The Wood Stove Exchange Program helps people replace old smoky woodstoves. (Stock photo)

The Wood Stove Exchange Program helps people replace old smoky woodstoves. (Stock photo)

District of Vanderhoof receives $8,000 for Wood Stove Exchange Program

The District of Vanderhoof received $8,000 as part of the 2019-2020 Wood Stove Exchange Program.

The program helps people replace old smoky woodstoves with cleaner-burning models, possibly giving Santa a little bit soot to contend with.

“This program is a step toward further reduction of the harms that can result from wood-burning stoves,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “British Columbians, local governments, the Province and health experts all work together on this program that reduces carbon and other forms of pollution by switching to cleaner-burning stoves or different technologies entirely.”

Burning wood creates significant air pollution by increasing particulate matter in the air, according to a government press release.

“Also known as PM2.5, this fine particulate matter can cause health problems. The Wood Stove Exchange Program reduces local air pollution by helping people trade out old woodstoves for electric models or for cleaner-burning ones like gas, propane or pellet heating.”

Eligible British Columbians can apply for $250 for changing to a cleaner-burning wood stove, $400 for changing to a qualifying electric heat pump, gas or propane stove, or pellet-fuelled stove and $500 for those who live in “Red Zone” communities, which are areas where fine particulate matter exceeds the Canadian Ambient Air Quality Standards. Residents there can use the money to change to a heat pump, gas or propane stove, or pellet-fuelled stove.

In total, 15 communities received funding through the program.

“This program continues to help remove particulates from the air, while raising awareness about the dangers of burning wood,” said Christopher Lam, CEO, B.C. Lung Association. “People throughout our province should understand that wood smoke can cause significant harm.”

Vanderhoof has successfully applied to the program before.