Three North Okanagan communities will benefit from cleaner air as a result of funding from the 2020-21 Wood Stove Exchange Program.
The Lavington Life Society (Coldstream/Lumby/Cherryville) is receiving $8,600 from the $270,000 being doled out by the program, which provides incentives to people to replace old, smoky wood stoves with cleaner options.
A total of 19 communities have applied for funding to continue their exchange program, or have sufficient funding from previous years to continue offering rebates to their residents.
“This program has been very successful in encouraging people to switch to cleaner wood stoves or different technologies entirely,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “I’m very pleased these local governments are continuing to support this program and are working with the Province and health agencies to reduce harmful emissions.”
Burning wood creates significant air pollution by increasing particulate matter in the air. Also known as PM 2.5, this fine particulate matter can cause health problems. The Wood Stove Exchange Program reduces local air pollution by helping people trade out old wood stoves for cleaner sources of heat, such as electric heat pumps, gas or pellet stoves, or new emission-certified wood stoves.
The annual program has helped replace around 9,000 old stoves with cleaner options. Since 2008, the Wood Stove Exchange Program has provided more than $3.2 million.