Hot News
HPBA's New Years Resolution:
Make 2021 Better Than 2020
It’s time to keep pushing. It’s time to make improvements and get right on track for the new year. HPBA is doing everything to help you in completing your goals for the industry. Explore the various resources we have available: 

  • Retailer Toolkit: navigate through our industry tips, links, guidelines, and videos for retailers. The topics cover advocacy, research, media, and business resources. 
  • Webinars: watch a variety of videos from HPBA staff and experts in business sales & planning, marketing techniques, and more. 
  • Promotions: we have big plans for 2021 to help you market and promote your products. We’ll provide you with tool kits and webinars to help you use those tools.
HPBA’s New Charity of Choice – StoveTeam International
At its October Board meeting, the HPBA Board voted to designate StoveTeam International as the second Charity of Choice for HPBA. StoveTeam joins Operation BBQ Relief in this category as we hope our members will support both. StoveTeam’s mission is to facilitate the distribution of low-emission, efficient, and inexpensive woodburning cook stoves to developing countries in Latin America. Many families currently cook on an open flame, causing safety and environmental concerns. StoveTeam has created a webpage specifically for HPBA members to find out more about their work and how to get involved. We encourage everyone to check it out and see if they can help.
HPBA Annual Shipments Data Collection Now Open
Data collection for HPBA’s 2020 Manufacturers’ Shipment Report (MSR) is now open. Eligible hearth appliance and accessory manufacturers are encouraged to participate by sharing their 2020 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 Robert Washington for information on how to get involved. 
New COVID-19 Relief Package Expands, Extends Assistance Options
On December 27, 2020, the latest $900 billion COVID relief package and $1.4 trillion government funding authorization were signed into law. In addition to the up to $600 checks and extended unemployment benefits that many Americans will receive, several provisions benefiting the country’s small businesses were included. Notably, there were clarifications on (and an expansion of) the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), an extension and expansion of the Employee Retention Tax Credit, and extending the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. More information is available at HPBA’s COVID-19 Updates website, but some of the highlights of these provisions are below.

Paycheck Protection Program
Back in November, the IRS announced that it would be treating loans received under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) as “taxable income” at a rate of up to 37 percent. Congress did not intend these loans to be taxed in this way. These bills clarify that PPP loans cannot be taxed as “taxable income.”

Employee Retention Tax Credit
The Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) was put in place earlier in 2020 by the CARES Act. Under the recent changes, the ERTC is now extended through June 30, 2021.

The credit also:
  • Increases to cover 70 percent of qualified wages (up from 50 percent)
  • Lowers required year-over-year decline in receipts to 20 percent (down from 50 percent)
  • Increases the per employee credit max to $10,000/quarter (up from $10,000/ year)

Families First Coronavirus Response Act
Enacted into law early last year, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) provided a refundable tax credit for the mandated paid sick leave and family leave for private-sector employers with under 500 employees. The new relief package extends this credit through March 31, 2021.

Please visit HPBA’s COVID-19 Updated site to learn more about resources available to the industry. If you have further questions, please contact Ryan Carroll.
Government Affairs
NEW Generous Tax Credit for Wood and Pellet Heaters
Out with the old and in with the new! A spending legislation and pandemic relief package was signed into law at the very end of December and included a long sought-after tax credit for wood and pellet heaters. These systems, whether they are stoves purchased to heat space or larger, whole home heating systems, will now qualify for a renewable energy investment tax credit (Section 25(D) of the Internal Revenue Code). Up until now, only solar, small wind, fuel cell, and geothermal systems qualified for this credit. 

Beginning in 2021, consumers buying highly efficient wood or pellet stoves or larger residential biomass heating systems will be able to claim a 26% tax credit that is uncapped and based on the full cost (purchase and installation) of the unit. The credit will remain at 26% through this year and next, and then step down to 22 percent in 2023. This provision is part of the BTU Act, which has been actively supported by HPBA for the last several years and has been part of our Advocacy Day requests to Members of Congress. 

It is important to note that the language that made it into the final spending package eliminates the Sec. 25(C) credit for biomass stoves.

If consumers made a qualifying purchase AND installation on or before December 31, 2020, they can still claim the Sec. 25(C) tax credit on their 2020 tax return. HPBA is working quickly to further update our website with additional guidance and create marketing materials to inform consumers. Visit our tax credit website page for more information. Please contact Rachel Feinstein if you have any questions.
NSPS Reminder: Step 2 in Full Effect and There is No Sell-Through
As a reminder, the EPA’s Step 2 of the NSPS is in effect. The Environmental Protection Agency has opted not to extend any sell-through or donation option. As the NSPS prohibits the transfer of ownership of a Step 1 unit after May 15, 2020, these units cannot even be given away. Any remaining Step 1 products cannot be sold or donated; Step 1 products in the U.S. can only be recycled or destroyed. The denial of sell-through was an extremely disappointing development, especially in light of the second wave of COVID-19 cases impacting families and small businesses. More information and updates can be found on our website. If you have any additional questions not covered by our website, please contact Rachel Feinstein.
Changeout Legislation to Be a Big Focus for HPBA in New Congress
For decades, there has not been a stable source of federal funds for changeout programs to replace older, non-certified woodstoves with newer, cleaner-burning heaters. Most changeout programs are funded by Clean Air Act enforcement settlement funds, state budgets, and other irregular sources of funding.

In the last session of Congress, HPBA spearheaded the advocacy effort to support the “Wood Heaters Emissions Reduction Act” (S. 2274; H.R. 5391), which was introduced by Senator Carper (D-DE) in the Senate and Representative Welch (D-VT) in the House. The legislation would authorize $75 million each year for five years, beginning in 2020, and would establish a national grant program with the goal of replacing older wood and pellet heating appliances with new, EPA-certified appliances or with natural gas or propane-fueled products.

As we begin a new session of Congress, this legislation will need to be reintroduced and will be a top priority for HPBA over the next two years. The bill is well-positioned for success with changes in congressional leadership, but it will require grassroots support from HPBA members and others impacted in order to see this across the finish line. Keep an eye out for HPBA action alerts on this bill in the coming months. Please contact Rachel Feinstein if you have any questions.
Georgia Senate Run-Off Election Results Solidifies Democratic Majority in U.S. Senate
Amidst the unrest on January 6th, it was announced that Jon Ossoff defeated incumbent Senator David Perdue in Georgia’s run-off election. With both Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock securing Georgia’s two Senate seats, the U.S. Senate is now split 50-50, with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris breaking any tie.

With a Democratic majority, Democrats have the opportunity to pursue more sweeping changes in Washington and push the agenda of President-elect Joe Biden, including major new pandemic relief and more. But they will have to navigate narrow majorities in both the House and the Senate. With a Democratic majority, Senator Carper (D-DE) will become the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), and we look forward to working with him and his staff to push for the passage of the “Wood Heaters Emissions Reduction Act.”
HPBExpo Rescheduled for June 23-26 in Louisville, Kentucky!
HPBExpo Updates

Details of the show continue to be updated at, so be sure to check back in the coming months for updates on new procedures, safety measures, and program plans as we continue preparing for June.

The Keynote Address is sponsored by Hearth & Home Technologies and is free to all registered HPBExpo 2021 participants.
Winning Her Business: Transforming the Customer Experience in a Changing World
Bridget Brennan, Founder & CEO, Female Factor
Thursday, June 24, 2021 • 8:30am-9:45am

Women are the world’s most powerful consumers, and winning their business is crucial to success in the hearth, patio, and barbecue industries. Bridget Brennan, the world’s leading expert on the women’s growth market, will share strategies for growing your business by better understanding changes in shopper behavior.
The author of “Winning Her Business and Why She Buys” will inspire you with winning strategies and best practices for increasing sales, brand loyalty and emotional engagement. Stay ahead of your customers’ changing expectations and increase your competitive edge. You’ll gain ideas, best practices and “Monday Morning” strategies you can apply immediately to your business.

(Twitter: @bridgetbrennan, Instagram: @bridgetbrennninsights, Facebook: @FemaleFactorCorp )

Registration is now open for HPBExpo 2021, June 23-26 at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Kentucky. Click below to register.
Did you have a reservation for Expo in Nashville? If so, be on the lookout for an email from OnPeak – they will be emailing exhibitors and attendees that booked rooms for Nashville to reserve their housing for Louisville before it is open to everyone. That email should arrive in the next couple of weeks. Housing will then be available starting on January 19th for all others through the HPBExpo website.
Exhibit Booth Sales

We’re gearing up for another great event in 2021 in Louisville. Exhibit sales are heating up, so secure your space now and join in the excitement of Expo. Check out the Louisville Floor Plan to see who will be there and find the perfect spot for your company. To secure exhibit space, contact Anita Derouin.
Louisville Attractions to Check out
Horse racing, bourbon, baseball bats; there is something in Louisville for everyone. Start planning your trip by checking out all the things to do in Louisville (Bourbon City®).
Follow HPBExpo on social media
Expo Education Spotlight
Each month, we will highlight one of our education sessions scheduled for HPBExpo 2021 to give you a taste of what you can learn if you attend.
Instructor: Terry Kelm, President Sunbelt Business Brokers
Class: Understanding the Value of Your Business

For many, your business is your biggest financial asset. Thus, it is important to understand what the value of your business is, even if you are years from a potential sale. In this informative webinar, Terry Kelm from Sunbelt Business Brokers will address the components that make up the value of a small business. The webinar will cover different value methodologies and the pros and cons of each method.

The value of any business is what a potential buyer will pay, and thus it is imperative to understand those key characteristics that buyers seek in a small business acquisition. This session will conclude with proven strategies to increase the value of your business when going to market.
Terry Kelm is the President of Sunbelt Business Broker’s Franchise Re-sales Program. He started with that division in 2004 and became president in 2014.

For more information about all Expo Education and Expo in general, visit our website.
Be sure to attend Terry's class on Wednesday, June 23rd, in Louisville!
Special Announcement for CSIA Certified Chimney Sweeps
If you are a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep, you are well on your way to also obtaining an NFI Certification. Two years ago, we broke our certification exams into two parts. To be NFI certified, you have to pass the Core Knowledge exam as well as the exam for the fuel type(s) you want to be certified in. Effective immediately, currently certified CSIA Certified Chimney Sweeps do not have to take the Core Knowledge exam. After extensive research, we are convinced that the knowledge you need to pass the NFI Core Knowledge Certification exam is also included in the CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep exam. Here are some details:

  • Your CSIA Certification must be current. We will check the CSIA search function on their website. If you are current, you should be listed. If you are not listed, you need to square that away with CSIA before we can proceed.
  •  There is a $50 application fee. Go to the NFI website, click on the “Store” link at the top of the page and look for the CSIA Core Exemption category. It will walk you through the payment process.
  • You do not have to create an account in the NFI website. We’ll take care of that for you.
  • Once you go through the payment process, you will see an attached PDF application. You can fill it out, save it to your computer and send it to Mary Jo Nadeau. She will verify your status with CSIA and process the application.
  • Purchase the manual and exam package for Woodburning, Gas and/or Pellet. You are not NFI certified until you successfully pass the exam for at least one of the three fuel types.
  • When you pay for the fuel-type exam(s), be sure to use the proper coupon code. If your company is a member of HPBA, you qualify for a 30% discount. If not but you are CSIA certified, you qualify for a 20% discount. The coupon code does NOT apply to the $50 application fee.

Please feel free to contact our office if you have any questions.
Affiliate Merger
The HPBA Board of Directors approved the merger of HPBA Arizona into Rocky Mountain HPBA. This merger will lead to more efficient operations as Arizona joins with Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming in one Affiliate. The president of the Affiliate will continue to be Pete Schoenfeld and Larry Grogan will still serve as Executive Director. If you have any questions about the merger or how it will impact operations, please contact Diane Dellen.
News from the Industry:
Do you have important personnel news to share with the industry? Please send to Emily McGee for consideration for inclusion in Hot News.
Notable Personnel Announcements
HearthStone announced that Mr. Joe Burns, formerly of Bernard Dalsin Manufacturing, is joining the HearthStone team as Vice President. Joe is moving to Vermont with his family to follow, and started on January 4th 2020. 
Joe has 23 years’ experience in our industry and has been an active member in the HPBA with six years’ experience on the Board of Directors, including one year as Chairman of the Board. 

HearthStone has been a premier manufacturer of hearth appliances since 1978.  Established in Morrisville Vermont, HearthStone remains a fixture in Vermont and in the solid fuel market. 
In Memory:
We are sad to report the passing of Kaye Baldwin peacefully at his home in Toronto on December 21, 2020 at the age of 88.

Kaye was associated with the fireplace industry for over 50 years, from the early days of factory-built insulated chimneys to today's new gas, electric and woodburning fireplaces, stoves and BBQ's.

During these many years he partnered with Art Olson in Fireplace and BBQ Retailing and Distribution in Toronto, under the names Hearth & Patio and Home Fireplaces. With his wife Jean, he founded Home Fireplace Systems, serving the Hearth Industry throughout North America.
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