If your woodstove isn’t burning efficiently, the ACRD may have a good deal for you. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District kicks off woodstove exchange

The Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District kicks off its annual woodstove exchange program on Wednesday, Jan. 31.

The ACRD will have $14,750 at its disposal—part of a province-wide program that will see $195,500 paid to 15 B.C. communities in an attempt to lower emissions into their respective airsheds.

This year the program is two-tiered, says Anna Lewis, coordinator of the Alberni Valley’s Air Quality Council. People may choose either a $250 incentive and $150 retailer discount for changing to a cleaner burning woodstove, or a $400 incentive for changing to a qualifying electric heat pump, gas or propane stove, or pellet-fueled stove.

In B.C., all new woodstoves and inserts sold must meet U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or Canadian Standards Association (CSA) emission standards.

There are other reasons to switch out your old woodstove, says Lewis: “New woodstoves use up to one-third less wood and produce up to 70 percent less pollution if used correctly,” she said. “Burning clean, dry wood gives off up to 15 percent more heat and reduces creosote buildup in the chimney, reducing the risk of a chimney fire.”

The woodstove exchange program began in the ACRD in 2009 and to date 334 woodstoves have been exchanged under this program, Lewis said. “It’s a drop in the bucket, but it’s moving. If you look at the numbers of the output of the stoves versus high-emission ones, the output is more like wood pellet stoves,” she said. “The technology is amazing.”

“Using a template provided by the Ministry of Environment it is estimated that about 2,923 kilograms of PM2.5 (particulate matter) was reduced this past year thanks to (last) year’s woodstove exchanges,” she said. The estimated particulate matter emission reduction from all woodstove exchanges in the community to date is on the order of 20 metric tons.

“There have been many positive steps in the Valley: Air Quality Council support, a woodstove bylaw in the City of Port Alberni, an open burning bylaw (also in the city), the woodstove exchange program, enhanced air quality monitoring, cycling initiative and public outreach and education programs.”

Retailers in Port Alberni, Bamfield, Ucluelet and Parksville are participating in the woodstove exchange this year. The offer applies to residents within the ACRD and is valid from Jan. 31 to June 30. Rebates will be issued on a first come, first served basis, Lewis said. If there is any money left in the coffers after June 30, the ACRD will offer the program again in the fall.

“I have a feeling that it will be used up,” she said. “There are a lot of belching old woodstoves in the Valley.”

For more information and to learn how to qualify, go to the ACRD’s website at www.acrd.bc.ca or call 250-720-2700.


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