PRINCE GEORGE – The provincial government is providing $12,000 to the Prince George Air Improvement Roundtable to encourage residents to replace their old wood stoves with cleaner burning models.

The $12,000 in funding, through the Wood Stove Exchange Program, provides residents with a $250 rebate on the purchase of any new certified domestic solid fuel burning device or high efficiency appliance, including gas, propane, pellet or electric stoves.

“Since older-burning wood stove models can affect the health of homeowners, neighbours and overall air shed health, it’s important that we look for solutions to help improve air quality in our community,” Prince George-Mackenzie MLA Mike Morris said. “This program will help people in our community take a proactive step toward promoting cleaner air and better health.”

“Air quality affects all of us and this issue is particularly important to us in Prince George,” Prince George-Valemount MLA Shirley Bond said. “Our government is committed to helping homeowners replace their older wood stove with more efficient and environmentally friendly model. This program makes a positive difference in air quality.”

This year $190,000 is being provided to 13 communities though the Wood Stove Exchange Program. Since it was launched in 2008, over $2.3 million has been provided to purchase over 6,000 cleaner burning models, equating to a reduction of more than 370 tonnes of particulate matter being pumped into the air.

All new wood stoves and inserts sold in B.C. now must meet Canadian Standards Association (CSA) emission standards or U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) emission standards. New emissions-certified wood stoves burn one-third less wood; and reduce smoke and particulates entering the atmosphere by up to 90 percent.