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qRD to exclude fossil fuel heat sources as wood stove alternatives in rebate program

Powell River residents wanting to go from a wood stove to a gas heat source may not be able to get a rebate.

The wood stove rebate program has been recommended to continue by the qathet Regional District (qRD), and that fossil fuel burning heat sources be excluded from the program.

The program would allow people, on a first come first serve basis, to receive $400 in exchange from an uncertified wood stove to an EPA-certified stove. The rebate is $550 for the exchange to an EPA-certified pellet stove or electric fireplace and $750 for an electric heat pump.

In the Committee of the Whole meeting of Dec. 9, Director Clay Brander said the recommendation should be adopted as fossil fuels are not the direction they want to go in.

“I think if we’re trying to do wood stove exchange programs we should try to get away from a reliance on fossil fuels,” said Brander. “This will encourage people to go electric, I would think.”

The $750 rebate will apply to both air and ground source – which cost more according to Director Mark Gisborne – heat pumps.

The program ran from Jan. 1 to Nov. 30 this year and aimed to reduce particulate emissions in the area, saying woodburning fireplaces and stoves are “very dirty”.

The province says ways for wood stoves to burn more efficiently include drying split wood for six months in a shelter, burning wood with less than 20 per cent moisture content and keeping split wood to a max of 15 to 20 cm in size.

READ MORE: City of Powell River releases annual budget survey

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