Home Programs Grants and Incentives Wood Stove Program
Woodstove Change-out Program
No Longer Accepting Applications


hpbapac cces_logo

2013 Wood Stove Change-Out Program

Starting September 10, 2013 the Monterey Bay Unified Air Pollution Control District will again be sponsoring financial incentives for home
owners in Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Benito Counties to upgrade their wood burning fireplace or older uncertified wood stove to a cleaner
alternative. Eligible alternatives include conversions to gas, propane and pellet stoves and fireplace inserts. EPA Certified wood stoves or
fireplace inserts are also eligible in some areas.

The program is focused on the San Lorenzo Valley (SLV) in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Wintertime residential wood smoke is especially
problematic in this valley because frequent winter inversions coupled with an abundance of residents who burn wood to heat their homes
cause fine particulate (PM2.5) levels to rise to unhealthy levels. This will be the third year of the change-out program.

The purpose of the change-out program is to reduce emissions of residential wood smoke, especially in the SLV. It is part of the District's
continuing effort to protect public health by reducing pollution in the air we breathe. It is being carried out in partnership with participating
area dealers, the Pacific section of the Hearth Patio and Barbeque Association and Central Coast Energy Services in Watsonville. A list of
participating dealers will be posted on this website.

The incentives will be available in the form of discounts from participating hearth products dealers. Discounts range from $1,000 to $2,500 in
the San Lorenzo Valley (SLV) and $250 to $1,000 in all other areas. A budget of $125,000 is again available for the program.

Available discounts are summarized below:

Discount San Lorenzo Valley (SLV) 1)
Tri-County Area
Gas or Pellet Stove/Insert $1,000 $500
Certified Wood Stove/Insert 2) $0 $250
Additional Income Qualified Discount 3) $1,500 $500
1) The San Lorenzo Valley (SLV) includes the communities of Ben Lomond, Boulder Creek, Brookdale, Felton, Mt. Hermon, Lompico and Zayante.
2) A limited discount is available for EPA certified wood burning stoves and inserts for areas outside SLV and the Monterey Peninsula /Carmel Valley Smoke Sensitive Area.
Income qualification is determined by Central Coast Energy Services using criteria from the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).

This page will be periodically updated as new information becomes available.

Applications are no longer being accepted

Starting at 9:00 am on September 2013 the District will begin accepting applications for the program.  The application can be submitted online,
by mail or over the phone if you need assistance filling out the form.  The applications will be reviewed by the District and issued a Voucher for
those that meet the program guidelines.

The application and other support materials are available on the following links:

The application links will be activated at 9:00 am on September 10, 2013.  Additional links will be added as they become available.


This additional incentive is for applicants who have been income qualified by Central Coast Energy Services (CCES).  Call CCES at (888)728-3637
to request application if not already qualified.  Once available, the CCES materials will be accessible via the links below:

These materials are for qualification for the Income Qualified Discount, which is determined by CCES.  Qualification for the Change-Out
is determined by the Air District.


Aside from switching to a cleaner home heating system, which can be an expensive proposition, wood smoke can be reduced by how the
existing stove or fireplace is operated.  This includes proper seasoning and drying of the wood as well as creating a hot efficiently burning
fire from loosely stacked wood.

The following links contain helpful suggestions for clean and efficient wood burning:


Wood sSmokeyhomesmoke contains inhalable fine particulate matter (PM2.5), gases, and even toxic compounds.
These pollutants can cause or aggravate health effects including eye, nose
, and throat irritation as
well as respiratory disease.

Wintertime wood burning for residential home heating in fireplaces, non-EPA certified wood stoves
and even improperly operated EPA certified stoves can be a significant source of PM2.5 pollution
both in your home and in your community.

In many areas, wood smoke builds up during the winter months when wood burning increases.  This
is especially true in rural mountain communities such as the SLV in the Santa Cruz Mountains where
wood burning is common for home heating purposes.  Frequent winter inversions causes
air stagnation
and PM2.5 levels to exceed applicable air quality standards.

From November 2012 to January 2013, science students from SLV High School launched several dozen weather balloons in SLV.  The balloons
were equipped with sensors measuring temperature, wind and humidity through the first 5,000' of the atmosphere.  The results provided a
wealth of data confirming the existence of strong temperature inversions in SLV, particularly during periods of air stagnation.

In many areas, wood smoke builds up during the winter months when wood burning increases. This is especially true in rural mountain
communities such as the SL
V in the Santa Cruz Mountains where wood burning is common for home heating purposes. Frequent winter
inversions causes air stagnation and PM2.5 levels to exceed applicable air quality standards.

The chart below, based on meteorological data collected by weather balloons launched by the students, shows an actual wintertime temperature
inversion in the SLV. Note how the temperature (blue line) increases abruptly through the first 1,000+' of the sounding. Strong inversions like
this will trap pollutants near the surface. This was obtained in the midst of a 12 day episode where the federal PM2.5 air quality standard
was exceeded on numerous occasions.

The unique meterological, terrain and wood burning situations in the SLV combine to create an ideal setting for the build of of wintertime
wood smoke.




The Monterey Bay Unified Air Pollution Control District will be conducting air monitoring in SLV to quantify wood smoke levels in Felton, Ben
Lomond and Boulder Creek through the winter months. The District will be using continuous monitors with telemetry which will allow for the
collection and remote observation of hourly readings of PM2.5 from each instrument. With this data, hourly, daily, and weekly trends can be
examined, as well as times for peak wood burning. Meteorological sensors attached to the monitoring instruments will also monitor air movement
and temperature.

The particulate monitoring is part of a new permanent wintertime program to characterize ambient PM2.5 levels in smoke impacted areas such
as SLV. Over time, the long-term trends will help assess reductions in PM2.5 brought about by the change-outs, as well as the effectiveness of
related efforts to reduce smoke.

The charts below summarize the results of the first two winter seasons of monitoring in the SLV. Data for the Scotts Valley or Santa Cruz stations
(black line) which are outside the SLV are used to help illustrate how much smokier it is in SLV vs. other parts of the District. An exceedance occurs
whenever one or more of the daily traces reaches the orange (Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups) or higher air quality category.

PM2.5 Daily Monitoring Results
November 2011 to February 2012 Peak Smoke Season


PM2.5 Daily Monitoring Results
November to February Peak Smoke Season 2012-2013













The charts illustrate the amazing results from the first two years of wintertime air quality monitoring in SLV. During Winter 2011/2012, the
network recorded over 40 days when wood smoke levels exceeded health based air quality standards for inhalable PM2.5. Again, during the
Winter 2012/2013, the network recorded 19 days that were above the standard. It should be noted that the decrease is primarily due to
weather conditions that produced fewer air stagnation days during Winter 2013/2013. In many cases exceedance episodes persisted for
multiple days in a row.

These types of episodes are unheard of elsewhere in the region where exceedances virtually never occur. Clearly, SLV a very unique air shed
which needs special attention in order to give residents some relief from the unhealthy air.

The chart below shows typical hourly trend in hourly wood smoke levels during a wood smoke episode. The trend clearly illustrates the impact
of residential wood smoke. Wood smoke related PM2.5 (red line) tends to be highest during the late night/early morning hours when temperature
and wind are at their lowest. During mid-afternoon when wind and dispersion tends to be highest (blue line), wood smoke levels are typically at
their lowest. Overall, the daily 24-hour average PM2.5 concentration exceeded the federal health based air quality standard on each of these days.


Content View Hits : 793217