Advocacy Updates - March 2023

Debbie Wiedwald, Advocacy Committee Chair

Government regulations and standards are proposed frequently that affect the chimney and hearth industry. NCSG members acting together are a unified voice. Please utilize the Advocacy Policy Action Center to report proposed policy changes that may affect our industry.

Please read below on the following policy updates:

  1. UL / ULC 1391 standard – open for comments
  2. Addressing chimney & hearth trades scope of work
  3. Electrification efforts
  4. Upcoming Education sessions

1. UL/ ULC 1391 Standard for Solid-Fuel Fireplace Inserts & Hearth-Mounted Stoves for installation into Factory-Built Fireplaces.

The standard is open for comments during the Preliminary Review stage 2-24-23 through 4-24-2023. I am working with UL/ ULC to acquire a copy of the standards to be able to distribute to members as per any requests. Let me know if you would like to review this standard.

2. Addressing chimney & hearth trades scope of work

Missouri HB368 was assigned to the Economic Development committee. Addressing the scope of work under a Mechanical License. Need to monitor as the main part of the bill lists chimneys & vents, but later note page 2, starting at line 39, does not include chimney & hearth trades. Bill will need to be monitored as it goes through committee and house reviews.

New Hampshire Mechanical board recently reviewed the scope of work during an emergency meeting which discussed chimney and hearth trades.

3. Electrification efforts

NCSG members must be alerted to government regulations affecting the chimney and hearth industry. Electrification efforts are advanced through building code updates, the budgeting process and local or state legislation. NCSG partners with the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA) to monitor government action. NCSG Advocacy members attend the monthly HPBA Monthly Government Affairs Affiliate Call to learn of legal action. See below for state/community updates:

Vermont – SB5 – Affordable Heat Act- in full Senate, had third reading – An act relating to affordably meeting the mandated greenhouse gas reductions for the thermal sector through efficiency, weatherization measures, electrification & decarbonization. This bill would direct the Public Utility Commission to design and study new regulations on businesses that import fossil heating fuels into Vermont. The commission would then share proposed rules with the Legislature by the 2025 session.

Maryland – Howard County – CB5-2023 legislation to direct the County Executive to complete a report prior to the building code cycle regarding a move towards net zero. Act had two hearings in the council legislative committee; act has been tabled. Bill will need to be monitored along with the upcoming building code cycle.

New York – a budget proposal called for prohibiting fossil fuel equipment in new single-family homes or new apartments of three stories or less, starting in 2026. Larger apartments and offices would have the same requirement kick-in starting in 2028. Environmental groups have vowed to press the Legislature to embrace a gas ban (source – EnergyWire 3 issues may determine N.Y.’s clean energy future 2-7-23)

Eugene, Oregon - The ordinance approved by the Council requires that all new residential construction, including single-family homes and multi-family buildings three stories and below, be constructed all-electric starting June 30, 2023.

From Northwest HPBA March 1 Hearth Insight e-blast:


One bill we are working on for NWHPBA is HB 1589, a bill proposed by Puget Sound Energy that would give them benefits in the clean energy transformation process in exchange for banning new natural gas lines for residential and commercial customers. Carolyn Logue’s, NWHPBA’s lobbyist, testimony has focused on the size of PSE’s service area and the fact that this would leave new residential and commercial residences without any means for supplemental back up in the case of power failures. NWHPA is part of a growing coalition to fight this bill.


HB 106 -- PROHIBITIONS ON UTILITY CONNECTIONS – Adds to existing law to prohibit any type of local government entity from restricting certain types of utility connections.


HB 241 -- Prohibits local governments from requiring that buildings be constructed to have solar panels or wiring, batteries, or other equipment for solar panels or electric vehicles.

SB 208 -- Prohibits local governments from banning or limiting energy choices, including natural gas and propane. Prohibits the Department of Labor and Industry from including in the state building code a prohibition of or limitation on the use of electric, natural gas, propane, or other energy source.

4. Upcoming Education sessions

Thank you for your interest in Advocacy issues. Please consider attending upcoming government relations training to learn more:


Government Affairs Academy Lite - Sunday, March 12 from 11:00 am - 12:00 pm in room C-108 - Louisville, KY

NCSG 2023 Convention

Electrification session - Karen Arpino & Advocacy committee, Wednesday, March 29 from 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Codes & Standards presentation – Jim Brewer – focus on NFPA 211 with updates on NFPA 54 & IRC - Wednesday, March 29 from 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Remember to utilize the Advocacy Policy Action Center on the NCSG website to report government action or feel free to contact the Advocacy committee at [email protected]

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