Why did Lopi stop making the (2021 tax credit eligible) wood hybrid/cat inserts? What am I missing?

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OregonStrong

New Member
Feb 18, 2021
9
Portland, OR
Hi there, new member question. I saw parts of this question come up in other threats, but I couldn't find responses - advance apologies if this has already been asked/answered.

Short version:
1) Why did Lopi stop making the wood hybrid inserts given that the new Lopi non-cat wood inserts are not eligible for the 26% 2021 tax credit? Is there a mechanical or other issue I should know about before buying a (now discontinued) Lopi Hybrid-Fyre Wood Insert?
2) Will a Lopi Large Flush Hybrid-Fyre Wood Insert burn too hot for my small home?

Details:
I have a 850sq ft., one-story house and am looking for a wood burning insert for my existing fireplace. Supplemental heat source in the Pacific NW. My 1950's house is insulated but not tightly - it's generally pretty cold/drafty. 8' ceilings. Fireplace is on a western wall in the main open floor plan living area, which is a space about 600 sq. ft.

I am interested in the Lopis given that they are made near me, are independently owned, seem to be high quality, and get good reviews in these forums. But, I'm confused about the current vs. cat models. I have two priorities: 1) getting a model that is eligible for the 2021-2023 tax credit and 2) getting the right size/model for my home.

I am very confused about why Lopi stopped making the hybrid inserts given that the new Lopi non-cat inserts are not eligible for the 26% tax credit. I just talked to a dealer who really likes the Lopi Hybrids - he bought more when he found out they were going to be discontinued.

The dealer is pitching me a Lopi Large Flush Hybrid-Fyre Wood Insert that he has on hand. It would fit in my fireplace.

First question: after the tax credit is applied, it would actually end up being quite a bit less expensive for me to buy the Lopi Large Flush Hybrid-Fyre Wood Insert that he has on hand, vs. the Lopi Medium NexGen-Fyre Insert. Around $1000 cheaper. The dealer told me that they've been selling the Hybrids for 6 years and haven't had to replace any customer cats. He said Lopi stopped making the cat versions bc they could offer the non-cat inserts for $300 less. (But given that the new models aren't tax-credit eligible, they are actually more expensive than the hybrids).

So what I am missing - did they stop making the cat version bc of a mechanical issue? Or other problems I should be aware of? I know about needing to burn dry quality wood, vacuum the cat seasonally, avoiding damage to the cat, potentially need to replace the cat at a $400 cost, etc. I'm just not understanding why they changed to a new model that isn't tax-credit eligible. He also told me that there was no scenario in which I would need to replace the cat and they wouldn't have the part - does that sound right?

Second question: will the Lopi Large Flush Hybrid-Fyre Wood Insert be too big for my little house? Can I really burn it cooler, or will I just end up overheating the house? When I told the dealer that I was concerned about it being too large for my space, he showed me a BTU chart demonstrating that the Large Flush Hybrid-Fyre actually burns cooler (starting BTU's around 10K) than the current Medium NexGen-Fyre Insert (low BTU's around 14k). Does this align with people's experience?

Advance thanks for your help with this!
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,546
South Puget Sound, WA
BTEC members lobbied for the arbitrary 75% threshold which is biased toward pellet stoves and some cat stoves. Changing it to say 73% would include a lot more of 2020 compliant wood stoves. As is, the credit helps a few companies while hurting the sales of a lot more that are still absorbing the costs of the 2020 EPA requirements.

That said, there are several Lopi hybrids that qualify and their non-cat Evergreen also.

Screen Shot 2021-02-21 at 1.24.51 PM.png
 
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OregonStrong

New Member
Feb 18, 2021
9
Portland, OR
Thanks! This is helpful info. I need an insert, so the Evergreen won't work for me. Sounds like the trick will be finding dealers that aren't sold out of last year's hybrid inserts...
 

OregonStrong

New Member
Feb 18, 2021
9
Portland, OR
When I looked at that list earlier I could only find a total of four qualifying inserts - am I missing any?
  • Lopi Medium Flush Wood Hybrid Fyre Insert
  • Lopi Large Flush Wood Hybrid Fyre Insert
  • Regency Cascades i1500 Small Hybrid
  • Regency Cascades i2500 Medium Hybrid Insert
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,546
South Puget Sound, WA
The Medium Flush Hybrid Insert looks like it would work if it fits the fireplace. Not sure why the dealer is blowing smoke. The hybrids have a cat. That's why they are called hybrids. The Lopi large hybrid would be seriously overkill. If you want a Medium Flush, call around to other dealers in the area.
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,546
South Puget Sound, WA
Sounds like the dealer is pushing to get rid of old inventory. Shop around.

PS: It is illegal for the dealer to be selling stoves that do not pass the 2020 EPA regs.
 

OregonStrong

New Member
Feb 18, 2021
9
Portland, OR
Sounds like the dealer is pushing to get rid of old inventory. Shop around.

PS: It is illegal for the dealer to be selling stoves that do not pass the 2020 EPA regs.
Thanks! Will see if I can track down a Medium Hybrid. What part are you saying the dealer is blowing smoke about?
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
26,106
central pa
When I looked at that list earlier I could only find a total of four qualifying inserts - am I missing any?
  • Lopi Medium Flush Wood Hybrid Fyre Insert
  • Lopi Large Flush Wood Hybrid Fyre Insert
  • Regency Cascades i1500 Small Hybrid
  • Regency Cascades i2500 Medium Hybrid Insert
I know regency has more than those 2 available. They have their noncats and their pro line all 2020 compliant
 
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OregonStrong

New Member
Feb 18, 2021
9
Portland, OR
I know regency has more than those 2 available. They have their noncats and their pro line all 2020 compliant
I know regency has more than those 2 available. They have their noncats and their pro line all 2020 compliant
Thanks! I'm looking for inserts that are eligible for the 2021-2023 tax credit (26% off the total cost of purchase +install), vs. the $300 2020 tax credit. Do you know other inserts
that meet the 2021-2023 tax credit requirement of 75% HHV?
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
1,924
Long Island NY
Thanks! I'm looking for inserts that are eligible for the 2021-2023 tax credit (26% off the total cost of purchase +install), vs. the $300 2020 tax credit. Do you know other inserts
that meet the 2021-2023 tax credit requirement of 75% HHV?

The Blaze King inserts do qualify, I believe.
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,546
South Puget Sound, WA
You think Lopi is an independent? Isn’t Lopi part of the Travis industries umbrella?

I would look at all options.
Yes, Lopi and FPX are made by Travis.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,546
South Puget Sound, WA
What part are you saying the dealer is blowing smoke about?
Who told you this? "...Lopi stopped making the hybrid inserts given that the new Lopi non-cat inserts are not eligible for the 26% tax credit. "
Putting a hybrid large in a 600 sq ft area is also not the best advice for a Portland home.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
26,106
central pa
Thanks! I'm looking for inserts that are eligible for the 2021-2023 tax credit (26% off the total cost of purchase +install), vs. the $300 2020 tax credit. Do you know other inserts
that meet the 2021-2023 tax credit requirement of 75% HHV?
I know their pro insert does the 2700 I believe. But I think all of regencies do
 
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OregonStrong

New Member
Feb 18, 2021
9
Portland, OR
Who told you this? "...Lopi stopped making the hybrid inserts given that the new Lopi non-cat inserts are not eligible for the 26% tax credit. "
Putting a hybrid large in a 600 sq ft area is also not the best advice for a Portland home.

Perfect, thanks for the recommendation on correct size for my space.

The dealer told me that the Lopi hybrids have been discontinued and can't be ordered from the company. The hybrid models are no longer on the Lopi website. The statement was: "I am very confused about why Lopi stopped making the hybrid inserts given that the new Lopi non-cat inserts are not eligible for the 26% tax credit." Just wanted to make sure I'm understanding why the models eligible for the 2021 tax credit have been discontinued. Your response about the lobbying answered that question, thanks.
 

burntsienna

New Member
Jan 8, 2021
6
New York
Note: I believe that the information on the Lopi website may be inaccurate. See this;

It shows a BTU of 17,900 to 66,736 BTU’s Per Hour

Their website shows this:
EPA Tested BTUs : 10,710 to 57,628 (CORD WOOD)

Logic would tend to suggest that they simply made a typo on their website.

(Edit - I found some new data: )
There are also the EPA measurements,
10710- 57628 (for the Hybrid fire) https://cfpub.epa.gov/oarweb/woodstove/index.cfm?fuseaction=app.appliancerecord&appliancesID=4762

17900-66736 (for the Nexgen fire): https://cfpub.epa.gov/oarweb/woodstove/index.cfm?fuseaction=app.appliancerecord&appliancesID=4935

So, it's a bit confusing. Is it possible that the larger stove hybrid stove has a smaller heat output? I am struggling with this same decision for my home.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
26,106
central pa
Note: I believe that the information on the Lopi website may be inaccurate. See this;

It shows a BTU of 17,900 to 66,736 BTU’s Per Hour

Their website shows this:
EPA Tested BTUs : 10,710 to 57,628 (CORD WOOD)

Logic would tend to suggest that they simply made a typo on their website.

(Edit - I found some new data: )
There are also the EPA measurements,
10710- 57628 (for the Hybrid fire) https://cfpub.epa.gov/oarweb/woodstove/index.cfm?fuseaction=app.appliancerecord&appliancesID=4762

17900-66736 (for the Nexgen fire): https://cfpub.epa.gov/oarweb/woodstove/index.cfm?fuseaction=app.appliancerecord&appliancesID=4935

So, it's a bit confusing. Is it possible that the larger stove hybrid stove has a smaller heat output? I am struggling with this same decision for my home.
The difference in numbers is due to the difference in testing methods. The epa test is done by loading to a set density. The manufacturers testing is done by filling the firebox as full as they can
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,546
South Puget Sound, WA
Perfect, thanks for the recommendation on correct size for my space.

The dealer told me that the Lopi hybrids have been discontinued and can't be ordered from the company. The hybrid models are no longer on the Lopi website. The statement was: "I am very confused about why Lopi stopped making the hybrid inserts given that the new Lopi non-cat inserts are not eligible for the 26% tax credit." Just wanted to make sure I'm understanding why the models eligible for the 2021 tax credit have been discontinued. Your response about the lobbying answered that question, thanks.
I just downloaded the new manuals and you are correct. I owe you and your dealer an apology. They have dropped the cat in the 2020 models.
 
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OregonStrong

New Member
Feb 18, 2021
9
Portland, OR
Note: I believe that the information on the Lopi website may be inaccurate. See this;

It shows a BTU of 17,900 to 66,736 BTU’s Per Hour

Their website shows this:
EPA Tested BTUs : 10,710 to 57,628 (CORD WOOD)

Logic would tend to suggest that they simply made a typo on their website.

(Edit - I found some new data: )
There are also the EPA measurements,
10710- 57628 (for the Hybrid fire) https://cfpub.epa.gov/oarweb/woodstove/index.cfm?fuseaction=app.appliancerecord&appliancesID=4762

17900-66736 (for the Nexgen fire): https://cfpub.epa.gov/oarweb/woodstove/index.cfm?fuseaction=app.appliancerecord&appliancesID=4935

So, it's a bit confusing. Is it possible that the larger stove hybrid stove has a smaller heat output? I am struggling with this same decision for my home.

Yes, the dealer showed me a chart with these same numbers, and he was advocating that I get a Large Hybrid Insert because 1) they had them in stock and 2) they have the capacity to "burn cooler" than the Medium. I called the manufacturer's service line and they said the same thing - that I should think of BTU's as "zero-to -high number," and the level of air control offered on these models means the fire can be kept very low. They said the numbers are not a typo.

However, I asked enough questions about it that my dealer called a supervisor at the manufacturer. The supervisor said that people with smaller spaces end up unhappy with the Large because it's hard to get a draft while always keeping the fire so small and low.

And, the supervisor found that they had two Medium Hybrids left at their factory and he sent one to me! So, I've ended up purchasing the (now discontinued) Medium Hybrid - it's being installed this week.


Why Lopi stopped making the cat models:

I never got a really clear answer from the manufacturer about why Lopi stopped making the cat models, but the different answers I got were:
  • Cats are expensive to make - the NexGen costs less to make, so they can offer it at $300 less than the Hybrid.
    • (However, because the Hybrid is eligible for the 2021 tax credit and the NexGen is not, the overall cost for the NexGen - including installation, etc. - came out to be $1300 more than the Hybrid).
    • It sounds to me like the 2021 tax credit standards caught them off guard, and they weren't aware of just how much less expensive the tax credit makes the Hybrid. I suspect there will be a lot of people like me calling all over to see if anyone has a discontinued Hybrid model on hand for purchase.
  • People dropped/broke their cats and feel intimidated by maintaining them, and it's a $400 part to replace
  • Air-tube models are simpler and easier to service.
The service guy told me that Lopi takes pride in continuing to make all replacement parts on a lifetime/long term bases. At this point the only discontinued cat part they don't carry is for a model 20+ years old. He also told me that there's a strong after-market for cats, so it's reasonable to assume replacement cats will be available long term.

Although it voids the warranty and they advise against it, the stove will still work fine if the cat is ever removed in the future.



Detailed $$ info for other people asking my same question:
  • I ended up purchasing a (now-discontinued) Lopi Medium Flush Wood Hybrid-Fyre insert
  • The total cost for the Lopi Medium Hybrid wood-burning insert (including all parts and installation: the stove, stove face, stove panel, install, permit, wiring kit, wiring kit installation, chimney liner) = approx $6,500
    • The 2021 tax credit of 26% off all purchase and installation costs makes the final cost about $4,800.
    • But, it's a tax credit and not a rebate - so I won't see the impact of the tax credit until my 2021 tax return is processed.
    • All Lopi Hybrids have been discontinued and can't be ordered, so if you're looking to buy one they will be hard to find.
  • The current Lopi model Medium Flush Wood NexGen-Fyre insert (including the stove, stove face, stove panel, install, permit, wiring kit, wiring kit installation, chimney liner) = $6,160 and is not eligible for the 2021 tax credit. This makes the total cost about $1300 more than the Hybrid.

Overall,
I learned that there just aren't that many options for smaller-house wood-burning inserts that meet the 2021 tax credit eligibility criteria. I'm glad I found one of the few Lopi Medium Hybrid inserts left - I hope it works out well for my house!

Thanks everyone for your time and energy on this forum - it helped in my decision-making.
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
1,924
Long Island NY
And thank YOU for a detailed, informative conclusion for the benefit of others!
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,546
South Puget Sound, WA
Thanks for being persistent and posting the detailed responses. I think the tax credit caught many manufacturers off-guard. The 75% point is blunt and arbitrary, favoring a few in the industry and pellet stoves in particular. This is especially harsh and ill-timed considering dealers and manufacturers are struggling with the impacts of the pandemic and the huge costs of meeting the 2020 EPA requirements.

Here is a lot more background on this mess:
 
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BKVP

Minister of Fire
Good morning. I would like to correct some misinformation posted in this thread. Most manufacturers in our industry belong to the trade Association, Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association (HPBA).

Within the structure of the HPBA there are sections. There is a section for wood/pellet and other solid fuel manufacturers (this can include solid fuel accessory manufacturers as well) and there is the gas section. Since this thread pertains to the North American Solid Fuel Section (NASFS), of which I am the co-chair, I can address this topic accurately.

The 25D Tax Credit has been in the works for well over 3 years. It should not have come as a surprise by any manufacturers, unless they elected to not participate in Section Meetings. These meetings are held at a minimum quarterly. At the same time that the 25D Tax Credit was being worked on by multiple parties (and supported across the aisle), many folks, including myself were consulted by folks in D.C. HPBA does an outstanding job of sharing programs and the process of those programs with member manufacturers.

The 75% was not arbitrary. The 75% efficiency was arrived at by permitting 40% or more of solid fuel products to qualify for the tax credit. On average, other product categories that qualify for consumers tax credits (think doors and windows or appliances) only 10% usually qualify. The 75% threshold is based upon multiple factors, including the IRS looking at how much the tax credit will cost.

The tax credit covers 26% of all things necessary to complete the installation, not just the appliance. Liners, hearth pads, labor rigid venting etc. all qualify. (Disclaimer: See your tax consultant for eligibility)

The list of qualifying units is NOT fixed. It is a living document updated by the EPA as units are certified. This tax credit is over the next 3 years so there are many opportunities for new or retested units to qualify.

@stoveliker, yes all our inserts (3) qualify. As do Kuma, Hearthstone and others. Remember to check the EPA website for eligible units.

Thank you all for what you do to inform consumers....

BKVP
 

frecklesphd

New Member
Feb 15, 2021
7
CO
@OregonStrong Thanks for starting this thread!! I'm researching inserts and have been thoroughly confused by what Travis Industries is doing. I especially don't understand which manufacturer (Lopi vs Fireplace Xtrordinair) makes which model - their websites are so contradictory I'm tempted to forgo them just to avoid the headache.
For example, does anyone know if the Large Flush Wood Hybrid-Fyre, the one that is listed as 78% efficient on the EPA website and would therefor qualify for the tax credit, is made by Lopi or Fireplace Xtrordinair? And I'm guessing it's no longer in production, based on OregonStrong's experience?
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,546
South Puget Sound, WA
The 75% was not arbitrary. The 75% efficiency was arrived at by permitting 40% or more of solid fuel products to qualify for the tax credit. On average, other product categories that qualify for consumers tax credits (think doors and windows or appliances) only 10% usually qualify. The 75% threshold is based upon multiple factors, including the IRS looking at how much the tax credit will cost.
BKVP
Of the 40% of qualifying products, aren't most pellet stoves? Why 75% instead of 74 or 73% which would have included many more wood stoves when the goal is to increase the number of clean-burning heaters?