Communities get funding for wood stove exchange

The BC government is providing a total of over $192,000 in grant funding to 14 communities/regional districts to encourage residents to replace their old wood stoves with cleaner burning models that will improve personal health and air quality, announced Environment Minister Terry Lake on November 25.
The Ministry of Environment has issued 14 grants to the following communities/regional districts to support their woodstove exchange goals for 2013: Campbell River, Cowichan Valley Regional District, Kimberley and Cranbrook, Golden, Mackenzie, Regional District of Central Okanagan and Regional District Okanagan-Similkameen, Port Alberni, Metro Vancouver, Prince George, Regional District of Nanaimo, Regional District of Central Kootenay and, Regional District of Kootenay Boundary, Sunshine Coast and Valemount.
Lake says, “Through our wood stove exchange program, we are committed to reducing the number of old, inefficient wood stoves in B.C. and replacing them with more cost-efficient, environmentally friendly models. By upgrading to a new stove and following the tips to burn smarter, British Columbians can ensure better air quality in their communities and a more positive effect on their own health."
The goal is to have close to 700 stoves exchanged across the province in the coming year.
Since 2008, the BC government has partnered with the BC Lung Association to run the Provincial Wood Stove Exchange Program. To-date, the BC government has put over $1.8 million towards the program, which has resulted in over 5,000 old wood stoves successfully replaced. Scott McDonald, CEO, BC Lung Association says, "The BC Lung Association is extremely supportive of the woodstove exchange program and our ongoing partnership with government and participating communities. Smoke created by wood stoves is associated with many respiratory problems that can seriously impact one's health, and we are pleased with the program's continued success in helping to alleviate health concerns by replacing old stoves with cleaner, more efficient appliances."
There are about 116,000 older model stoves currently in use around the province that can affect the health of homeowners, their neighbours and overall air shed health. It is important to remember some helpful tips to make burning more efficient while maintaining good air quality and personal health.
For example, always use dry well-seasoned wood that is cut into small pieces – seasoned wood can provide as much as 15 per cent more heat than the same amount of unseasoned wood. It also significantly reduces air pollution. 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. It is also important to have any wood-burning appliances inspected and cleaned at least once a year by a certified technician.
New emissions-certified wood stoves burn one-third less wood; and reduce smoke and particulates entering the atmosphere by up to 90 percent.