VICTORIA – Courtenay-Comox MLA Ronna-Rae Leonard is welcoming $19,000 in incentives from government to encourage people in the Comox Valley to switch to cleaner fuel sources this winter.
Leonard said that in the past, the B.C. wood stove exchange program provided the same incentive to anyone switching, regardless of fuel source. This year, the provincial government has changed the incentive structure so that there is a $250 incentive for changing to a cleaner burning wood stove and a $400 incentive for changing to a qualifying electric heat pump, gas or propane stove, or pellet-fuelled stove.
“People saw the BC Liberals dragging their feet on tackling climate change,” said MLA Leonard. “We’ve listened, and our government is working hard on finding solutions and increasing incentives so that making changes – like exchanging an inefficient wood stove for a cleaner burning one – doesn’t hit folks in the pocketbook quite so hard.”
The BC Lung Association administers the wood stove exchange program on behalf of the Province and provides educational materials and support to participating communities.
“In the eleven years of this program, we’ve raised awareness of the effects of burning wood and have removed tonnes of particulates from the air,” said Scott McDonald, CEO of the B.C. Lung Association. “Many people are now aware wood smoke contains many small particulates that can cause harm. We hope the exchange program is extended in the years to come.”
Since 2008, communities have received almost $2.9 million in provincial funding and more than 7,000 wood-burning stoves and inserts have been replaced by newer, cleaner burning models or other cleaner heat sources, resulting in significant reductions of particulate matter emissions entering the air each year.
Facts about wood stoves:
- 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.
Provincial Wood Stove Exchange Program: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/air-land-water/air/air-pollution/smoke-burning/exchange