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Northeast Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association Blog

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Northeast HPBA is Heading to Capital Hill Next Week!

15 October 2019

On Thursday, October 24th both the Northeast HPBA Executive Director and our President (Joel Etter, HHT), along with members of HPBA’s Board of Directors, North American Government Affairs Committee, and the other Affiliate Staff and Leaders will meet with legislators and their staff on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

HPBA members will be promoting legislation that would create a federal changeout program fund, legislation that would extend the biomass stove tax credit, and introducing our industry to legislators and staff who may not know our industry very well. Be on the lookout for stories and pictures from our Day on the Hill!


Northeast Hearth, Patio And Barbecue Association Member Benefits

9 October 2019

There are so many reasons to being a member of NEHPBA! Here are just a few!

1. Enjoy Cost Savings Benefits on insurance, computers, shipping, credit card processing, business coaching, technical training, marketing, and advertising, saving members hundreds of dollars each year.

2. Complimentary tickets to the HPBExpo.

3. Receive discounts on HPB Education Foundation courses and NFI certifications.

4. Promote Your business to consumers via the Online Member Directory and HPBA Member Store Locator.

5. Benefit from HPBA’s Consumer Campaigns that include traditional and social media.

6. Access vital industry information and consumer use and awareness with HPBA’s online Market Research Reports.

7. Stay up to date on legislation and regulation affecting your business with HPBA’s Government Affairs Team.

7. Expand your company’s reach via HPBA Affiliates. HPBA’s 13 regional trade associations support the hearth industry at the local, state and regional level with services, educational opportunities, and legislative monitoring.

8. Stay informed with HotNews, HPBA’s monthly newsletter, and Newscast, featuring weekly articles on hearth and outdoor living products.

Renew or Join today and start reaping the benefits! Protect. Promote. Secure Your Business!


HPBA Celebrates National Fireplace Month, and Promotes Fireplace Safety and Cleaner Burning Appliances in October

1 October 2019

Throughout October, National Fireplace Month, the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association is helping consumers prepare for the height of fireplace––and freestanding stove––season by emphasizing fireplace safety and promoting cleaner burning appliances. The crispness of fall air is a reminder that the colder weather and holidays are coming, a chance to spend quality time with family and friends around a glowing fire.

HPBA will be participating in Fire Prevention Week from October 9–15. Some tips for enjoying fireplaces and hearth products safely:

  • Make sure the area around the fireplace is clear of furniture, books, newspapers, and other potentially flammable materials. Three feet away is a good rule.
  • Have the chimney inspected annually, and cleaned as necessary, by a professional to ensure it’s clear of obstructions and creosote to prevent a fire.
  • Make family members and guests aware that the glass panel of a gas fireplace, stove, or insert can be very hot. Installing a safety screen or safety barrier is recommended to reduce the risk of serious burns by preventing direct contact with hot glass.
  • Have a technician check the gas lines, clean the burner and control compartment as well as check for condensation annually.
  • If burning vent-free logs for more than an hour, crack a window open. If using vented logs, clamp your fireplace damper into the open position so it never closes while burning.

On October 19, HPBA will also be participating in the fourth-annual National Bioenergy Day to increase awareness about just how cleanly wood and pellet appliances burn. Spearheaded by the Biomass Power Association, HPBA is pleased to help fund the event.

HPBA’s October activities are part of a larger effort through February 2017 to educate consumers about the array of fireplace, stove, and other product options available. HPBA will be featuring tips and general information throughout the hearth season on both its Facebook and Twitter channels. Later in 2016, HPBA is releasing its upgraded website with an enhanced area for consumers to find safety tips and learn about the different types of products, and more.

Market research is another way that HPBA provides public education for the hearth industry. On September 16, HPBA released key findings of its biannual survey of decision-making homeowners: the 2016 Hearth Ownership and Market Potential Study. Balanced against the U.S. Census, the study was implemented by surveying homeowners throughout North America on their experiences in relation to factory-built fireplaces, stoves, and fireplace inserts.





What One Member had to Say About the Northeast HPBA!

26 September 2019

NEHPBA

Why should you become a member of the Northeast HPBA? Here is what one of our very satisfied, and long time members had to say:

"We had an issue regarding the interpretation of regulations related to the installation of direct vent appliances so we called NEHPBA to ask for their help. Karen Luther quickly grasped the issue and thru her industry contacts the issue was quickly resolved. Thanks again to Karen and the NEHPBA.  We appreciate your responsiveness when we needed you!  It's a plus for our industry to have a voice supporting our interests.  Everyone in the hearth product industry should be a member!"  -

Randy Titsworth, Owner - The Fireplace Showcase, Seekonk, MA

Interested in joining the NEHPBA or have some questions? Contact us!


Brookline, MA bylaw Would Prohibit Natural Gas in Future Construction

17 September 2019

Fossil fuel infrastructure could soon become ancient history in Brookline construction.

A newly-proposed bylaw would prohibit installation of new gas or oil piping in major construction, defined as new developments and significant building rehabilitations or additions. This would prevent developers from installing appliances reliant on fossil fuels, including certain boilers, furnaces and cooktops.

“When we make a new investment in gas heat, gas hot water and other gas appliances, we are lighting fires that burn on and off for decades,” said Town Meeting Member Jesse Gray, who is petitioning the warrant article.

Speaking at a community feedback session Aug. 22, he cited the town’s goal to be emissions-free by 2050: “In Brookline, we’ve said that these fires have to be put out by 2050. So if we continue to put in new fossil fuel infrastructure in Brookline, our goal would require it to be ripped out, potentially prior to its useful end-of-life.”

Retrofitting could be more expensive and more of a hassle than just installing electric appliances to begin with, he said.

He called the proposed bylaw an “essential step” in achieving zero emissions in Brookline’s building sector.

“If we assume that half a percent of our building stock is built or rehabilitated every year, then this bylaw alone could result in 15 percent of our buildings operating climate-neutral by 2050,” Gray said.

Even with those goals, the warrant article has a ways to go before it becomes Brookline law. The proposed bylaw will be filed with the town by Aug. 29, when the warrant for the November special Town Meeting closes. TM members will then debate and vote on whether to amend the town’s General By-Laws.

In two community feedback sessions, one on Aug. 20 and one on Aug. 22, developers, property owners, building trade professionals and members of the public were invited to ask questions and make suggestions. Many questions focused on how the bylaw would be implemented, and what technology could be used in the process.

Some attendees also raised concerns about how the ban on new fossil fuel infrastructure would impact restaurants reliant on gas cooktops and stoves.

“A lot of people who are skeptical about cooking without gas haven’t tried induction cooking,” Gray said, adding, “It’s essentially superior to gas cooking and it’s been embraced by a lot of famous chefs in the area, including Ming Tsai and Barbara Lynch.”

Not only is induction cooking safer for kitchen staff, he said, it also keeps kitchens cooler and heats water faster.

Meanwhile, Chestnut Hill Realty’s Marc Levin expressed concerns about the bylaw’s impact on property owners and leasing companies.

“In the end, I think that a sophisticated cost-benefit analysis should be done, that this feels ... as though there hasn’t been a significant analysis of what the costs would be, what the economics would be and what the other heavy consequences may be,” he said.

Zoe Lynn, Brookline’s sustainability program administrator, acknowledged it is still early on in the process. “We’re early on in our climate planning, but we’re also early on in the warrant article,” she said.

Still at hand is the matter of exemptions — whether to allow certain projects to go around the bylaw, and which buildings to exempt.

According to Lynn, some analysis have made it clear that the bylaw may need to exempt large units that require a lot of hot water heating, such as homes or commercial buildings. The technology, she explained, isn’t cost effective. This would exempt, for example, Chestnut Hill Realty’s upcoming mixed-use Waldo-Durgin development, she said.

This is being put to vote on 11/19/19, November Special Town Meeting Begins!

Do you know of an issue in your town that we need to know about? Let us know so we can help fight!

brookline.wickedlocal.com


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