnace business where they’ve made no head ways for most of them anyway on efficiency, their cost will be much more, your talking maybe double the price of a furnace.”
The changes would apply to catalytic and non-catalytic stoves, and outdoor and indoor wood boilers and furnaces, which would see a much higher price jump like Labbe mentioned because of their size and amount of emissions they produce. Labbe says he’s been in the business for a long time and agrees that furnaces do lack technology.
Labbe, “they never changed for as long as I can remember, 20 years ago – 30 years ago they were the same, so their cost will go from 1 thousand to maybe 3 thousand dollars more.”
But in turn, DEP officials say the rules will drive customers away and manufacturers dishing out big money to make the changes, might not see those dollars returned in sales. >
If the upgrade proposals do take affect, Department of Environmental Protection officials are asking the EPA to fund a stove exchange program for Maine residents where customers would trade in their old wood stoves and get a discount on a newer one.