PENTICTON - South Okanagan residents using wood stoves to heat their homes continue to take advantage of a popular upgrade incentive offered in the region.
The Wood Stove Exchange is a continuation of a program the regional district has been running in conjunction with the province since 2001.
The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen has also partnered with the Central Okanagan Regional District to assist each other by supplying leftover rebates from one jurisdiction to another.
RDOS Wood Stove Exchange Program Coordinator Janice Johnson says the program has been well received in the regional district over the years, with the regional district having exchanged 456 stoves from 2008 through the end of 2014.
“We didn’t participate in 2014,” she notes, adding the Regional District of Central Okanagan, which operated the program all seven years, also exchanged 374 units, rolling 30 rebates over into 2015, while the Regional District of North Okanagan, which is no longer participating in the program, exchanged 138 units in the seven-year span.
Johnson says she thinks the program would be even more popular with South Okanagan and Similkameen residents if more advertising is done, although she has already received several phone calls regarding this year’s program, which launched just last week.
Cawston resident Lee McFadyen had an older model stove she was using to heat her small house, and after taking advantage of the rebate program, purchased a new, energy efficient model. She found she used much less wood, and produced more heat with the upgraded stove. With additional retail rebates also available, she saved $400.
“I was really happy with what the program did for me,” she says.
The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen has 52 rebates allotted to it this year.
The program is available to all residents in the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen and has been implemented to reduce the amount of fine particulate and other pollutants found in wood smoke from the atmosphere. Modern wood burning appliances with EPA accreditation can reduce smoke pollution by 90 per cent, in addition to using one third less wood.
From January through to April 30, residents can receive a $250 rebate when they trade their old wood stove or insert for one with new cleaner burn technology. The new units must be EPA/CSA emission approved wood, pellet electric or gas stove, or insert.
To participate, residents need to visit a Hearth Products retailer, choose a new appliance and prepare to give up their old units for recycling or metal scrap, prior to the dealer providing all the paperwork for the purchaser to fill out before a $250 rebate cheque is sent in the mail.
For more information on wood heating, visit the regional district web page.
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