Project Stove Swap is managed by Minnesota nonprofit Environmental Initiative, in partnership with Minnesota Power. The project offers financial incentives for residents, nonprofits and businesses with older wood burning stoves to upgrade. The level of incentive varies based on the type of appliance and income level, but can reach up to $10,000.
We spoke with Environmental Initiative to learn more.
Tell us a little bit about Project Stove Swap.
Environmental Initiative: Project Stove Swap is an effort to swap out of old, inefficient wood burning stoves with newer models that save money, reduce air pollution, increase safety and contribute to the local economy. We’re really excited about this program because it has the potential to make major positive impacts in the region. Each stove we swap out is the air quality equivalent of taking 700 cars off the road annually. Not only that, but because we are working with local retailers, many of whom are selling Minnesota made products, we’re helping boost the local economy. Making the swap also saves the consumer money, typically using about 1/3 less wood annually.
Can you go into a bit of detail about where the program is located and who is eligible?
Environmental Initiative: Currently, Project Stove Swap is available in 17 northeastern Minnesota counties. We’re hoping to make a big enough impact in this area that we can eventually take the project statewide. Funding is available at least through the end of 2017. Eligibility requirements vary based on several factors. The old wood burning appliances being used at least as a major heat source and manufactured before 1990 are generally eligible for replacement through Project Stove Swap. Income-qualified incentives are also available to residents who qualify.
So if I live in the Project Stove Swap service area, and I am eligible for the program, what are my next steps?
Environmental Initiative: Get in contact with one of our approved vendors to start the process. The local vendors will make sure that old wood burning appliances are eligible for the project and guide people who are interested through the application process.
P.S. When you talk with a local vendor, please tell them that you heard about the program through CERTs (we try to track our outreach efforts whenever possible)!