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  • Government Affairs

  • What We Do

    The NEHPBA Government Affairs Committee works to serve its members’ businesses by advocating the hearth industry’s interests to all levels of government and protecting the industry from restrictive public policy and regulation.

    The greatest challenges to the hearth industry are government regulations that impact our livelihood. Knowledge is the key to protecting ourselves and our businesses. The fireplace industry faces more government regulation than any other building material industry segment because we impact both the environment and energy - two of the most hotly debated areas of national concern. Even though regulation is formed at the national level, it is almost always implemented at the local level.  

    Our Government Affairs team is here to help you.  We are your watch dog at the grassroots level here to serve as a resource and advocate for your business.  We all should know the issues affecting our industry!  Every one of us needs to get educated and stay updated on legislative and regulatory activity. Take advantage of materials like this website or check out Fireline – the HPBA Government Affairs Committee's quarterly e-mail newsletter and HPBA Hot News email messages. Sign up for "Action Alerts" on the HPBA website so you can be notified when issues arise.

  • Join our team!

    Help NEHPBA “fight the fires” to stop negative impacts to our industry - become a part of the local fight to preserve our right to make a living in the hearth industry. By joining NEHPBA and becoming involved in the regulatory issues facing our states, you help not only your own business but the industry as a whole. It takes all of us getting involved in the political issues facing our industry to keep opposing interests from determining our fate.  Be proactive in helping to shape the laws that affect your business by volunteering your time and expertise. Give as much or as little time as you can - you can make a difference!  Get started here.

    "No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted" - AESOP

    Contact Deb Lyons, Director of Government Affairs, at deb@nehpba.org or 603-669-2744 ext.103

  • Representative

    A representative is a member of the Government Affairs Committee.  Representatives attend one conference call per month.  In addition, as timely events and issues present themselves, a representative will communicate with others through a Basecamp project management database tool.  Board Committees include Government Affairs, Membership, Annual Meeting, and Education.

  • Speaker

    Member hearth industry experts volunteer their time and knowledge to share presentations with Code Officials.  Speakers will have the opportunity to educate Building Officials/AHJs/Fire Marshals  on wood-burning fireplaces and stoves, pellet-burning appliances, factory-built fireplaces, gas hearth systems/fireplace inserts, and proper venting of all fuel types in prepared two-hour or one five-hour overview format. Speakers decide his/her availability and approve engagements at monthly or annual industry events as their schedule permits.  Our goal is to schedule Speakers Bureau sessions from April to August thus avoiding busy burn season commitments.  Speakers even earn CEU credits!

  • Analyst

    An Analyst reviews email updates with regard to legislation or building codes that affect our profession as identified by Multi-State and/or BCAP services.   While Multi-State messages address legislation, BCAP email messages address building codes.  You will find the volume of messages will increase during the first quarter of every year with those three months having the most legislative activity, but you will never receive more than three emails per week at the height of any season.  Analysts will focus his/her attention on the states represented in the Northeast region.

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    News Briefs

    #HPBAADVOCACY

    2017 Governors and Legislatures

    Click here for a comprehensive list of all State Governors and Legislators

     

    NET-ZERO Energy Initiatives

    The concept of “Zero Net Energy” (ZNE) homes is spreading like wild fire!  The usually are homes that use very little energy and generate all or most, of their own energy on an annual basis.  The concept differs a little in different parts of the country, but so far, most of the ZNE homes we’ve seen, don’t have any Hearth products.   Please start to look for these types of homes and/or projects in your area.  There was one featured in Connecticut recently, and, more ominously, a bill has been introduced in Massachusetts to mandate ZNE in their building code.  That bill died, but January starts a new session, in every state, and the ‘race to be the greenest’ may preclude fireplaces.  Please let your association know if you can document a ZNE house or project in your area.

    *"Activists push Western Mass cities and towns to stop using fossil fuels" - click here 

    *"Burlington, Vermont, has a goal to be a zero net energy city" - click here 

    *"Celebrating the very best sustainable buildings in the Northeast" - click here 

    *"Near Net-Zero Energy Home in Greenfield, Massachusetts" - click here 

    *"New York State Energy Research and Development Authority offers support to builders of single-family houses and

    developers of mulit-family buildings designed to achieve net zero energy performance" - click here 

    *"Vermont's First Net Zero Energy, Affordable Housing Development" - click here 


     

    State Updates

    Connecticut

    NEHPBA has received word that some of our retailers have been visited this week by government representatives from the State of Connecticut enforcing the NSPS.  To thwart confusion over which products are certified, below are links to the current lists of EPA-certified appliances. 

    Please let us know if you experience any events or if you have any questions.

    EPA-certified Wood and Pellet Stoves and Forced-Air Furnaces

    EPA-certified Hydronic Heaters 

    ATTENTION HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACTORS (HIC)!!!!  

    Sales persons in the State of Connecticut are being required to register and pay a $120 fee to sell products installed by a HIC.  ("A salesperson is any individual who negotiates or offers to negotiate a home improvement contract with a consumer, or solicits, or otherwise endeavors to procure by any means whatever, directly or indirectly, a home improvement contract from a consumer on behalf of a home improvement contractor).

    If your business negotiates the home improvement contract, or if you directly/indirectly sell the services of contractors, your sales staff must register (there is $1,500 fine for not being registered). 

    Click here to read the "Home Improvement & New Home Construction in Connecticut" brochure from the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection.

    Click here to access Section 20-420 of the Connecticut statutes pertaining to home improvement contractors.

    Click here to register as a Home Improvement Salesperson.

     

    Maine

     

    Massachusetts

     

    New Hampshire

    New Hampshire’s Department of Environmental Services is beginning the process of incorporating the NSPS into their Air Program Rules. There will be a public hearing on this on June 29th and the deadline to submit comments is July 7th.  

    Click here to view proposed changes: https://www.des.nh.gov/organization/commissioner/legal/rulemaking/documents/env-a500-ip.pdf

     

    Click here to view the public notice: https://www.des.nh.gov/organization/commissioner/legal/rulemaking/documents/env-a500-rmn.pdf

     

    Hearth Class

    In collaboration with Rick Vlahos of the Hearth Patio Barbecue Education Foundation (HPBEF) and Steve Dumais of Energysavers, Inc. in Meredith, NH, NEHPBA is working with Jeff Cyr, Chief Inspector, Section Chief, Mechanical Safety and Licensing, and Bill Trombly, Jr., Chairman, Mechanical Licensing Board to create a hearth-focused code review class in the State of NH.  This course would be introduced online with a future goal to bring it into a formal trade school/community college classroom.  Rick has agreed to create two (2) three-hour classes to appeal to folks seeking licensing in 2018.  

     

    NH HB 336

    NH HB 336, a bill concerning outdoor wood-fired hydronic heaters (OWHHs) has already passed the House and could become law! IF HB 336 is signed into law, distributors/sellers have to supply prospective buyers with a copy of the newest version of the public health chapter on OWHH 125-R.  

    UPDATE!!!  May 8, 2017:

    Summary:

    As Amended 03/08/2017: Amends definition of "Certified Outdoor Wood-Fired Hydronic Heater" or "Certified OWHH (Outdoor Wood-Fired Hydronic Heater)" to mean "a residential OWHH certified by the United States Environmental Protection Agency that meets the emissions standards codified in 40 C.F.R. part 60, subpart QQQQ and labeled accordingly, or a commercial high-efficiency, low-emission OWHH qualified by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority." Exempts OWHH's whose design gross heat input equals or exceeds 2 million BTU/HR from the bill's scope and establishes that they shall be subject to permitting requirements under RSA 125-C:11. Exempts OWHH's installed prior to August 10, 2008 from the bill's Setback and Stack Height Requirements, so long as they are not re-installed at a new location.

    5/3/17

    (S) Enrolled (In recess 04/27/2017); SJ 16

    (H) Enrolled 04/20/2017

    4/20/17

    (S) Ought to Pass: MA, VV; OT3rdg; 04/20/2017; SJ 14

    4/12/17

    (S) Committee Report: Ought to Pass, 04/20/2017; Vote 5-0; CC; SC 19

    4/11/17

    (S) Hearing Scheduled - Energy and Natural Resources

    4/5/17

    (S) Hearing: 04/11/2017, Room 103, SH, 09:45 am; SC 18

    3/14/17

    (S) Introduced 03/09/2017 and Referred to Energy and Natural Resources; SJ 9

    3/8/17

    (H) Amendment # 2017-0410h: AA VV 03/08/2017 HJ 9 P. 45

    (H) Ought to Pass with Amendment 0410h: MA VV 03/08/2017 HJ 9 P. 45

    2/15/17

    (H) Committee Report: Ought to Pass with Amendment # 2017-0410h for 03/08/2017 (Vote 21-0; CC)

    2/8/17

    (H) Full Committee Work Session: 02/14/2017 10:15 AM LOB 304

    (H) Executive Session: 02/14/2017 01:30 PM LOB 304

    2/1/17

    (H) Subcommittee Work Session: 02/08/2017 09:30 AM LOB 304

    (H) ==CANCELLED== Executive Session: 02/08/2017 02:00 PM LOB 304

    1/11/17

    (H) Public Hearing: 01/19/2017 01:00 PM LOB 304

    1/6/17

    (H) Introduced 01/05/2017 and referred to Science, Technology and Energy HJ 3 P. 9

    Link to bill’s changes

    Current Chapter

     

    New York

     

    Rhode Island

     

    Vermont

     


  • Government Affairs Academy

    The Government Affairs Academy (GAA) is a conference created and taught by the HPBA Government Affairs Department staff and outside consultants. Established in 2006, the GAA consists of members and Affiliate staff from all over the United States who travel to Washington DC for a crash course in becoming agents of change.  
    For a week, attendees participate in rigorous elective sessions around lobbying, initiating grassroots advocacy campaigns, communicating with Congress, and learning how to become spokespeople for the hearth industry to promote HPBA's legislative agenda.

    Next offering is scheduled for Summer 2018


    Key Courses

    • Media Training                                    
    • Negotiation and Testimony Training
    • Introduction to Federal Lobbying
    • Lobby State Legislatures
    • Industry Issues
    • Codes and Regulations


    Resources

    • Grassroots/Lobbying: The Path to Political Power (2009)
    • The Place for Pellets in Commercial/Institutional
    • Facilities (2009)
    • Communicating with Congress
    • Inside Lobbying

    Contact Diane Rossi, Executive Director, at diane@nehpba.org or 603-669-2744 ext. 101

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    Speakers Bureau

    Speakers Bureau volunteers are being recruited to offer their time and share presentations with local code officials during the months of April - September. Speakers are members of NEHPBA and are NFI-certified.  Successful lecturers will enjoy sharing his/her knowledge of the hearth industry to a group of professionals while having the confidence to answer questions about the industry and building codes. We offer presentations ready to share on wood burning fireplaces and stoves, pellet burning appliances, factory built fireplaces, gas hearth systems/fireplace inserts, and proper venting of all fuel types in  two (2)-hour sessions or a five (5)-hour curriculum.  Speakers earn CEUs for instructing!!!  Get started here!

     

    "No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted" - AESOP

     

    Contact Deb Lyons, Director of Government Affairs, at deb@nehpba.org or 603-669-2744 ext.103

    Presentations

     

  • Thanks to Pete McVety of McVety's Hearth and Home for sharing his hearth industry knowledge and expertise with the Maine Building Officials Inspectors Association at their 8th Annual Maine Code Conference at the Sebasco Harbor Resort! Pete gave two presentations on the subjects of fireplace inspections and venting hearth appliances!


  • Building Code Officials

    Let NEHPBA be your hearth industry resource!  

    Please remember that NEHPBA is here to make your job easier!  Are you familiar with the principles of combustion, heat transfer and draft? Are you completely confident in what to look for when doing inspections? Do you know the shortcuts an installer (or a do-it-yourselfer) might have taken?  Let us have one of our certified industry professionals join your local group/Association at monthly meetings to present educational sessions on hearth products – for FREE!  We offer the following curriculum in two-hour formats:

    • Wood burning fireplaces and stoves
    • Pellet burning appliances
    • Factory built appliances
    • Gas hearth systems/fireplace inserts
    • Proper venting of all fuel types

    Ready to reserve a speaker for your Spring or Summer meeting?  Please click on the link to register:


    Contact Deb Lyons, Director of Government Affairs, at deb@nehpba.org or 603-669-2740 ext.103

     


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  • Become an Industry Advocate! Become an Industry Advocate!


    Help the hearth industry by sending letters to your elected officials through the HPBA Legislative Action Center,

    organize a tour of your facility for your Member of Congress, or become a NEHPBA Analyst!

     

  • Members Only!  Log in to your account to view:

    Webinar:  How to Make Your Voice Heard

           How to use HPBA's Legislative Action Center

          June 1, 2017

          Hosted by HPBA

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  • Upcoming Events