The Cowichan Valley Regional District will receive $42,000 from the province’s 2020-21 Wood Stove Exchange Program to provide incentives for people to replace old, smoky wood stoves with cleaner options.
A total of 19 communities have applied for funding to continue their exchange programs, and the province has earmarked $270,000 from the exchange program to assist this year.
“This program has been very successful in encouraging people to switch to cleaner wood stoves or different technologies entirely,” said George Heyman, minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy.
“I’m very pleased these local governments are continuing to support this program and are working with the province and health agencies to reduce harmful emissions.”
Burning wood creates significant air pollution by increasing particulate matter in the air.
Also known as PM 2.5, this fine particulate matter can cause health problems.
The wood stove exchange program reduces local air pollution by helping people trade out old wood stoves for cleaner sources of heat, such as electric heat pumps, gas or pellet stoves, or new emission-certified wood stoves.
Eligible British Columbians can apply for a number of incentives.
They include $250 for changing to a cleaner-burning wood stove; $400 for changing to a qualifying electric heat pump, gas or propane stove, or pellet-fuelled stove; and $500 for those who live in “Red Zone” communities which are areas where fine particulate matter exceeds the Canadian Ambient Air Quality Standards.
The annual program has helped replace around 9,000 old stoves with cleaner options, and since 2008, it has provided more than $3.2 million for communities to provide incentives.