VICTORIA (NEWS1130) – The BC government is providing more money for people to swap their old wood stoves for new high-efficiency models.

It’s giving the BC Lung Association $200,000 to expand its wood stove exchange program.

“Older wood stoves can be a significant source of air pollution in many BC communities,” says Minister of Environment Terry Lake in a statement. “By switching to a new, high-efficiency wood stove,
people can help improve air quality in their community and save money on their heating costs by burning less wood to get the same heat. ”

The smoke from old wood stoves is associated with a variety of health problems, from runny noses and coughing to bronchitis, asthma, emphysema, pneumonia, heart disease and even premature death.

Local governments, non-profit organizations and airshed or air quality management organizations interested in starting or extending a wood stove exchange program are invited to apply by Oct. 14 for programs beginning in January, 2012.

The funding will allow participating communities to provide a $250 rebate to consumers on the purchase of a new wood stove, insert or pellet stove. Many local governments provide additional rebates and waive permit fees.

Further rebates are available through:
• the LiveSmart BC Efficiency Incentive Program
• the Federal ecoENERGY Retrofit Grants

Newer stoves burn one-third less wood, thereby reducing emissions.

Since the program’s launch in 2008 over 4,100 old stoves have been changed out or are expected to be changed out by the end of the year, preventing an estimated 582 tonnes of dangerous particulate matter from being released into the atmosphere.