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Wood stove change out can offer savings.

More than 1,400 and counting—that’s the number of old, inefficient, polluting wood stoves that Okanagan residents have exchanged over the past decade through the Great Okanagan Wood Stove Change Out Program. Since 2001, more than 500 Central Okanagan homeowners have updated to cleaner burning, energy efficient appliances and saved money through the program. Now through April 30, the Regional Air Quality program gives consumers a $250 rebate (funding is limited) when they purchase a new EPA/CSA emission-approved wood, gas, pellet or electric appliance and replace their old smoke-belching wood stove. Participating manufacturers, distributors and retailers also offer a minimum rebate of $150 off the suggested retail price of new EPA/CSA approved replacement appliances. Consumers receive the rebate when they surrender their old wood burning appliance for recycling.  Participating retailers will take care of recycling your old stove and complete all the necessary paperwork for the rebates. It’s estimated more than 20,000 valley homes are still equipped with inefficient conventional wood stoves or masonry fireplaces. And chances are, if they’re being used, they’re pumping out pollutants that reduce our air quality. Regional Air Quality program coordinator Kate Bergen said, “There’s no disputing that wood stove smoke contributes to poor air quality throughout the Central Okanagan.  “By replacing old wood burning fireplaces and stoves with newer technology certified appliances homeowners will burn one-third less wood and reduce smoke by up to 90 per cent. “To learn more about proper wood heating practices, we have a quick, interesting and informative video you can watch on our websites.  “It tells you how to burn smart and get the most out of every cord of wood. You’ll find the link at regionaldistrict.com/airquality.” The Wood Stove Change Out Program is a limited time offer ending April 30. For more information, a list of participating retailers or other program details visit regionaldistrict.com/airquality or contact Kate Bergen at 250-469-8408.

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