Wood stoves are beginning to be formally included in standards used by energy auditors, which will lead to energy auditors recommending that old stoves be upgraded. This initiative marks a new strategy in the movement to change-out millions of inefficient and polluting uncertified wood stoves.
The first standard that instructs energy auditors to inspect wood stoves was developed and issued by the Building Performance Institute (BPI) at the request of the Alliance for Green Heat, who drafted the language. The Home Energy Auditing Standard (BPI-1100-T-2012) now includes two provisions for wood stoves and other solid fuel burning devices.
The first, listed under 7.8 of the section on Combustion Appliance Testing, requires home energy auditors to “inspect solid fuel burning appliances for safety and efficiency” (page 6). The second, 7.23, instructs auditors to “recommend replacement of solid fuel burning appliances with UL-listed and EPA-certified appliances if the existing appliance is not UL-listed or has signs of structural failure” (page 7). You can view the entire standard here: http://www.bpi.org/files/pdf/BPI-1100-T-2012_Home%20_Energy_Auditing_Standard.pdf
The inclusion of 7.8 and 7.23 followed a meeting between John Dupree, the EPA woodstove NSPS compliance lead, John Jones, BPI National Technical Director and staff of the Alliance for Green Heat. Much more detail about how stoves should be inspected and assessed will be followed in BPI Basic Analysis of Buildings Standard 1200-S. The Alliance for Green Heat is in the process of reaching out to HPBA and relevant institutions to form a working group to help draft provisions this standard, a companion piece to BPI-1100-T-2012 that outlines how energy auditors shall meet the requirements listed. It is expected to be finished later this year.
BPI-1100-T-2012 is also in the process of becoming an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standard, which are commonly adopted by state agencies such as NYSERDA.
The standard represents a major step forward in the Alliance for Green Heat’s mission to make wood stove inspections a routine part of home energy audits. Energy auditors could be assessing fuel savings by switching from oil to wood or pellets, testing wood for moisture, recommending chimney cleanings and generally helping to educate homeowners about clean burn practices.