B.C. Air Quality

Provincial Wood Stove Exchange Program: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)



Are all residents in B.C. eligible to participate in the program?
The program is community-based, meaning interested communities with wood-stove-related air quality issues may apply for funding and resources to establish and run an exchange program. People living in communities that are not running an exchange program may be eligible for LiveSmart BC Energy Efficiency Program Grants and industry discounts during March and April.


What incentives will be available from the province?
Incentives from the province are up to $250 for upgrading to a more efficient appliance. Additional incentives from local government and from retailer/supplier price discounts are likely to range from between $100 to $500. Provincial funding will contribute to incentives coming from multiple partners, including:
  • retailer/supplier price discounts (appliances range in price from $900-$3000);
  • local government contributions (bylaws, cash contributions to rebate amounts, permit fee waivers);
  • local nonprofit organization cash incentives (funded by Ministry of Environment grants).


What contributions are expected from municipalities and regional districts?
This will depend on individual municipalities. In the Skeena region, communities contributed between $7,000 and $15,000 to offer their residents extra incentives. In addition, permit fees for installation of new appliances were waived, and additional incentives were established in the form of bylaws requiring mandatory removal of old wood stoves.


What can I replace my old wood stove with?
The replacement appliance can be an EPA certified wood burning appliance, a high efficiency pellet stove, or a gas, propane or electric stove. To be eligible for an incentive an old wood stove or insert must be replaced and the old appliance must be recycled, destroyed or disabled.


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How realistic is the goal of exchanging 50,000 old wood stoves?
The goal of 50,000 old wood stoves being removed is a provincial target and does not have any target date attached to it. Participating communities will come up with a realistic goal for their exchange program based on the number of old wood stoves in their community.


How soon will the exchange program be available in my community?

Since 2008, 25 unique programs have been offered in the province, involving 18 regional districts and over 44 municipal partners. Over 6000 stoves have been changed out so far. For more information, see Results in British Columbia. If you would like to see a program offered in your community, share the Proposal Information and Requirements with your council.   


Who are the partners?
Partners include the Hearth Patio Barbeque Association of Western Canada, Wood Energy Technicians B.C., BC Lung Association, Environment Canada and community groups. Additional partnerships will be sought at the local level, similar to the Skeena pilot. They may include municipalities and regional districts, credit unions, insurance brokers and health officials/authorities.


What are the results of the pilot and how did the pilot influence the provincial program?
As of March 2009, nearly 400 old wood stoves have been exchanged. This means that over 37 tonnes per year of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) have been reduced. Three communities and one regional district have committed to offering additional financial incentives for their residents. Wood stove bylaws have been adopted by three communities.
The results of an evaluation of the pilot indicate that most people support the wood stove exchange program, and that community outreach greatly increased the success of the pilot. The provincial program has been implemented using proven techniques and lessons learned from the pilot program.

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