The Hoosier Environmental Council, in partnership with the American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest, and public interest group partners (Citizens Action Coalition, Environmental Law and Policy Center, Indiana Wildlife Federation, and Sierra Club), are proud to announce a new grant funding opportunity for Indiana homeowners who utilize outdoor wood boilers to heat their homes. The Outdoor Wood Boiler (OWB) Replacement Program will fund the replacement of outdoor wood boilers with renewable, virtually maintenance-free solar, geothermal or combination systems.
“There are around 8,000 Outdoor Wood Boilers throughout Indiana. When these devices are poorly constructed or operated, OWBs can make it very difficult for people to breathe who live downwind from them. We’re thrilled by a $500,000 grant opportunity that will allow for the replacement of the dirtiest soot-producing OWBs with clean, renewable energy. Everyone benefits here: the OWB owner gets a brand-new, clean source of energy. Neighbors no longer suffer from OWB smoke. And we help support Hoosier homegrown solar & geothermal entrepreneurs,” said Jesse Kharbanda, Executive Director of the Hoosier Environmental Council.
Program details include:
• Funding will cover up to 100% of the eligible costs associated with the replacement of outdoor wood boilers with solar, geothermal or combination systems in Indiana.
• Applicants must be Indiana homeowners.
• Applicants are encouraged to choose the contractor or contractors that best suit their needs.
• Priority will be given to homeowners who are low income, operate an outdoor wood boiler that has been the source of neighborhood concerns, and homeowners living in areas of particulate matter non-attainment.
• Application process to begin Thursday, October 8, 2015.
“We are significantly invested in the mission to improve air quality for the citizens of Indiana,” says Angela Tin, Vice President of Environmental Programs of the American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest. “Through this program, we hope to replace outdoor wood boilers with renewable systems that will contribute to cleaner, healthier air for Indiana communities while still providing for the homeowner’s heating needs.”
The funds provided come from American Electric Power, I&M’s parent company, under a legal settlement with the U.S. EPA, eight states, and 13 citizen groups. The settlement included an agreement by AEP to invest $2.5 million to improve air quality in Indiana through various projects. The AEP settlement monies are being overseen by an oversight committee that includes Hoosier Environmental Council, Citizens Action Coalition, and Indiana Wildlife Federation, with the Sierra Club as a non-voting member and Environmental Law and Policy Center as a non-voting legal advisor and facilitator.
— Daily News