SALT LAKE COUNTY (ABC4) – Air quality is a significant source of concern in Utah and smoke from wood-burning contributes a great deal to pollution in the state.
The Utah Department of Environmental Quality will be accepting applications for a grant program that would provide households earning less than $60,000 a year up to $4,000 to convert their wood fireplace or wood stove into natural gas, propane-fueled, or electric appliance starting March 1.
Jared Mendenhall, the spokesperson for the Utah Department of Environmental Quality says the program is an opportunity for homeowners with wood stoves or fireplaces, to help reduce wintertime pollution caused by wood burning.
Mendenhall says 250 grants will be awarded on a first come first serve basis to eligible Salt Lake County homeowners starting Monday, March 1. “These spots fill up quickly,” Mendenhall added.
Registration for the program will open at 6 a.m. and those those quality can head to stoves.utah.gov to sign up.
“We are excited to offer Salt Lake County residents the chance to help clear the air in their homes and communities by participating in our wood stove conversion program,” said Joel Karmazyn, wood stove conversion program manager and environmental scientist with DAQ. “Smoke from wood stoves is a significant source of pollution that causes winter inversions. By converting your stove or fireplace, you are helping improve air quality in Salt Lake County.”
Mendenhall added that the program was developed by the Department of Environmental Quality’s (DEQ) Division of Air Quality (DAQ), and is “targeted to counties that experience poor wintertime air quality.”
Wood smoke contributes to wintertime inversions by releasing volatile organic compounds (VOCs), oxides of nitrogen (NOx), and other fine particulates (PM2.5) as the wood burns, says Mendenhall.
Officials say you are eligible for the project if:
- Applicants have a 12-month history of wood burning for a significant amount of home heating
- Applicant must be the legal owner of the home
- All purchases, installation, and decommissioning work must be performed by a DAQ authorized dealer
- There is only one voucher per household
Officials say you do not qualify for the project if the conditions below apply:
- No new homeowners (less than 1 yr.)
- No rental or commercial properties
- No attached buildings or garages
- No projects that have already been installed
- No homeowners who only occasionally use their wood stove/fireplace
- No gas fireplaces (with or without gas logs)
- Vouchers may not be used for remodeling or finishing work
Officials say those interested may follow the step below to sign up:
- First – make sure you meet eligibility requirements and income limitations (if applicable).
- Make sure you are on the Eventbrite registration page right when registration opens – registrations fill up very quickly.
- Refresh the page to see the registration button at the top (try a “hard” refresh by pressing shift+cntrl+r [Windows] or shift+cmd+r [Mac]).
- Be sure to complete all of the required form fields.
What happens after you register?
- You will receive an email from Eventbrite confirming your registration (this is not guarantee for getting an incentive award).
- If you qualify, you will be notified several business days after the registration closure with an email containing instructions on how to complete the application process.
- If you do not qualify, you will be notified by email.
To learn more about eligibility requirements, income limitations, registration details and other information head to stoves.utah.gov.