Campbell River’s wood stove exchange program returns

Options available to help finance and plan wood stove upgrades

Back by popular demand, Campbell River’s Wood Stove Exchange Program encourages residents to upgrade older wood stoves to CSA/EPA-certified wood, pellet or gas heating appliances, with 40 rebates available from March 1 through April 30.

A total of 75 exchanges have occurred since the program began in 2009 with $250-rebates available on a first come, first served basis. The continuation of this program in 2012 is made possible through $15,000 in grant funding secured from the BC Lung Association.

“As the burning season starts to wind down, this is a good time to consider switching out old uncertified smoky appliances with a high-efficiency wood, pellet or gas heating appliance,” says Councillor Larry Samson, liaison to the City’s Environmental Advisory Committee. “In addition to City rebates, savings offered by participating retailers and manufacturers make upgrading a wood stove a cost-effective and an environmentally sound decision.”

A summary of air quality surveys conducted in 2010 and 2011 will be available for the public in an upcoming report as part of this year’s program.

“While we are pleased to see that levels of fine particulate matter are generally very low, the preliminary results also confirm that there are a number of low-lying areas within the City that are ‘hot spots’ for wood smoke pollution,” says Ron Neufeld, the city’s general manager of operations.

The Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA) recognizes that fine particulate air pollution generated by older wood stoves contributes to many types of respiratory symptoms, respiratory illnesses, and decreased lung function. From a public health perspective, fine particulates are considered to have the most impact of outdoor air pollutants.

With the woodstoves exchanged through the program to date, an estimated 4,650 kg of fine particulate air pollution has been reduced each season based on provincial criteria helping us all to breathe a little easier.

“Wood burning is at the heart of the Canadian identity,” says Peter Woods, Chair of the City’s Environmental Advisory Committee. “By exchanging old wood stoves for certified appliances, residents of Campbell River can continue this longstanding tradition, while also reducing pollution levels not just in the community, but in the greater air shed as well.”

Burn It Smart, wood pile pride education and outreach events will take place throughout the Wood Stove Exchange Program.

Program details will be available soon and will be posted on the city’s website and in local newspapers.

The Wood Stove Exchange Program is administered by the City of Campbell River in partnership with local retailers, the BC Lung Association, the Province of BC and the Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association of Canada. Participating retailers include Bennett Sheet Metal & Heating, Just Wood Stoves, Quality Stoves and Fireplaces Ltd and Guardian Chimney Services. Information on the Wood Stove Exchange Program and wood heating is available on the city website (www.campbellriver.ca).

Residents who would like to participate should contact Amanda Taylor at the City of Campbell River at 250-286-5721 or by email at amanda.taylor@campbellriver.ca.