Change-out Program

Vermont Outdoor Wood Boiler Change-out Program*

The Air Quality & Climate Division (AQCD) of the State of Vermont is pleased to offer a voluntary OWB Change-Out Program that provides financial incentives to encourage people to replace their old OWBs with cleaner, more efficient heating systems as approved by the AQCD. Eligible replacement heating systems may include Vermont Phase II certified OWBs (including pellet boilers), propane or natural gas furnaces or boilers, indoor wood or pellet boilers as approved by the AQCD, or sustainable heating systems, such as geothermal heat pumps, as approved by the AQCD.

*The Air Quality and Climate Division (AQCD) of the State of Vermont has suspended the voluntary OWB Change-out Program as of September 30, 2015. The AQCD stopped accepting applications for the program as of June 15, 2015.

Why Change? Most OWBs sold in Vermont before March 31, 2008 create significant amounts of smoke and many have caused problems for neighbors. In contrast, OWBs sold for use in Vermont today emit 70-90 percent less pollution. Cleaner air means fewer cases of asthma and other health problems caused by the particles and gases in wood smoke. In addition, replacing an old OWB may ultimately save you money by burning less wood for more heat. There are also a variety of alternate heating units available that are efficient and cleaner than new OWBs. Finally, many older OWBs were required by law to be permantently retired on or before December 31, 2012.

Who is Eligible? If you own an operational OWB that is installed in Vermont and does not appear on the list of VT-Certified Outdoor Wood Boilers you may be eligible to recieve financial incentives to replace you OWB with a cleaner heating source.

What are the Incentives? The AQCD will issue rebate vouchers for up to:

  • $6,000 to replace eligible OWBs that have valid complaints from neighbors regarding emissions. 
  • $6,000 to replace eligible OWBs located within 200 feet of a residence, school, or health care facility not served by the OWB that have valid complaints from neighbors involving emissions.
  • $1,000 to match manufacturer rebates to replace eligible OWBs.

Vouchers will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis until funding runs out. Per 10 V.S.A. §584(g), "Any OWB in the state that is not certified under the air pollution control regulations to meet the Phase I, Phase II, or a more stringent emission limit shall be retired on or before December 31, 2012, if the OWB is located within 200 feet of a residence, school, or health care facility that is neither served by the OWB nor owned by the owner or lessee of the OWB or has resulted or results in a complaint regarding emissions, including particulate matter or smoke, that the agency has determined is valid."

How Do I Get My State Rebate? 

  1. Complete the change-out application and submit it to the AQCD, along with a photo of your current OWB.
  2. The AQCD will issue vouchers to qualified applicants. The vouchers are good for the purchase and installation of approved replacement heating systmes, up to the amount of the voucher.
  3. Vouchers must be reddemed at participating dealers by the expiration date on the voucher ($6,000 participating dealers, $1,000 participating dealers) Applicants are responsible for any costs in excess of the voucher limits.
  4. The old OWB must be removed and scrapped or recycled when the replacement heating system is delivered.
  5. Replacement heating systems must be installed by the installation date on the voucher. All indoor systems must be professionally installed and meet installation certification requirements.

What Can I Replace My OWB With? Homeowners may qualify for the change-out program only if they replace their uncertified OWB with one of the following:

Questions? For further assistance, please contact John Wakefield by email at john.wakefield@vermont.gov or calling (802) 279-5674.

-Vermont DEC in partnership with the American Lung Association.