by Ashley Flynn
Schlemmer Brothers, located in downtown Wabash at 108 W. Canal Street, are participating in the Northern Indiana Wood Stove Change Out Program, which provides up to $5,000 in instant rebates for qualifying Hoosiers.
The American Lung Association in Indiana and the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority have partnered with Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO) to provide this rebate for Hoosiers residing in Northern Indiana counties that change out or retrofit their older, high-emissions wood burning boilers, stoves, and fireplace inserts with cleaner, more efficient appliances.
“This is a really good program because it gives people the opportunity to get a newer and nicer stove that puts out less emissions,” Mary McKenzie from Schlemmer Brothers told The Paper of Wabash.
Customers who exchange for an EPA certified energy efficient wood store can receive a $1,000 voucher or a $1,500 if new chimney installation is also required.
Those who upgrade their gas or wood pellet hearth appliances can receive a $1,200 voucher or $2,000 if new chimney installation is also required.
To receive the voucher, Schlemmer Brothers will submit the customer’s application to the General Program Administrator to determine eligibility. Schlemmer Brothers will receive a notification within two business days if the application has been approved, and the customer will be assigned a voucher number. If approved, the customer must purchase and install the new appliance within 30 days. After the installation, Schlemmer Brothers will deduct the amount of the voucher from the cost. The program then repays the Schlemmer Brothers.
The program will continue until June or until the money runs out.
NIPSCO is coordinating the program and assigned The American Lung Association in Indiana to do the administrative work.
“(We joined the program because) it aligns with our mission to improve lung health, and we are always looking for ways to get involved with the community,” Meghan McNulty of the American Lung Association told The Paper of Wabash.
Wood stoves release particulate matter (PM), which, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), can affect both the heart and lungs and the environment.
“We generally say that if you can smell something other than food, it affects your lung health in some way. This includes perfumes, cleaners and anything burning,” McNulty said.
The EPA website states that older wood stoves can release up to three times as much as new, more efficient stoves.
Wood stoves are part of the EPA’s burn wise program, which offers resources on how to burn wood safely. These resources can be found at their website at www.epa.gov/burnwise.
To learn more about the Wood Stove Change Out Program, stop by the Schlemmers Brothers for a brochure or to speak to an employee. Information is also available at www.nipsco.com/woodstovechangeout.