In an effort to reduce pollution from wood smoke, the Comox Valley Regional District’s (CVRD) wood smoke reduction program has increased rebates for cleaner heating sources. Beginning June 16 residents may be eligible to receive $1,000 – $4,000 for replacing an older wood stove with a cleaner heating option.

Effective June 16, 2019, the CVRD is no longer providing rebates to replace old woodstoves with new woodstoves. Instead, rebates have been increased for gas, propane and pellet stoves from $600 to $1,000. Rebates for upgrading a woodstove to an electric heat pump are also $1,000. Heating appliance upgrades may also qualify for additional CleanBC Home Efficiency Rebate and Home Renovation Rebates of up to $3,000. 

Using wood for heat is popular in many areas of the Comox Valley. However, it generates far more pollution than other heating alternatives, such as electricity or natural gas. In winter when people are burning wood as their primary source of heat in densely populated neighbourhoods, smoke from wood stoves and fireplaces is a  significant source of air pollution in the Comox Valley because of the Valley’s geography and meteorology. 
Much like cigarette smoke, wood smoke contains tiny particles. These particles are called particulate matter and they cause many kinds of serious health effects, including heart and lung problems – especially among children and the elderly. This means that it is important to minimize the amount of smoke we produce and our exposure to it.  

Keeping firewood dry, allowing enough time for it to cure before using, and following good burning practices are essential to reducing smoke from wood burning. Wood smoke affects the health of our families, our neighbours, and our community.

To learn more about the Wood Smoke Reduction Program rebates visit www.comoxvalleyrd.ca/woodstove

 

Robyn Butler

Communications Coordinator, Corporate Services Branch, Comox Valley Regional District