FNSB residents face deadline for borough stove change-out program
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - For thirteen years, residents of the Fairbanks North Star Borough (FNSB) have been taking advantage of the borough’s stove change-out program.
In a year and a half, some residents will face a cut-off date to utilize borough funds for their change-out.
Initially, the project focused on the conversion of wood-stoves to newer models of wood-stoves.
Now, the majority of conversions involve oil to natural gas. According to Steven Hoke, FNSB Air Quality Manager, “People found out about the funding. They’d heard natural gas might be a cheaper, more efficient alternative so they go that way.”
This was bolstered by the Interior Gas Utility’s build-out for natural gas access in the borough. “They see that they have natural gas in the area, coming that way, and then they just come in and apply then,” Hoke said.
Depending on the type of stove being changed, the borough provides various amounts of financial help in the conversion. He explained, “At it’s max benefit, say you are changing out a hydronic heater, you could get up to fourteen thousand dollars. That’s the most any change out could cost the borough for a single device.”
Ultimately, owners are responsible for the difference between the total cost of the conversion and what the borough is willing to pay.
Wood-stove to oil or natural gas conversion is generally eligible for the program, as is exchanging a non-Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certified wood stove for an EPA certified one.
Wood-stoves that are used for backup heat can also be converted to backup generators and battery backups.
Residents who change out their non-certified wood-stoves must give the old ones to the borough. Certified wood-stoves might be able to be kept, but conditions may apply.
Meanwhile, a hard deadline looms for certain residents to apply for the program. This is, according to Hoke, “The state’s date of certain removal, which is December 31st, 2024.”
On that date ,“Any device that doesn’t meet current standards, does not have an EPA certification, has to be removed by that date,” he said.
If a resident applies to change out a stove after that day that is not EPA certified, or is older than 25 years, the borough will not be able to work with them to get their stove changed out. “We’re hoping to have a lot of people coming in before that date, because if they don’t, then their device won’t meet state standards, and therefore won’t be able to participate in the program.”
More information about the program can be found here.
Copyright 2023 KTVF. All rights reserved.