Stoves to Homes Initiative: An Alternative for Step 1 Stoves

With the May 15, 2020 deadline to sell Step 1 products fast approaching, HPBA remains committed to the fight to obtain some form of sell-through relief. EPA has yet to make a decision on this issue, but the delay has not been encouraging. As we advocate for sell-through, we have been warning HPBA members to prepare for Step 2 and the rest of the original rule to go into effect as published on May 15, 2020. After this date, it will be illegal to sell, offer for sale, or transfer a Step 1 unit.

We are aware that a number of dealers and distributors have cleaned out their inventory or are very close to doing so. However, we have heard of companies that may struggle to clear out their Step 1 inventory by that deadline.

Members of our Mid-Atlantic HPBA – Shannon Good and Kurt Evers – approached HPBA with a unique donation plan for these perfectly good Step 1 stoves. With their help, we have created the “Stoves to Homes Initiative” with the Appalachia Service Project (ASP).

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While any store can donate any stove to their local non-profit prior to the May 15th deadline, we have created this option for members to donate a number of units, shortly before the deadline, to a nationally recognized program which specializes in rehabilitating substandard housing in several states. The program has also met with the approval of EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance.

Prior to May 15th, companies that have unsold free-standing stoves may donate the units – identified by serial number – to ASP. Once ASP has acknowledged the donation, the unit is labeled as “SOLD” and belonging to ASP. The product can then be stored in a warehouse for a reasonable period of time until ASP is ready for delivery.

Functionally, this is similar to a Step 1 stove that has been sold to a consumer for installation later in the season. Dealers can set any value on their donation, including the unit value and associated freight costs. HPBA and NFI will work with ASP to make certain the units are safely installed.

HPBA is trying to gauge those interested in being involved in the Stoves to Homes Initiative. At this point, all we need is an expression of interest so that ASP can begin assessing homes for these units. ASP will only be able to accept free-standing woodstove units – inserts and pellet stoves are beyond their scope. They are also not familiar with brands or models, so it is important that you indicate the approximate size of the heater (i.e., small, medium, or large).

Once we compile a list of interested dealers and distributors, we will be back in touch. If we see a lot of stoves in other parts of the country, we will look for similar programs in the regions with the most interest.

HPBA hopes that everyone will sell all your Step 1 units, but we have worked out the details of this wonderful idea to help you avoid having stranded products should you still have inventory as the deadline approaches. Remember, not only will EPA be making enforcement visits, but many states may make enforcement visit as well, so you must be in full compliance by May 15, 2020. Stoves to Homes offers one more way to help ensure that you are covered.

If you would like to participate, please email the following info to governmentaffairs@hpba.org:

  • Complete contact info, including store address;

  • Number of free-standing woodstoves that might be available in May; and

  • The approximate size of each of the stoves.

Again, providing a response to us is not an absolute commitment, just an expression of interest; we hope you sell them all.

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