Category Archives: Local News

Baker-Polito Administration Announces Funding for Woodstove Rebate Program

The Baker-Polito Administration today announced $450,000 in funding for the 2019 Commonwealth Woodstove Change-out Program, which provides rebates to homeowners who replace older, inefficient woodstoves with cleaner, EPA-certified wood and pellet stoves that use less fuel, reduce energy costs and improve air quality. The announcement was made by state energy and environment officials during a tour of The Fire Place in Whately. 

“The Woodstove Change-Out Program improves air quality across the Commonwealth and helps residents save money by adopting more efficient, cost-cutting heating technologies,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “We look forward to continuing to support homeowners who swap out old, inefficient woodstoves for cleaner, EPA-certified technologies.”

“By replacing older, polluting woodstoves with more efficient models, we can decrease pollution and take important steps toward achieving ambitious greenhouse gas reduction targets,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito.  

Launched in 2012, the Commonwealth Woodstove Change-Out Program is administered by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC), with assistance from the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP).

“The Woodstove Change-Out Program is a great example of state agencies collaborating to provide the opportunity for Massachusetts residents to take advantage of newer, more efficient heating technologies,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “As we work to meet our carbon reduction goals, this program has the added benefits of lower costs for Massachusetts homeowners and cleaner air in our communities.”

The program has helped more than 2,300 residents swap out dirty, inefficient stoves for newer, cleaner models, with 50 percent of funding going to low-income residents. In an effort to promote air quality, all newly installed stoves are required to exceed federal emissions standards. The program has also increased its incentive to support stoves that have proven high efficiencies.

“We are pleased to offer these rebates to help Massachusetts residents adopt highly efficient, EPA-certified woodstoves,” said MassCEC CEO Stephen Pike. “The Woodstove Changeout program has been a tremendous success, helping 2,300 residents replace old, inefficient woodstoves, and we look forward to helping more residents across the Commonwealth take advantage of the benefits offered by these technologies.”

“DOER is proud to support the Woodstove Change-Out program, providing Massachusetts homeowners the opportunity to heat their homes with clean, affordable, and highly efficient heating systems,” said Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Judith Judson. “By reducing both greenhouse gas and particulate matter emissions, this program allows residents across the Commonwealth to play a part in meeting our emissions reduction goals while receiving direct health and cost benefits.”

“This program is a great example of how state agencies work together to support our clean air and sustainability goals,” said MassDEP Commissioner Martin Suuberg. “The quality of life in our communities and the health of our citizens is improved when older woodstoves are retired through this program and replaced with lower-emission models.”

EPA-certified stoves on average require one-third less wood than older models to produce the same amount of heat, while releasing 70 to 90 percent less particulate matter. Residents installing new stoves can expect to save an average of $5,000 over the lifetime of the stove. Each woodstove switched out for a newer model is equivalent to eliminating the particulate emissions from five old diesel trucks.

While the majority of program participants purchase new woodstoves, 39 percent opted for pellet stoves in 2018. In addition to burning very cleanly, these modern appliances automatically feed fuel into the fire, and many have built-in thermostats that allow owners to adjust the room temperature just as they can with central heating systems.

Standard rebates range from $500 to $1,750, depending on the emission levels and type of stove purchased.  Continuing the state’s effort to make clean energy accessible to more Massachusetts residents, the program offers residents who meet certain income requirements rebates of an additional $1,500.

MassCEC offers an efficiency adder for newly installed stoves that achieve highest efficiency ratings. This efficiency incentive, first offered in 2018, was extremely effective in promoting best-in-class technologies; approximately half of all new stove installations in 2018 achieved a high efficiency rating, compared to only 22% achieving this efficiency in 2016.

To qualify for a rebate, a resident must have an operational, non-EPA-certified woodstove. To apply, the resident should visit a participating woodstove retailer or contact a participating stove professional such as a chimney sweep, who will handle the rebate application process on the residents’ behalf. Residents across the state can find a local participating woodstove professional by viewing the list of woodstove dealers who have registered to participate.

Rebate applications will be accepted until August 5, 2019.

“This program is a textbook definition of a win-win,” said Massachusetts Forest Alliance Executive Director Chris Egan. “The consumer gets a more efficient stove that helps them save on fuel, while the community gets cleaner air. We strongly support this important program.”

“The Woodstove Changeout program benefits whole communities because it works to improve air quality and new stoves warm homes for less money,” said Northeast Hearth Patio & BBQ Association Executive Director Karen L. Luther. “Also, this program supports the local economy. This is a win-win.”

Funding for this year’s program comes from DOER’s Alternative Compliance Payments and MassCEC’s Renewable Energy Trust. The trust was created by the Massachusetts Legislature in 1997 and is funded by a systems benefit charge paid by electric customers of investor-owned utilities in the state as well as funding from municipal electric departments that have opted to participate in the program.

This funding builds upon the Baker-Polito Administration’s ongoing efforts to support the Commonwealth’s vibrant clean energy industry, including recently securing 9,450,000MWh of hydroelectric energy and 800MW of offshore wind energy, the largest procurement in offshore wind by any state in the country. In August, Governor Baker signed legislation that will ensure Massachusetts remains a national leader in clean energy while reducing costs to ratepayers. The bill, An Act to Advance Clean Energy (H.4857), includes the Governor’s proposal to create the first Clean Peak Standard in the country, increases the Commonwealth’s energy storage target to 1,000 megawatt hours (MWh), increases the Renewable Portfolio Standard, expands the Mass Save® programs to allow for strategic electrification and other clean energy technologies, and authorizes the Department of Energy Resources to require an additional 1,600 megawatt (MW) of offshore wind to be procured by the electric distribution companies in Massachusetts.

FCA Scholarship

Foxboro Cable Access continues to encourage higher education in the Communications Field by offering a $1000 scholarship annually. Any Foxboro resident is eligible to apply if they are pursuing a college degree in this field.

Applications are available at the FCA Studio at 28 Central Street, Foxborough High School Guidance Office, The Boyden Library, Town Hall and can also be downloaded from the link below.

Completed applications must be returned to the FCA studio by the deadline of Friday, May 17, 2019 If you have any other questions, please call Foxboro Cable Access at 543-4757.

Rabies Clinic April 6Th

The Foxborough Board of Health is sponsoring its annual Rabies Clinic for cats and dogs with Dr. Richard Moschella, D.V.M. of the Foxboro Animal Hospital, on Saturday, April 6 at the Foxboro Highway Garage, 70 Elm Street. Cats are welcomed between 8-10a.m., while dogs should come between 10 a.m. to noon.

The cost of the rabies vaccine is $10.00. Microchipping is also available and provided by Foxborough’s Animal Control Officer, Kaycee Bailey for $25.00.

LET’S LAUGH TODAY in Franklin is on Wednesday, April 10th

Laugh “for the health of it” at Let’s Laugh Today on Wednesday, April 10th from 7:30pm to 8:30pm at the Meetinghouse of the First Universalist Society in Franklin, 262 Chestnut Street, Franklin!

Laughter Yoga is a body/mind practice for well-being that involves deep breathing and a few stretches, playful laughter exercises (no jokes or comedy), clapping and deep relaxation. It has many benefits besides the joy of laughter. It can strengthen the immune system, combat the negative effects of stress, and is a powerful antidote to depression and anxiety. Any age and any level of physical ability can participate in this uplifting experience! They laugh together on every second Wednesday of each month.

There is a $5 donation to the church, $10 maximum per family. Please bring your water bottle because laughing can be dehydrating. Led by Certified Master Trainers, Bill and Linda Hamaker.

See for opportunities to laugh in other towns. If you have any questions, just call them at 508-660-2223 or e-mail

Sturdy Memorial Hospital Offers Childbirth Education Classes

Sturdy Memorial Hospital’s Maternity Services offers a variety of childbirth education classes to help prepare you and your partner for childbirth and parenthood.

Sturdy Memorial’s Preparing for Childbirth and Childbirth Refresher classes are taught by certified childbirth instructors. Both classes discuss the techniques for proper relaxation and breathing, conditioning exercises to improve comfort during the birthing process – both physically and emotionally, and cesarean births. The Preparing for Childbirth classes are for first-time parents and the Childbirth Refresher classes are for parents who have been through the birthing process before but would like a review.

The Introduction to Breastfeeding class is an excellent way to learn all the benefits of breastfeeding, as well as helpful information and hints to make your breastfeeding experience a success.

The Are You Ready for Baby? class helps children get ready for their new brother or sister through role-playing with dolls, a slide show, and a visit to the newborn nursery. The class is helpful for children ages three to eight.

To protect a new baby’s health and safety, Pediatric CPR classes are also offered for parents. 

The New Moms Group is for women with babies between the ages of 2 weeks and 12 months. Participants have the opportunity to talk about their growing babies, discuss concerns and expectations, learn different tips from other mothers in the group, and more. 

Sturdy’s maternity unit offers comfortable, private rooms and amenities like a Jacuzzi® shower, and a special breakfast buffet. The entire childbirth experience – from labor to discharge – takes place in one room that features the latest medical equipment.

For additional information, program fees or to register for any of the classes or for more information regarding maternity services, please call 508/236-7151.            

Sturdy Memorial Hospital is a full-service, independent, financially stable, not-for-profit acute care community hospital in Attleboro, Massachusetts.