Wood Smoke Reduction Program
History of the Community Wood Smoke Reduction ProgramThe Community Wood Smoke Reduction Program, formerly known as the Wood Stove Exchange Program, began in 2008 with the intent to provide incentive for replacing old wood stoves (very high particulate emissions) with efficient, low emissions models, or alternatives. Rebates range from $500-$1,500, plus a retailer discount, dependent on the type of replacement appliance. This program is funded by the BC Ministry of Environment and overseen by the BC Lung Association. The ACRD has participated for the more than a decade, providing about 390 rebates to residents of the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District.
For information on the Community Wood Smoke Reduction Program, refer to the brochures below:
- Wood Smoke Exchange Program Media Release
- Wood Smoke Reduction Brochure
- Wood Smoke Reduction Brochure FN
Wood Stove Home Heating and Air QualityPollution from woodstove heating can impact your health, as well as the health and well-being of your neighbours, your family and your kids. While woodstoves may provide a cozy living room atmosphere, old uncertified woodstoves contribute to poor air quality. Particular matter (PM2.5) released from activities including wood burning, has been found to negatively impact the body, especially the lungs and heart.
2023 Wood Smoke Reduction ProgramThis program runs on a first come, first serve basis. There are limited quantities of rebates. Vouchers have a 90-day expiry from the date of issue.
The program is introducing an option for households with any wood stove manufactured prior to 2016 to participate in the program if they are switching to a new pellet or electric air-source heat pump.
The rebate amounts are:
People that reside on First Nation land within the ACRD the rebates amounts are:
- Uncertified (pre-1994) wood stove to EPA or CSA certified woodstove: $1,000
- Wood stove to a pellet stove: $1,500
- Wood stove to electric heat pump: $2,000
Appliances that can be changed-out to a certified woodstove under this program include the following:
- a free-standing non-EPA-certified "stove." A "homemade" or "barrel" stove
- a so-called "airtight" non-EPA-certified fireplace insert, or tube type heat exchanger with a face plate and door (like the "Free Heat Machine" or "Welenco") that is currently installed in an open hearth fireplace
- a non-EPA-certified "wood furnace" (ducted, forced-air, home heating appliance);
- a wood-burning cookstove
- an outdoor wood boiler
The province has three components:
- Rebates can now be applied the replacement of outdoor wood boilers. The rebates for an outside wood boiler are as follows:
- Uncertified OWB to new OWB that meets legislated setbacks and is CSA or EPA certified: $500
- Uncertified OWB to certified pellet boiler (must meet legislated setbacks) or propane boiler: $1,000
- Uncertified OWB to heat pump: $1,500
- An insert that is electric insert going into an open-hearth fireplace has a $400 rebate. Please note: No rebates will be issued for a wood insert going into an open-hearth fireplace. Since there is no wood stove to decommission in this instance this part of the voucher is not relevant.
- Remove non-EPA or CSA certified wood stoves without replacing it and save $300.
The reasoning for the higher rebate for the alternate home heating options are to encourage people to move away for wood heat as the primary heating option. The chart below shows the relative emissions of fine particulates based on your home heating option.
EligibilityTo determine if you are eligible to utilize the community Wood Smoke Reduction Program and receive your rebate you must meet the following requirements:
- Registered owner of property within the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District (including all municipal, electoral areas, and First Nation land)
- home on the property has a wood burning appliance that is regularly used as the home's heat source. For exchange to a new pellet stove or an electric heat pump, the existing wood burning appliance must have been manufactured prior to 2016. For exchange to a new wood burning appliance, the existing wood burning appliance must be non-EPA certified (manufactured prior to approximately 1994).
- old wood stove is removed, decommissioned and recycled (ie. it cannot be re-used in a workshop or garage and the landfill must sign off on your voucher).
- work must be done in compliance with local code requirements.
RetailersIf you are eligible contact one of the participating retailers and they will contact the ACRD to request a voucher number. The retailers will help you to complete the voucher and are responsible for submitting to the regional district. The retailers participating in the 2023 exchange are:
- Bamfield Builders Supply Ltd. 389 Pachena Road Bamfield, 250-728-1223 www.bamfieldbuilders.com
- Dolan's Gas Fitting and Heating Ltd. 4737 Tebo Avenue Port Alberni, 250-723-4328 www.dolansheating.com
- Van Isle Chimney Service Port Alberni, 250-731-4954 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Beaufort Sheet Metal & Heating 6429 Walker Road Port Alberni 250-736-1012
- Pioneer Fireplace 1449 Huntley Road Parksville, 250-954-0331 www.pioneerfireplace.com
- Tilleys Plumbing & Heating Port Alberni 250-735-8989 email@example.com
- Good Deeds Chimney Service Serving Tofino, Ucluelet & surrounding coastal areas 250-534-9554
- Videos (courtesy Government of Canada)
- Air Watch Northwest Videos
- Other Resources
The expectation is that for the $500 rebates the retailer will provide a $150 discount and for the $1,000-$1,500 rebates the retailer will provide a $300 discount. There are limited quantities of each rebate type, and they will be distributed on a first come, first served basis.For those exchanging their wood stove for an electric heat pump, eligible models are those eligible under the EfficiencyBC program.
Note: Most insurance companies require notification if you are installing a new heating appliance. The value of the rebates cannot exceed the value of the appliance.
Burn your wood stove properlyIf you heat your home with a woodstove, following safe burning practices improves your heating efficiency while reducing air pollution. To help you get the most out of your wood, only use dry wood (wood with less than 20% moisture content). Otherwise your fire won't burn as hot and you will be creating harmful smoke by drying wood in the woodstove. After 15 minutes of starting the fire, there should be no visible smoke coming from your chimney. A $20 moisture meter can show you the moisture percentage of a log; insert the probes in the firewood log to obtain a reading. If you don't have a moisture meter, check the firewood log ends. Dry, seasoned wood should have cracks and split ends. Also, if you knock dry wood together, you should hear a hollow sound, not a wet 'thud'
Check out the Provincial Wood Burning Guidelines for more information on how to properly dry, store and build your woodstove fires.
A new 9 minute film called The Cost of Wood Heating was released by Breathe Clean Air Comox Valley and features Dr. Charmaine Enns, medical health officer for Vancouver Island north and a number of local residents who are affected by wood smoke. The film outlines a range of known health effects caused by wood smoke, including asthma, reduced lung function, heart disease, lower birth weights, stroke and shorter life spans.
The Fraser Basin Council (FBC) has developed a comprehensive online wood smoke education course. To access go to: www.fraserbasin.bc.ca/WoodSmokeCourse/story_html5.html. Watch the videos and complete the 5 modules to increase your knowledge of wood stoves and wood smoke and apply it when operating your wood stove.Acceptable air quality is everyone's right. Protecting air quality is everyone's responsibility.
Please direct any questions regarding the program to the ACRD at 250 720-2700 or email firstname.lastname@example.org