The Province, in partnership with the BC Lung Association, is improving air quality throughout B.C. by providing $190,000 to 14 communities/regional districts as part of the Provincial Wood Stove Exchange Program.
British Columbians are firing up their old wood stoves as the cold, still nights of winter begin, unfortunately, this leads to increased air pollution and air quality advisories as the smoke may be trapped near the ground in this type of weather. This results in certain areas of the province seeing more air quality advisories in colder months.
The Wood Stove Exchange Program provides a $250 rebate when a new wood-burning, pellet or natural gas stove is purchased to replace an older model. New emissions-certified wood stoves burn one-third less wood and reduce smoke and particulates entering the atmosphere by 70% or more.
Last year, nearly 600 stoves were exchanged throughout the province and the goal is to have a similar number exchanged in 2017.
Since 2008, communities have received almost $2.7 million in provincial funding and more than 7000 wood-burning stoves and inserts have been replaced by newer, cleaner burning models, resulting in the reduction of approximately 500 tonnes of particulate matter emissions entering the air each year.
The BC Lung Association administers the wood stove exchange program on behalf of the Province and provides educational materials and support to participating communities.
Mary Polak, Minister of Environment –
“Our successful wood stove exchange program encourages homeowners to reduce emissions by at least 70 % by swapping out outdated, inefficient stoves and replacing them with new, high-efficiency ones. By upgrading these appliances and making a concerted effort to burn smarter, British Columbians are proactively improving their personal health while improving air quality in their communities.”
Scott McDonald, CEO, BC Lung Association –
“The BC Lung Association is pleased to continue partnering with the Ministry of Environment to improve air quality in communities throughout the province through the Provincial Wood Stove Exchange Program. Wood smoke is a major contributor to air pollution and replacing old wood-burning appliances with new, cleaner models is not only beneficial for the environment but also helps reduce impacts to public health.”
- In 2017, 14 communities will receive funding, including two new communities where the program has never been offered before – District of Coldstream and the Strathcona Regional District.
- The funding for the 2017 Wood Stove Exchange Program is:
- Regional District of Central Okanagan – $7,100
- Regional District of Central Kootenay – $15,500
- Regional District of Kootenay Boundary – $6,500
- Prince George Air Improvement Roundtable – $13,600
- Bulkley Valley and Lakes District Airshed Management Society – $8,700
- District of Coldstream – $14,000
- Metro Vancouver – $15,500
- Sunshine Coast Clean Air Society – $9,500
- Regional District of Nanaimo – $19,750
- Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District – $15,600
- Strathcona Regional District – $13,400
- Comox Valley Regional District – $17,100
- Golden and District Air Quality Committee – $11,000
- Cowichan Valley Regional District – $22,750
- In B.C., all new wood stoves and inserts sold must meet U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or Canadian Standards Association (CSA) emission standards.
- Always use dry well-seasoned wood cut into pieces that are 10-15cm in diameter. Burning “green” or wet wood produces significantly more smoke.
- Firewood should be seasoned for at least six months. Burning seasoned wood also saves money by reducing wood consumption by 25%.
- By burning smaller, hotter fires to ensure complete combustion of the wood, there should be very little visible smoke coming from the chimney and no smell of smoke indoors.
- Wood-burning appliances should be inspected and cleaned at least once a year by a certified technician.
BC Newsroom – Ministry of Environment: http://www.newsroom.gov.bc.ca/ministries/environment-1