Wood Smoke Reduction Program

History of the Community Wood Smoke Reduction Program
The 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 $600-$2,000, 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 Stove Home Heating and Air Quality
Pollution 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.

2024 Wood Smoke Reduction Program
This 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 2017 to participate in the program if they are switching to a new pellet or electric air-source heat pump.

The rebate amounts are:

  • Uncertified (pre-1994) wood stove to EPA or CSA certified woodstove: $600
  • Wood stove to a pellet stove: $1,500
  • Wood stove to electric heat pump: $2,000
  • 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: $1,200
    • Wood stove to a pellet stove: $2,000
    • Wood stove to electric heat pump: $3,000

    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:

    1. Rebates can now be applied the replacement of outdoor wood boilers. The rebates for an outside wood boiler are as follows:
      1. Uncertified OWB to new OWB that meets legislated setbacks and is CSA or EPA certified: $500
      2. Uncertified OWB to certified pellet boiler (must meet legislated setbacks) or propane boiler: $1,000
    2. 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.
    3. Remove non-EPA or CSA certified wood stoves without replacing it and save $300.
    4. 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.

      To 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 2017. 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.

      If 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 2024 exchange are:
      • Dolan's Gas Fitting and Heating Ltd.
        4737 Tebo Avenue
        Port Alberni, 250-723-4328
      • Van Isle Chimney Service
        Port Alberni, 250-731-4954
      • Beaufort Sheet Metal & Heating
        6429 Walker Road
        Port Alberni
      • Pioneer Fireplace
        1449 Huntley Road
        Parksville, 250-954-0331
      • Tilleys Plumbing & Heating
        Port Alberni
      • Bamfield Builders Supply Ltd.
        389 Pachena Road
        Bamfield, 250-728-1223
      • Good Deeds Chimney Services
        Serving Tofino, Ucluelet, and surrounding coastal areas
        Find us on Facebook

        The expectation is that for the $600 rebates the retailer will provide a $150 discount and for the $1,500-$2,000 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 properly
        If 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 admin@acrd.bc.ca

        AQCLung AssociationBC