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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.

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 your old OWB with a new 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 even cleaner than new OWBs. Finally, many older OWBs are required by law to be permanently retired on or before December 31, 2012. For all these reasons, the AQCD is pleased to offer financial incentives to help pay for the costs of installing cleaner heating sources and is providing enhanced financial incentives for those OWBs that must be retired by December 31, 2012.

If you own an operational OWB that is installed in Vermont and does not appear on the list of "Vermont-certified Phase I and Phase II OWB Models " you may be eligible to receive financial incentives to replace your OWB with a cleaner heating source.

The AQCD will issue rebate vouchers for up to:

  • $6,000 to replace eligible OWBs that have resulted in valid complaints regarding emissions.

    * The APCD will contact these OWB owners, and applications will be accepted starting in January, 2011; vouchers will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis until funding runs out.

  • $6,000 to replace eligible OWBs located within 200 feet of a residence, school, or health care facility not served by the OWB, or that have resulted in valid complaints regarding emissions.

    * Applications will be accepted starting on June 1, 2011; vouchers will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis until funding runs out.

  • $1,000 to match manufacturer rebates to replace eligible OWBs.  Applications will be accepted, if funding is still available, starting on October 1, 2011.

* These OWBs are required by law to be retired by December 31, 2012. See 10 V.S.A. §584(g), which provides: "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."

  1. Complete the application and submit it to the AQCD, along with a photo of your current OWB.


  3. The AQCD will issue vouchers to qualified applicants. The vouchers are good for the purchase and installation of approved replacement heating systems, up to the amount of the voucher.

  4. Vouchers must be redeemed at participating dealers ($6000 participating dealers or $1000 participating dealers) by the expiration date on the voucher. Applicants are responsible for any costs in excess of the voucher limits.

  6. Your old OWB must be removed and scrapped or recycled when the replacement heating system is delivered.
  1. Replacement heating systems must be installed by the installation date on the voucher. All indoor systems must be professionally installed. Click on link for Professional Installation Certification Requirements.

Homeowners may qualify for the change-out program only if they replace their uncertified OWB with one of the following:

  • An alternative heating system such as a geothermal heat pump, approved by the AQCD.
  • Another heating system approved by the AQCD.  

*The replacement OWB must be installed at least 100 feet from any neighbor’s residence, school or health care facility.  Exceptions may be granted by the Agency under certain circumstances.  ONLY Phase II outdoor wood and pellet boilers are approved for the rebate-match program.

**More stringent efficiency requirements may need to be met to qualify for the federal tax credit.

For further assistance, please contact John Wakefield by emailing or calling (802) 279-5674.


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Last Updated 2/3/15

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