This week, the Ministry of Environment announced its commitment to continue the wood stove exchange program in 2013, by providing grant funding totalling over $192,000 to 14 communities.
The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) will receive $10,500 to spark homeowners with initiative to replace their older wood burners with clean burning, more efficient models.
“We applied for funding for 30 stoves so that is $250 per stove,” said John Vere, RDKB woodstove exchange coordinator. “The balance of funding, $3000 is for administrative, advertising and education.”
The next step in receiving the grant funding is for a contract to be signed between the B.C. Lung Association who issues the funding, and the RDKB.
“The B.C. Lung Association is extremely supportive of the wood stove exchange program and our ongoing partnership with government and participating communities,” said Scott McDonald, executive director in a press release.
Local governments are supporting the program with additional “top up” money to add to the grant, said Vere.
The City of Trail, Village of Fruitvale, and areas A and B will pitch in $100 to increase the refund total to $350 per stove exchange.
As the nights get colder, and more people light up their older wood-burning stoves for warmth, the smoke can affect the health of homeowners and their neighbours by releasing tiny particles called particulate matter.
The particulates are small enough to be breathed into the deepest part of the lungs, and may cause various health problems from runny nose and coughing to bronchitis and pneumonia.
Simple changes to the way people burn wood in their stoves or fireplaces can help minimize smoke, increase the heat provided from the wood burning, and limit people’s impact on their neighbours, said Vere.
To qualify for the program, the homeowner must remove an older inefficient wood-burning appliance, and replace it with an EPA approved model of wood, pellet or gas.
Further details are available on cactusmusic.ca, or at 1-866-992-9663.