Project Stove Swap:  Frequently Asked



In recent years, technological advances have made new wood burning appliances much more efficient, enabling them to produce the same amount of heat while burning up to 50% less wood and producing up to 70% less smoke, which is harmful to human health. Installing new wood and gas appliances saves homeowners and businesses time and money while helping us all breathe easier. 

how do i know if i am eligible to participate?

Older wood burning appliances manufactured before 1992 that are used as a primary or major heat source in a residence, business, or institution across 17 northeastern Minnesota counties are eligible for the program. This includes wood stoves and fireplace inserts, pellet stoves and inserts, forced air furnaces, and hydronic heaters. Project Stove Swap vendors can help you determine whether or not your existing appliance is eligible for replacment. 

why is project stove swap only working in northeastern minnesota?

Environmental Initiative is currenlty partnering with Minnesota Power to offer financial incentives for stove replacement through Project Stove Swap. It is our hope to expand this pilot project to other regions of Minnesota over time. 

What are the incentive amounts? 

Based on the type of appliance and your income level, you are eligible for different financial incentives to swap out your machine. You can view a detailed chart on our How it Works page »

how do i know if i am income qualified?

If you can show proof that you qualify for one of the following programs, you are automatically income-qualified for Project Stove Swap. See the Eligibility and Incentive Amounts page for more information.

  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) 
  • Medical Assistance 
  • Women, Infants, and Children’s Program (WIC) 
  • Low Income Heating Assistance Program (LIHEAP) 

what does the process look like?

The process of replacing wood burning applicances has been designed to be as quick and easy as possible for both vendors and consumers. Qualified vendors partners are equipped to facilitate most of the process - from the application to installation. Learn more about how it works »

what new devices can i install?

Wood and pellet stoves & inserts, hydronic heaters, and wood furnaces must be EPA-certified. Gas stoves and inserts must be reasonably energy efficient and gas furnaces must be Energy Star certified. See our Eligibile Replacement Appliances breakdown for more information and lists of eligible replacement devices.  

why does my new device need to be installed by a certified professional?

Proper installation is critical to the safety, efficiency, and easy operation of heating appliances. Properly certified professionals have the industry standard in training and will make sure that your device is ready to run for the long-term.

why does my old appliance need to be recycled?

The goal of Project Stove Swap is to reduce air pollution by retiring old, inefficient wood burning appliances. If an old appliance is re-installed, it is still producing emissions and jeopardizing the safety and health of its users. Old appliances must be destroyed and recycled in order to make sure that this doesn’t happen. 

how long will funding incentives be available?

Financial incentives to replace wood burning devices will be available at least through the end of 2017, subject to program funding. 

the program is not available where i live. what can i do?

Currently, we only have program funding to serve 17 northeastern counties, but our goal is to secure additional funds to expand Project Stove Swap state-wide. If you are interested in having Project Stove Swap come to your area, contact Erin Niehoff at 612-334-3388 ext. 8102 to learn what you can do.


Project Stove Swap is currently funded by Minnesota Power, and managed by Environmental Initiative. 

who is environmental initiative?

Environmental Initiative is a nonprofit organization that builds partnerships to develop collaborative solutions to Minnesota's environmental problems. Project Stove Swap is one of several efforts underway to help achieve Clean Air Minnesota’s goal of reducing man-made sources of fine particulate matter (soot) and ground level ozone precursor emissions (smog) by 10%. 

Clean Air Minnesota is a diverse coalition of air quality leaders convened by Environmental Initiative who are working voluntarily and proactively to reduce air pollution.

why  are  clean air minnesota parnters working to reduce wood smoke?

According to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, the majority of the air pollutants of concern today come from smaller, widespread sources that are not regulated in the way power plants and factories are. These smaller sources include cars, trucks, construction equipment, residential wood burning and residential garbage burning. 

These sources contribute nearly 75 percent of air pollution emissions in the state.

Project Stove Swap is one of several efforts underway to help achieve Clean Air Minnesota’s goal of reducing man-made sources of fine particulate matter (soot) and ground level ozone precursor emissions (smog) by 10%.