Hot News
JUNE 2019
HPBA New Membership Video on YouTube

We are excited to share our new Membership Video with all of the HPBA family. This is our latest tool to spread the message about the benefits of membership in HPBA. We’re sharing this with the Affiliates and encouraging them to use it to help recruit new members and we’ll be promoting it over our social channels as well.

We are increasingly using video to get important messages out – for both the consumer and our members. Make sure you subscribe to our YouTube channel and check out the videos you may have missed. These include promotional videos for hearth consumers, an NSPS Q&A targeted to our retailer members, 31 Reasons to Grill, and many others.
New NSPS Toolkit for Retailers

HPBA has launched a new and improved toolkit for retailers and distributors with questions about the EPA’s New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for New Residential Wood Heaters. With the May 15, 2020 effective date for Step 2 less than a year away, the toolkit is your resource for all things NSPS in one place. Do you have questions about what’s the truth and what are just rumors? Do you know what to do if EPA or state enforcement officials visit your store or warehouse? Find these answers and more on HPBA’s website, by clicking below. Please contact Rachel Feinstein if you have any questions. 
HPBA to Launch Shipments Report for Venting

HPBA is constantly looking for ways to help members effectively run their businesses. One way we do that is by providing members with access to data and market research. To meet member interest, HPBA is launching a new shipment program focused on hearth venting products. If your company manufactures and ships Class A, chimney liners, direct vent, pellet pipe, or stove pipe, your company may qualify for participation. Participants receive quarterly reports indicating quarterly changes of product shipments. Not only does this report help participants, but it also assists HPBA when talking with regulators and other interested parties about the size and scope of the industry. If you are interested in participating or have any questions about the program, please reach out to Cameron Downs , Manager-Market Research.
National BBQ Month
As we do every year, we worked hard to promote National Barbecue Month and get the North American consumers outside and grilling as the weather warms up. With the creation of the #WhyIGrill campaign, we had plenty of content to share and an easy way for people to engage with us.

Our ad spending for May 2019 was roughly the same as May 2018, but we saw a sharp increase in engagement. Through our three main social channels – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – we created 63 posts that had more than 166,000 engagements versus 96,000 in 2018. We believe that this increase is directly related to the #WhyIGrill campaign.
A special thanks again to our manufacturers who donated items for us to give away during the month. The full list can be found on the #WhyIGrill website .
NFI Exam Changes are Complete 

The changes to the NFI exam format are complete. The new format makes it easier and less expensive for people to add multiple certifications. The concept is simple:
  • To get your first certification, you need to take the Core Knowledge exam and then a specialized exam targeting one of the fuel types: Woodburning, Gas or Pellet exam. You are not “certified” until you have completed both.
  • Once you have a current certification, you only need to take the additional fuel-type exam to add an additional certification since you have already passed the Core Knowledge exam.
You can take the NFI exam from your own home or office at any time of the day or night, as long as your computer has a webcam and microphone. The price is the same if you take the exam at HPBExpo, at a PSI/LaserGrade test center, or online.  

Please contact the NFI office at 703-524-8030 or email below, if you have any questions.
Government Affairs
Increased Tariffs on Chinese Imports and New Tariffs Impact All Mexican Imports

Trade talks continue between the United States and China. With an agreement yet to be reached, a third round of tariffs was recently announced on more than $200 billion of imported Chinese goods, raising the tariff rates from 10 percent to up to 25 percent on May 10, 2019.

These rates will apply to shipments that leave China after that date, not for shipments already en route. Portable and built-in non-electric grills and certain grill components imported from China were included in the last round of tariffs, meaning they are also subject to this tariff increase.

On May 30, 2019, President Trump announced that the U.S. would impose a tariff of five percent on all goods imported from Mexico starting on June 10, 2019, increasing by five percent each month until the tariff rate reaches 25 percent on October 1, 2019 if Mexico makes no progress on stemming immigration into the U.S. Any goods that leave Mexico en route to the U.S. before June 10 th would not be affected by the tariff.

The timing of this announcement may impact efforts on the not-yet-ratified U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) that is intended to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement. Please contact Rachel Feinstein if you have any questions. 
Biomass Stove Tax Credits and Incentives Gain Attention in Congress

Members of Congress are again discussing energy efficiency and renewable energy tax credits. A coalition of dozens of trades worked with the Alliance to Save Energy (ASE) to put together a comprehensive package of legislative language renewing and strengthening numerous tax credits.

HPBA signed onto the support letter for the proposals and played a key role in developing consensus language to renew the biomass stove tax credit. The language in the ASE proposal would extend the biomass stove tax credit into the future, raise the credit amount from $300 to $400, and require a thermal efficiency of 73 percent or higher, based on the higher heating value (HHV) of the fuel. Legislation with the agreed-upon language has yet to be introduced, but we continue to work with ASE and other stakeholders to secure introduction.

A bill was introduced by Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) earlier this year, the HOMES Act ( H.R. 2043 ), which would establish an energy efficiency retrofit program for home improvement. HPBA is working with Rep. Welch’s staff on language that would include biomass-fueled heating appliances as viable home upgrades eligible for program funds. This language would be added to a larger package of infrastructure legislation that is being championed by the Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and is entitled, “Leading Infrastructure for Tomorrow’s (LIFT) America Act” ( H.R. 2741 ). We will keep members apprised as these efforts continue and new developments emerge. Please contact Rachel Feinstein if you have any questions on either piece of legislation. 
New EPA Searchable Database
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has created two new searchable databases of residential heaters for consumers – one for wood and pellet stoves and one for hydronic heaters and warm air furnaces – that will replace the existing on-line list of certified stoves. Consumers can search up to 10 different criteria, including efficiency, emissions, carbon monoxide, and heat output. While EPA has tried to include contextual information for consumers, it is likely that few consumers will read that information. HPBA is working to ensure that our members understand the databases in order to help consumers who may jump to conclusions about stoves that may or may not be the best choice for them.
For more information, contact John Crouch.
Update on CEC Proposed Gas Hearth Regulations
On Thursday, June 6 th, the California Energy Commission (CEC) held a public workshop on a proposed regulation for gas hearth products. The proposal includes a 70 percent minimum efficiency for heater-rated vented gas fireplaces, stoves, and inserts, a ban on continuous pilots for most gas-burning hearth appliances, and labeling requirements for decorative appliances. The rulemaking would affect the manufacture and sale of fireplaces, stoves, inserts, gas logs, and outdoor fireplaces. HPBA, members, and legal counsel all commented on the onerous nature, dubious benefits, and flawed cost/benefit analysis of the proposal. CEC also based many assumptions and conclusions on withdrawn Department of Energy figures which were shown to be based on little to no data. 

Currently, the comment period for the proposal is set to close on Friday, June 28 th, but HPBA has formally submitted a request for extension to the comment period of at least 45 days. All materials relating to the proposal and public hearing can be found by clicking below. If you have any questions on CEC’s regulatory effort, please contact Ryan Carroll.
Get Ready to March Through All Four Seasons at the 2020 HPBExpo!
HPBExpo 2020
Exhibition: March 12-14
Education: March 11-13
Ernest N. Morial Convention Center
Connect with HPBExpo
Hear leading indoor-outdoor living companies explain why they exhibit at HPBExpo and how they reach thousands of the right buyers and decision-makers in our new promotional video.  Booth sales are off to a good start; make your booth reservation today and visit Apply to Exhibit page for floor plans, contracts, and important dates. 

Be on the lookout for your Save the Date Postcard. Registration and Housing open on September 3 rd .

Start planning your trip to New Orleans and the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center
HPBExpo 2019 Survey Results Thus Far
This year's Expo results showed that participants had a productive trip while in Dallas:

  • 7 out of 10 attendees purchased a product on-site, committed to purchasing a product or plan to purchase a product within a year.

  • 71% of exhibitors already plan to attend HPBExpo 2020 in New Orleans.

  • 77% of those attending felt it was an overall positive experience.

  • 80% of attendees would recommend attending to others. 
HPBExpo Site Visits
The Expo Committee met earlier this week in New Orleans to review final 2019 Expo reports, survey results, and discuss preliminary plans for the 2020 Expo. A tour of the convention center, outdoor burn area, and city was also conducted.  

Kelly VanDermark visited Louisville, Kentucky in May and met with representatives of the Convention & Visitors Bureau. The Expo committee will follow up with a meeting in October in Louisville to determine if they will recommend it to the Board of Directors as a future site
Affiliate Spotlight

Congratulations to Ron Kessner from Fireplaces Plus in Manahawkin, NJ for winning the MAHPBA Pat Magnotti Award! This award is given out each year to an individual who has gone above and beyond in their commitment to the hearth, patio & barbecue product industries in the mid-Atlantic. Ron has worked tirelessly to protect the industry's interests in the New Jersey statehouse and further donates his time to serve on the MAHPBA Board. Congratulations, Ron, for this well-deserved recognition!

Affiliates: Do you have news to share with the whole HPBA membership? Please contact Emily McGee with that news.

New address for mailed  payments  to HPBA, effective immediately:

US Postal Service:
Hearth Patio and Barbecue Association
Bank of America Lockbox Services
P. O. Box 412397
Boston, MA, 02241-2397

Overnight Mail:
Hearth Patio and Barbecue Association
Bank of America Lockbox Services
Lockbox #412397
2 Morrissey Blvd.
Dorchester, MA 02125

Any payments sent to our old address will be returned to sender. We apologize for this inconvenience.

All other correspondence can continue to be sent to our physical address below: