This week, Maryland became the first state in the nation to provide rebates for both wood and pellet stoves, without requiring homeowners to turn in an old, uncertified stove.
On top of that, the state upped the rebate amount to $500 for wood and $700 for pellet stoves, and also made the program permanent.
A summary of the rebate that I was sent from Maryland Delegate Heather Mizeur says the rebates are only being offered to homes that currently oil, propane or electricity, in order to target families that are facing the highest winter heating costs. I was a little confused by that, because in an a program Q&A on the Alliance for Green Heat’s website I had read this:
Q) If my primary heat already comes from wood or pellets, am I eligible?
A. Yes. MEA now offers the same incentives to households who have old wood stoves, as newer stoves are more efficient, cost effective and environmentally friendly. All other requirements still apply to applications.
Wanting to clear this up, I checked in with John Acklery, president of AFGH, and he told me that as long as a homeowner’s backup fuel source is propane, oil or electric (note: natural gas is ineligible), he/she will be eligible for the rebate.
John pointed out that there are a few states that give tax credits or deductions for wood stoves, but Maryland is the first to have a statewide incentive. “That’s money in your pocket, so it’ll help some people out,” he said, opposed to a tax credit, which some people aren’t as interested in.
Anyway, initial data—Maryland launched a pilot version of the rebate in September 2012—showed that Marylanders used the rebates for pellet stoves twice as often as for wood stoves, which I guess is a deviation from national trends. Certainly good news for the region’s fuel pellet industry.
Click here to learn more about the program.