New Rebates for Clean Cowichan Air

Living in a rural valley instead of a big city, it may come as a surprise to hear the air quality in Cowichan Valley communities can be far from good. Poor air quality is particularly noticeable in the winter when many residents heat homes with wood. While woodstoves are cozy, they can produce a lot of air pollution in the form of small particulate matter. Poor air quality impacts everyone, but especially children, as their lungs are small. Data from Island Health indicates hospital admission rates for children with respiratory diseases averaged 70 percent higher in the Cowichan Valley than the rest of BC.

To support cleaner home heating, the Cowichan Valley Regional District (CVRD), with funding from the BC Ministry of Environment and the BC Lung Association, offers a Woodstove Exchange Program. The program provides rebates to help residents replace old, smoky woodstoves for new and cleaner heating technology such as gas, pellet, or wood stoves.

"We are excited to announce that heat pumps now also qualify as a replacement option for old woodstoves", explains Board Chair Jon Lefebure. "Heat pumps are attractive because they can provide heat in the winter and air conditioning in the summer. They are also very energy efficient, and generate less greenhouse gas emissions and particulate matter than gas or wood appliances."

The CVRD was awarded $22,750 from the BC Ministry of Environment to support 83 woodstove replacement rebates in 2017.

"Rebates are offered on first-come-first-serve basis and are very popular, so don't wait to apply as they always run out before the year-end," says Lefebure.

Since the CVRD Woodstove Exchange Rebate Program began in 2009, over 800 Cowichan residents have used the rebates to make the leap toward cleaner air by changing out their old woodstoves.

To learn more about the Woodstove Exchange Program and how to qualify for the rebate visit cleartheaircowichan.ca