Coldstream and Lumby are two of the communities that will benefit from provincial funding to help people trade in old, smoky wood stoves for cleaner burning models.
The BC government is providing $300,000 to 15 communities for the wood stove exchange program which provides up to $400 in incentives to convert to gas, propane, pellet, or electric heaters.
Environment Minister George Heyman says the program address air pollution while making life more affordable.
“Woodstoves can create significant local air pollution, increasing particulate matter in the air. That pollution, also known as PM2.5, causes a variety of health problems. That is why the Province has expanded its Provincial Wood Stove Exchange Program, which helps people trade old wood stoves for cleaner-burning models such as gas, propane, pellet-heating or – cleaner yet – electric models. This year, $300,000 is going to 15 British Columbia communities – up from $200,000 in previous years,” says Heyman.
The Lavington Life Society will get $5,000 of the funding, while the Central Okanagan Regional District receives $9,500.
Eligible British Columbians can apply for the following incentives:
$250 for changing to a cleaner-burning wood stove; and
$400 for changing to a qualifying electric heat pump, gas or propane stove, or pellet-fuelled stove.
Since 2008, B.C. communities have received more than $3 million through the Provincial Wood Stove Exchange Program, helping replace almost 8,000 old stoves with cleaner-burning options.
The program is administered by the British Columbia Lung Association, which also educates the public about alternatives to wood stoves.
“This program has helped remove tonnes of particulates from the air, while raising awareness about the dangers of burning wood,” said Christopher Lam, CEO, B.C. Lung Association. “People throughout the province now understand that wood smoke can cause harm.”