Hot News
Government Affairs
NSPS Oral Arguments Held in HPBA v. EPA
HPBA appeared in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit last month to argue against EPA’s adoption of audit testing provisions in the 2015 New Source Performance Standards (NSPS). The provision failed to account for variability in test method results. EPA also never justified why it departed from its decades-long acknowledgement that it lacks the understanding about the variability of test results for woodburning appliances. This has been a big enough hurdle to prevent audit testing at a different lab from the one that performed the certification tests since 1988; the new NSPS suddenly added still more imprecision by opening up audit testing at different labs.

For an industry comprised almost entirely of small businesses, the audit provision is a company killer. It allows EPA to take any product, test it in any lab, and if the product does not pass the audit test, the manufacturer may have to recall all stoves from that model line. Even the cost of challenging a “failed” audit test may prove insurmountable for many manufacturers.

HPBA submitted comments opposing the new audit testing provisions when the 2015 NSPS was initially opened for public comment. EPA did not respond to the arguments against the provision, which it must do under basic precepts of administrative law. We hope that the Court will vacate this provision of the 2015 NSPS and reinstate the previous audit testing position, which took variability into account. The Court will likely issue its opinion in the coming months. You can listen to the oral arguments here.
Following the ASHRAE Board of Directors approval of Addendum ‘A’ (restricting vent-free appliances in ASHRAE-compliant homes to the point they are essentially not allowed), those who were opposed to the addendum are working towards an appeal. However, in January, the 62.2 Committee introduced a new motion to ban vent-free appliances in 62.2-compliant homes outright. The vote was sent out for letter ballot. If successful, the ban would render Addendum ‘A’ unnecessary. Initial polling for the ban indicates probable approval of the measure. If successful, the ban would likely be appealed.
California Energy Commission
The California Energy Commission (CEC) is nearing completion of its 45-day language for the 2022 Energy Code. Based on CEC staff comments, it is expected that an electric heat pump (HP) will be required for either space heating or water heating in new residential construction. CEC also indicated that it is likely that electric HPs will be required for both space heating and water heating in the 2025 Energy Code. It is not known if natural gas will be completely prohibited for new construction, or if natural gas could still be used for some appliances (e.g., fireplaces). We will continue to monitor and keep our members updated.
New Section 25(D) Tax Credit for Wood and Pellet Heaters
Have you seen HPBA’s resources on the new tax credit for wood and pellet heaters? This new credit of 26 percent, for biomass-fueled heaters that have a thermal efficiency rating of at least 75 percent per the higher heating value of the fuel, is different from the old Sec. 25(C) $300 tax credit. Read more on our website. Please contact Rachel Feinstein if you have any questions.
HPBA and its members have supported a tax credit for wood and pellet heaters for many years. We are happy to see the new credit under this different part of the tax code is much more generous that the old credit under Sec. 25(C) of the tax code. We hope to see additional IRS guidance later this year that may answer additional questions in the wake of the language being enacted. HPBA will hold a webinar in the coming weeks for retailers, manufacturer reps, and distributors to answer YOUR questions. A notice for the webinar will be sent in the coming days.
International Code Council
After completing the 2019 I-Codes, the ICC is considering transitioning the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) and the International Residential Code (IRC) to a standard-based format, as opposed to its current code-development process. Part of the reason is that the issues facing these two codes are becoming increasingly detailed. Therefore, a dedicated, balanced committee of professionals may be needed to address the issues and come to a consensus. State and local governments are opposed to this change, as they believe their input will be diminished.
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.
Your Safety is Our First Priority
And we are doing everything we can to make this a safe event. Learn more about the health and safety precautions we are taking during the COVID-19 pandemic at HPBExpo coronavirus-update.
HPBExpo 2021 Keynote
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 )

The Keynote Address is sponsored by Hearth & Home Technologies and is free to all registered HPBExpo 2021 participants.

Registration is now open for HPBExpo 2021, June 23-26 at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Kentucky. Click below to register.

Housing opened on January 19. 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 Louisville.
is the official housing partner for HPBExpo. Please be aware that there have been cases in the past where exhibitors and attendees booked with a third-party company and their reservation was not valid upon arrival. 
Exhibit Booth Sales

We’re gearing up for another great event in 2021 in Louisville. Exhibit sales are heating up, so check out the Louisville Floor Plan to see who will be there. To secure exhibit space, be sure to contact Anita Derouin.
Get Noticed at HPBExpo 2021

Raise your visibility at Expo with any of the great sponsorship and marketing opportunities available to exhibitors and non-exhibitors. Contact Stacy Bowdring.
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: Shannon and Brad Good Good Marketing Group
Class: Who is your best customer and how do you get more of them?
When: Wednesday, June 23rd, 9:45am

Before you consider spending a single dollar in advertising and marketing, be sure you really KNOW who is your target audience. As business owners, we THINK we know our audience but then question why we don’t receive the expected engagements from our advertising efforts. Understanding WHO is your target audience includes the WHAT, WHEN and WHY. Then you can apply this information into WHERE you advertise and HOW you write your messaging.
This class will analyze the WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, WHY and HOW, as well as suggestions for creating marketing strategies around the answers, including:

  • Using profiles of your existing “best” customers to find new prospects
  • Marketing channels (i.e., social media, direct mail, Google advertising)
  • Integration of marketing efforts with your website for sales conversions
  • Leveraging current customers for cross marketing and referrals

Check out the entire education schedule and register to attend Expo here.
Affiliate Spotlight - NEHPBA
In January, Executive Director Karen Luther reached out to the newly elected state representatives in Massachusetts to introduce them to NEHPBA and the individual retailers in their districts. This effort paid off with some great responses and the beginning of productive relationships. Karen wrote about the experience, including a sample letter and some of the responses for the HPBA blog. Check it out here.
Special Deals for HPBA Members
Don’t forget that HPBA has a number of Affinity Partners offering our members discounts on products and services. These are services that small businesses use every day. We are always on the lookout for services you need and sign new partners every year, so make sure to check the list frequently.

One of our partners, Lenovo, has a special offer for our members in honor of President’s Day. You can save up to 60% on many of their products through February 21st. Check it out at their website here.
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.
Checking in on the Hearth of Gold Campaign: A partnership with aid organization StoveTeam International
This campaign is an opportunity for the hearth industry to make real change through the distribution of cookstoves for families in need. Businesses can take part in a number of ways, from including the donation of one $75 cookstove with purchases over a certain amount, to offsetting their carbon footprint through the placement of stoves. HPBA members Forrest Technical Coatings and The Foundry have joined as the first official sponsors! See how much a cookstove means for a family in need, and how you or your business can take part by clicking below.
Operation BBQ Relief Update
We’re all familiar with the work that OBR does immediately following a natural disaster, but OBR also stepped up last spring to start helping people during COVID-19. By partnering with local restaurants, OBR has served over 4,750,000 meals. This effort is supported by 27 restaurants in eight states, retaining nearly 300 employees. HPBA continues to do what it can to support OBR and its important work. We encourage our members to do the same! To read more about OBR's latest projects, check out their website.
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