The Regional District of Nanaimo is offering rebates to replace polluting wood stoves for cleaner heating technologies. (PQB News file photo)

The Regional District of Nanaimo is offering rebates to replace polluting wood stoves for cleaner heating technologies. (PQB News file photo)

Regional District of Nanaimo tops up funding for wood stove exchange program due to demand

RDN says more residents switching to cleaner-burning heat sources

More and more residents, according to the Regional District of Nanaimo, are switching their wood stoves and furnaces to newer and cleaner-burning models.

They’re taking advantage of the rebates offered under a regional wood stove exchange program, funded in part by the B.C. Lung Association. Staff indicated the program has become more popular than expected this year and its budget for 2022 is close to being exhausted. It is available not only to RDN electoral area residents but also to those in Parksville, Qualicum Beach and Lantzville. City of Nanaimo residents are directed to the city’s program at www.nanaimo.ca/property-development/rebates/woodstove-changeout-program.

To keep the program going until the end of the year, RDN staff recommended additional funds totalling $26,500 to be added to its budget.

The RDN board, on Oct. 11, approved the recommendation for extra funds to be drawn from two sources. One is the local government climate action grant to provide $13,000, and the balance of $13,500 to be sourced from the regional sustainability initiatives reserve account. The 2022-2026 financial plan will also be amended accordingly.

READ MORE: Industry fighting back against B.C. woodstove bans

In 2023, the RDN will see its funding for the program increased by the B.C. Lung Association due to the high demand it has encountered this year. The goal of the program is to protect the local air quality of the regional, support energy efficiency and emission reduction measures.

Rebates are available for the following exchanges: woodstove to electric heat Pump, $750; woodstove to pellet stove or electric appliance, $500; woodstove to natural gas or propane appliance, $500 (fully subscribed for 2022); woodstove to new EPA 2020 certified woodstove, $300.

Applications for this rebate are accepted until Dec. 15. For more information on the woodstove exchange program, visit https://www.rdn.bc.ca/woodstove-exchange.

Michael.Briones@pqbnews.com

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