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Friday, April 23, 2010

Woodstove Replacement Program

"Maine Enacts Wood Stove Replacement Program" is the headliner from a MPBN broadcast today. While this isn't exactly true, as the legislature hasn't passed the bill yet, it gives pause to the idea of using a wood stove as an alternative source of heating and cooking needs in your survival and preparedness homestead. In a nutshell, the program that will be developed will establish a fund at the state level to provide for the replacement of alder wood stove units with more efficient newer units. For those of us Mainers that rely upon the old standby, this may be the moment to seriously undertake replacing that old woodstove you are keeping on standby for when the grid goes down and you lose any other means of heating for your homes.

There are some points to bear in mind however. According to a Pierce-Atwood analysis of the legislation; Only wood stoves that were manufactured prior to 1988 and are used as a primary source of heat in a primary residence are eligible for replacement funding. That means if you desire to participate, you need to have an older woodstove ion use already. The program will be administered by the state EPA, and will supposedly be funded with 1.5 million that will be pulled from the same hat the pink bunny gets pulled from when there isn't any money to go around. That said; think carefully before you leap into the fire.

One of the problems many have with their preparedness planning is the financing of those plans, and some folks may be tempted to go around the barn backwards just to obtain a little help from Big Gov. Remember that the intent of this bill is to clean up the pollution caused by older stoves. The summary says that; This bill establishes a residential wood stove replacement program in the Department of Environmental Protection under which eligible applicants could receive funding toward the purchase of new cleaner-burning residential heating appliances to replace older wood stoves and appropriates funds for that purpose. The plan isn't in place, and standards as to who will be eligible, and exactly what kinds of appliances can be purchased has not been determined as yet.

Therefore, if you hear of this program, especially from a fast talking woodstove salesman, stand back and watch the game for a while before committing to a sale. As we get closer to the time of need we'll see an increase in the sales of woodstoves and firewood, so if you want to be prepared, buy now, or get your older model upgraded if you can. Normally I don't put much stock in these government handout programs, but depending how this scheme works out it could be to your advantage.

But before you do, make sure your research is complete.

Why is it important to have an energy efficient woodstove? According to the eco-warriors they reduce the amount of air pollution, but the practical reason is that you can get more work out of your stove for less fuel. It'll save you money on cordwood as it will take less to heat your home. Burn times can be substantially longer so you have to spend less of your time tending the fire. They are also supposedly safer to operate which lowers the risk of unwanted home fires. Based upon these three points alone, I'd say upgrading would be a wise choice at this time.

Maine being a cold weather state wood stoves are almost a given in your survival homestead, and anything you can do to reduce your costs will allow you to spend more on other supplies and equipment. And as I have said before, the closer we get to the time of need, the more expensive it will be to get fitted out as a survival style home. This is where your ability to analyze your situation and resources to develop your preparedness plans occurs.

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