Hot News
Biomass Stove Tax Credit Extended Until December 31, 2020
At the very end of last year, the once-expired biomass stove tax credit was officially extended for qualifying purchases made between January 1, 2018 and December 31, 2020. This is a retroactive credit! Thanks to efforts by HPBA and support from our members, language was included in the year-end spending bill that renewed the $300 tax credit for biomass heaters that are at least 75 percent efficient. The language did not specify how the efficiency should be measured. You need only rely on a manufacturer certificate stating that a model is at least 75 percent efficient. If you are in a hurry, the EPA certified stoves list is a good place to start, but understand that some products with qualifying efficiencies may not be reflected on the list. Check with your manufacturers on which products qualify for the credit.

Get the facts! HPBA is the definitive source   of information on the biomass stove tax credit for the hearth industry. We will continue to update our industry-focused tax credit page and our consumer-focused tax credit page with new information as we receive it. HPBA is working on a one-pager that retailers can provide to customers with more information about the credit, what qualifies, and how to claim it. This one-pager will be posted on both the industry and consumer website pages when it is completed. Please contact Rachel Feinstein if you have any questions.
Keynote Address Announcement
Thursday, March 12 • 8:30am-9:45am • La Nouvelle Ballroom
Hot Profit: Optimizing Retail Space to Spark Growth in Your Sales
Presentation is everything. The way a product is showcased, the salesroom layout, and the customer experience are all deciding factors in closing a deal. In an effort to show retailers how to increase sales, this year’s Keynote Address, “Hot Profit: Optimizing Retail Space to Spark Growth in Your Sales,” will be delivered by Wayne Visbeen of Visbeen Architects. As the interior designer and architect behind an iconic list of ground-breaking and effective retail environments, Visbeen will share his unique insight backed by examples of previous successes.

As comfortable on a construction site as he is designing a store layout, Visbeen has a deep understanding of custom residential design and the current trends shaping the indoor-outdoor living industry. His architectural practice, Visbeen Architects , continues to utilize products found at HPBExpo and reimagines spaces with breathtaking beauty and functionality.

Bonus Topic: How to Win Hearth & Outdoor Architectural Specs

By popular demand, Wayne will also be sharing his tips on what dealers need to do to win fireplace specs; Q&A to follow!
Generously sponsored by Napoleon Products, the HPBExpo 2020 Keynote Address aims to provide unique retail insights and highlight the key concepts you will be able to use for better sales and better customer experiences.

The Keynote Address is free to all registered HPBExpo 2020 participants.  
HPBA Annual Shipments Data Collection Now Open
Data collection for HPBA’s 2019 Manufacturers’ Shipment Report (MSR) is now open. Eligible hearth appliance and accessory manufacturers are encouraged to participate by sharing their 2019 shipment information. Participation is the only way to receive detailed shipment trends and data at the product level. Rest assured, your company’s individual shipment data is never disclosed or shared. This data is an asset for the Association as it pursues its advocacy and promotional work, and provides participants with another piece of data for planning their business strategy. If you are interested in participating or have questions about the MSR, please contact Cameron Downs
Have You Seen HPBA’s NSPS Retailer Toolkit?
Now that we are in 2020, are you ready for the New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) May 15 th Step 2 deadline ? Do you know whether you can install a Step 1 stove after the May 15, 2020 effective date if it was sold before the deadline? Can you sell used stoves after the effective date? If you aren’t sure of the answers to these questions, we urge you to check out our NSPS Toolkit for Retailers .

If you sell wood- or pellet-burning products, your business depends on you being familiar with this regulation. Resources include an enforcement visit checklist, rumors and facts on the new requirements, frequently asked questions, HPBA’s EPA-certified stoves labeling guide , and more. Many of your questions will likely be answered by our FAQ page.

We’d like to remind all members that there is no sell through (the ability to continue to sell products that do not meet the new certification for a set amount of time after the deadline) of any kind past the effective date for any of the products impacted (wood and pellet stoves and inserts, forced-air furnaces, hydronic heaters). If a product doesn’t have a label on it that says the product is Step 2 certified, it MUST be sold before May 15, 2020; however, it can be installed after the effective date within a reasonable amount of time as long as the transfer of ownership to your customer takes place before May 15 th .

Please contact Rachel Feinstein if you have any questions. Remember, there is no such thing as a dumb question!
HPBExpo 2020
Exhibition: March 12-14
Education: March 11-13
Ernest N. Morial Convention Center
Let Us Know You Are Coming to HPBExpo!
Register now and join thousands of hearth, patio, and barbecue professionals and experience new products in the spotlight of the industry's premiere event. Hotel rooms are available at a discounted rate on a first-come, first-served basis, so book now to reserve one of your top choice hotels in New Orleans! 
is the official housing partner for HPBExpo. Please be aware that there have been cases in the past where attendees booked with a third-party company and their reservations were not valid and honored by the hotel upon arrival.
Hear from this year’s attendees on why you need to be there! 
New Product Spotlight Sessions 
Attend a presentation on select New Products in the New Product Pavilion – hear direct from the exhibitors in the New Product Pavilion about their new featured products! A schedule for these presentations will be available in the Show Guide, the Mobile App, and on signage in the Pavilion onsite. Exhibitor entries are now being accepted for the New Product Pavilion . Each product entered will also be an eligible entry for the 2020 Attendees' Choice Awards, in which attendees will vote for their choice of most-marketable new product in both Hearth and Outdoor Living categories. Space is limited! Contact Amy Jackson with questions.
HPBExpo Homepage Advertising
New this year , HPBExpo Exhibitors have an additional platform to boost their brand awareness and name recognition by advertising on the homepage! You’ll have the opportunity to make 50,000+ impressions from now through March. For additional exposure, all banners will link to the Exhibitor Profile you’ve created on our site. Advertisers will be provided with Impression Counts and Click-Through Counts monthly to confirm that your message is being received loud and clear. Hurry — only 3 ad placements per unit/per month are available! Click below for details. 
NFI Exam Update
New in 2020, online exams will be available onsite. Attendees can conveniently take exams throughout the duration of HPBExpo 2020 by registering for an allotted time of their choosing. With ten computers available, space will be limited, so registering early will be critical in getting the date and time that works best for you. Additionally, the exams will be graded upon submission, providing almost instantaneous results. For complete details, contact the NFI Office at 703-524-8030. 
Tailgate & Big Green Egg Cook-off Competition
Thursday, March 12 • 5:00pm-7:30pm • Outdoor Burn Cook-off Tent Booth #4288

Come join the Outdoor Burn Area for the 9th annual HPBExpo Tailgate & Big Green Egg Cook-off event. 

  • Big Green Egg Cook-Off
  • Tailgating with Games & Drinks
  • Extended Exhibitor Booth Hours
  • Mardi Gras Parade & Music
  • New Orleans Saints Cheerleaders

See products in action, sample food, and tailgate with new friends while immersed in vibrant, NOLA-infused revelry. Teams will be battling for bragging rights before a panel of esteemed judges. There are still a few spots open...go for the glory and enter to participate by contacting Kelly VanDermark.  
Sponsored by:
Louisiana Grills -- Effective Demo Strategies & Techniques
Sponsored by:
Friday, March 13 • 1:00pm-3:00pm • Outdoor Burn Area Cook-off Tent Booth #4288

Join Louisiana Grills as we celebrate the launch of our NEW wood pellet grill collection, The Founders Series!

  • Learn trade secrets and expert demo tips
  • Enjoy mouthwatering samples from award winning barbecue champions
  • Enter to win a free grill, prizes and more! 
Get Noticed at HPBExpo 2020
Raise your visibility at Expo with any of the great sponsorship and advertising opportunities available to exhibitors and non-exhibitors. Contact Stacy Bowdring .
Connect with HPBExpo
Expo Education Spotlight
Each month, we will highlight one of our education sessions scheduled for HPBExpo 2020 to give you a taste of what you can learn if you attend.
Preparing Your Family Firm's Next Generation of Leaders
Doug Brown

One thing that family businesses have in common with other organizations is that you will eventually leave the business one of three ways: retire, quit, or pass away.
Most business owners dream of passing the family business on to the next generation or even trusted employees. But how ready are they to take on the challenge? It only makes sense that the people you are entrusting your business to are as prepared as possible to continue your good work.
This session will address the non-financial areas that are often overlooked when the desired plan is to transition the business to others who are already working there, such as the art of managing people, leadership development, and how to pass on the thousands of small details that go into running a business. 

To register for this class and for more Expo education info, click below.
Have you received the New Orleans Passport mailer? If not, check out all the exciting experiences awaiting you in New Orleans. Also, be on the lookout for the Registration Brochure that will be included with Hearth & Home Magazine after the holidays.
Better Business Practices, Technical Understanding, and Certifications: The Program is Crucial to Career Development
The HPBExpo Education Program will equip you with the knowledge (and the continuing education credits) you need to stay ahead of your competition. This year there are four exclusive education sessions only available at EXPO. 

They are:
  • Showroom Design,
  • Win More with a Marketing Strategy,
  • Sales Leadership,
  • HPBA Hearth & BBQ Consumer Research Survey Results

Be sure to check out the full program schedule .
HPBExpo is excited to announce that we will be going to a new city in 2023: Louisville, Kentucky!
Government Affairs
The “New NAFTA” Passed by U.S. House of Representatives

On December 19, 2019, the U.S. House of Representative overwhelmingly voted in support of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement. 385 members voted in support, 41 opposed, and five did not vote at all on the agreement. Next, the full U.S. Senate will need to vote on the agreement. The legislative bodies of Canada and Mexico also need to ratify the agreement in order to reach enactment status. Enactment of USMCA would restore trade certainty between the three countries for the future. 
Federal Changeout Program Legislation Introduced in the U.S. House

At long last, legislation was introduced by Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) on December 11, 2019 that would create a national changeout program fund. Identical legislation was introduced in the U.S. Senate earlier last year. The bill, the “Wood Heaters Emissions Reduction Act” (“WHERA”) would authorize $75 million each year over five years to fund changeout programs across the U.S. A stable source of funds for changeout programs has long been sought since funding sources are irregular and often limited. Retailers who participate in changeout programs almost always see an increase in sales and customer base.

To urge your elected officials to cosponsor this important legislation, send an email now . To view an interactive map of all active changeouts and rebate programs that we know of, visit our changeout program website
New Tariffs on Chinese Imports Delayed for Now
On December 13, 2019, the Trump Administration announced the U.S. and China had reached an agreement on “phase one” of a trade deal with China. As the countries work toward further agreement, an existing tariff of 25 percent will remain for certain products, including portable and built-in non-electric grills and certain grill components. View the full list of affected products. The 25 percent tariff for these products was set to increase to 30 percent on October 1, but that increase did not occur due to progress on trade discussions.

Another tariff, which went into effect on September 1, 2019, for products included on “ list 4A ,” has now been cut in half from 15 percent to 7.5 percent. This affects products such as barbecue forks with wood handles, certain cooking appliances, some agricultural and dairy products, textiles, and metals.

In return, China has agreed to unspecified structural changes and increased purchases of agricultural, energy, and manufactured goods from the U.S.

Negotiations over the details of phase two of a trade deal will begin immediately. As always, these discussions remain fluid and ever changing. HPBA will continue to monitor developments and keep you apprised.
New Board Members Nominated
The HBPA Nominating Committee has identified industry members who have agreed to serve the 2020 HPBA Board of Directors. The governing body for the association, HPBA's Board of Directors, has a total of 21 voting seats: 10 manufacturing and at-large members and 11 non-manufacturers (retailers, distributors, service providers, and manufacturer's representatives).

Nominees for the 2020 slate of Executive Officers include: Dick Hoffman, Chairman (RGH Enterprises); Henry Hall, Vice-Chairman (Skytech Products Group); Pete Schoenfeld, Secretary (Fireplace Warehouse) and Dave Kuhfahl (HearthStone) to serve in the At-Large seat on the Executive Committee. All of the Executive Officers serve a one-year term, with the exception of the Treasurer , who will serve a three-year term. 

The 2020 Nominating Committee has also identified nominees for three Manufacturer Board seats being vacated in March 2020: Jeni Forman (HHT) for a second three-year term, and Stephen Schroeter (Napoleon), and Beau Warren (Weber-Stephen LLC) to a first three-year term.
Be on the lookout for an email ballot from HPBA in the next few days if you are eligible to vote.
HPBA Event Code of Conduct
The HPBA Board of Directors has approved an event code of conduct for all of HPBA’s meetings and events, including Expo. The code outlines unacceptable behavior and how such behavior should be reported and how it will be enforced. All attendees of any event are expected to adhere to the code so that everyone can have a pleasant and productive experience. We encourage everyone to read the code so that they understand what it includes. Please reach out to HPBA if you have any questions.
Vesta Awards
The Vesta Awards program was created in 2001 by Hearth & Home magazine to recognize and honor manufacturers for their innovation in product design and/or technology. The 2020 program is open for entries . Judging will take place the first day of the HPBExpo, March 12, 2020; judges are selected from the ranks of retailers, distributors, designers, laboratory scientists, affiliate leaders and industry consultants.

The Vesta Awards Ceremony will begin at 4:45 pm on Friday, March 13, at the convention center. Winners and finalists will be featured in Hearth & Home’s April issue. Now in its 20th year, the Vesta Awards are a respected and prestigious part of the HPBExpo. To view the winners and finalists of the 2019 Vesta Awards, click below.
HPBA has a new banking relationship with Bank of America, and our SunTrust accounts are now closed. For wiring information, please contact Robert Washington .

Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association
P.O. Box 412397
Boston, MA 02241-2397