WHATELY, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - A new state program could help people with wood stoves save some money and potentially reduce fires.

It's called the wood stove change out program, hoping to improve public health and cut down on the number of wood stove fires.

Officials say this fire last month in Orange was caused by a wood burning stove.

A couple was displaced after the fire broke out, because of the amount of damage.

Over in Belchertown, fire officials say a house was destroyed after a wood stove fire as well.

"You certainly want to make sure that," Steve Pike, executive director of the Clean Energy Center, tells us. "Your home is set up to receive a wood stove or a pellet stove primarily to vent properly."

Officials with the Clean Energy Center in Massachusetts launched its 2019 program Thursday at the 'Fire Place' in Whately.

It will help more than 2,300 residents swap out dirty, inefficient stoves for newer, cleaner models.

"These newer stoves," continued Pike. "Burn far more efficiently, so it reduces pollution, particularly with what's called particulate emissions, and those are emissions that affect folks with heart disease and asthma."

Pike says nearly fifty percent of the money will be going towards low income residents.

"Reading costs, as you can imagine," stated Pike. "A more efficient stove requires less fuel, which requires the homeowner to pay less for their home. A homeowner would come to a wood stove place, like 'The Fire Place' and talk to the staff and owners."

Standard rebates can range from anywhere between $500 and $1,800, depending on the emission levels and type of stove purchased.

"There's a lot of options," says Fire Place manager Vicki Labbee. "All different ranges of prices, and you can go from wood to pellet too, so, if you're thinking of moving to a different fuel, you can do that with the program."

If you're interested in this program, rebate applications will be accepted until August 5 of this year.

To qualify for a rebate, a resident must have an operational, non-EPA-certified wood stove.

Copyright 2019 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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