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Old wood stoveRecently, the county we live and work in, Washoe County, Nevada, started a program that offers folks with one of the 2 most reviled polluters, wood stoves purchased before 1992, a cash reward to turn them in to the authorities and get a new, clean, sustainable pellet stove. This money is available on a first come first serve basis, while supplies last.

Below are the details of the Washoe County rebate program for those of you who live in our area:WC-Zipcode-BurnBan


1. Stove must be installed in a Washoe County residence
2. Only wood or pellet stoves that are pre-1992 are eligible
3. A new pellet, wood or gas stove must be purchased from a participating retailer like Dan The Stove Man
4. Dan The Stove Man is sweetening the pot by offering an additional $100-$200 for program participants. Total savings can be as high as $1200
5. A building permit must be obtained from the Washoe County Department of Building and Safety
6. Receive the incentive as part of the purchase of the new stove
7. Have the retailer take your old stove away for recycling and install your new one.

Our county has Burn Ban’s that are enforced in designated zip codes for days when the air quality becomes unhealthy. Green, Yellow and Red burn codes are announced on local news sources. Most folks would be surprised that, a rainy day like today could be one of those days, just because of the dust blowing from strong winds that put an extreme amount of dust particles in the air. Most zip codes in Washoe County are included. For a complete list of those zipcodes, go to the Washoe County website

Here’s the rub. Although the county is encouraging homeowners to turn in the cuprets, the Burn Ban treats all wood burning devices the same way. Although new wood burning fireplaces with catalytic converters burn more efficiently, the new pellet stoves knock their socks off when it comes to keeping our environment clean and using repurposed materials that would otherwise be sent to our landfills. Pellets are not manufactured in our area, but the size of their carbon foot print created by trucking them here from the Pacific North West is minimal compared to the waste put into the air we breathe by other wood burning devices. Golden Fire, for example, that are sold at one of the big box stores, comes from the Columbia River Gorge area of Oregon.  For more on the difference between new wood stoves and pellet stoves, see our previous post. 

If you have an old fireplace,  if you’re thinking about building or remodeling, please weigh in on what you think about pellet stoves. And please SHARE this information with anyone who might benefit from this program.

Let’s let our city and county officials know that the current regulations on the books are antiquated and due for another look. Many areas, such as the Yolo-Solano California Air Quality Management District have decided not to include pellet stoves in their “Don’t Light Tonight” campaign.

If you live in Washoe County, you can email your Commissioner through this website if you would like them to re-think their policy of including newer model pellet stoves in the burn ban. You can find out who your Commissioner is here.

If you live within the City Limits of Reno, you can contact your City Council by clicking on this link.