Woodstove rebate program

Bulkley Valley residents looking to get a cleaner wood stove can qualify for a $250 rebate.

Bulkley Valley residents looking to get a cleaner wood stove can qualify for a $250 rebate.

This year’s first-come-first-serve Provincial Wood Stove Exchange Program has 22 rebates to offer, and is open to residents living in this airshed that spans from Endako to Kitwanaga.

“Anyone that exchanges an old stove, or decommissions an old stove — a wood-burning appliance that is not EPA certified and buys a new one that is, and installs that can qualify for the rebate,” said coordinator Sue Brookes. “It’s a mail-in rebate: they have to contact me and I can get the particulars off them and send them the cheque.”

The program ends in September 2016, and Brookes believes that this year’s program will see full subscription.

“There are already a couple in the works,” she said. “We had a lot of people from the Burns Lake area apply last year.”

“You do have to have the old stove decommissioned. That means taking it to either to the Town of Smithers works yard or municipal works yard, or a dealer and getting them to sort of deconstruct the flue collar and the door because we want these stoves inoperable.”

Brookes sees benefits in terms of personal health and cost savings to get an EPA-certified stove.

“People need to understand that a lot of these old stoves are putting out emissions that are clouding the air and causing all sorts of health problems with pets and people,” she said. “And it’s also more efficient to burn in an EPA-certified stove, so theoretically you’re going to use less wood and get hotter-burning fires.”

Dirty burning wood stoves were related to the bad air quality late last year.

“It’s definitely a major contributor, especially the more north you go in the Valley. I’m up near Moricetown, and we definitely have it. It’s wood stove smoke that’s the problem. Whereas you guys get mill [smoke],” said Brookes.

She suggests that burning cleanly is the key to keeping pollution at a minimum.

Interested parties can contact Brookes at notonsea@hotmail.com or call her at 250-877-8739.