City Hall Home Residents Home Business Home Visitors Home Search Home
 > Home Page > Residents > Environment > Air Quality > Woodstove Exchange Program

Why is it important to exchange my old Wood Stove?


Old wood burning appliances burn inefficiently, creating more pollution and creosote than new appliances. According to Bylaw 773 only wood burning appliances (included without limitation stoves, fireplaces inserts or wood boilers) that meet the emission standards CAN/CSA B415.1 or the EPA standards could be granted a permit to be installed within the Regional District of Central Okanagan.

BC and the EPA are currently revising their emissions standards for solid fuel appliances. The proposed standard will result in a lowering of the maximum permissible average emissions rate by 40% below current standards and will ensure that only the lowest emitting new appliances will be offered for sale in B.C.

The proposed BC emissions standard for Non-catalytic appliances is 4.5 grams/hour and for Catalytic appliances 2.5 grams/hour. And the EPA Proposed New Source Performance Standards for Residential Wood Heaters could be found here

The EPA-certified wood burning appliances heat more efficiently, using about 1/3 less wood and creating 90% less smoke. When used correctly, it is possible to burn without creating any visible smoke. The Wood Burning Best Practices pages provide great information and videos to assist you in burning cleaner.   

Woodstove Exchange Program

Since 2001, the Central Okanagan has been offering the Woodstove Exchange Program in partnership with the Ministry of the Environment in an effort to encourage citizens to exchange their old woodstove for an EPA certified woodstove  (approved pellet, electric or gas hearth product) to prevent air pollution in the region. However, the provincial Woodstove Exchange program and the rebates of $250 are currently on hold for 2014.

Nevertheless, the Regional District in coordination with the industry and participant retailers will continue its efforts to promote Wood Stove Exchanges in the region. 

Exchange your old Wood Stove and improve your health!

   Wood inserts
  • Visit your local Hearth Product Retailers. 
  • Pick out a new, cleaner-burning, EPA certified wood, pellet, electric or gas burning hearth product (freestanding or fireplace insert).
  • There's year-round discounts that could apply to specific models and brands, but be sure the model you choose is EPA certified!
  • Recycle your old wood stove. It's illegal to install a non-EPA wood burning appliance. Some retailers can help you with the recycling paperwork or provide related information.
  • Obtain a proper building permit  for legal installation.
  • Ask your retailer for your free "Burn it Smart"  DVD and a Guide to Residential Wood Heating. Or Contact us to get it! 

Fortis BC Rebates Available in 2014!

If you exchange your old wood burning stove for an EnerChoice gas fireplace, you could qualify for a  $300 rebate from Fortis BC. Visit the Fortis BC program page for more information.

For more information on the Great Okanagan Woodstove Change Out Program and how wood smoke impacts our environment, go to  

Burn wood responsibly

If you are burning responsibly within your wood burning appliance there should be little or no smoke coming out of the chimney, except during a 15 minute start up period and occasionally when you add more fuel to the fire.

  • It is illegal to burn anything other than untreated, seasoned (dry) wood.
  • Wood must be split, stacked, properly covered to allow air flow at least 8 months and stored before burning. Print and follow the four easy steps to dry firewood and the clean and efficient heating checklist. 
  • The moisture content of the wood should be 20% or less. Ask for the moisture content of the wood to your firewood vendor/distributor before you buy!

The Wood Burning Best Practices pages have videos with great advice on preparing wood and woodstove use. 

Fireplace and Woodstove smoke complaints

If you suspect that someone is burning other than permitted wood burning appliances fuels, and releasing constant smoke use our service request system to report a problem

      Bylaw Enforcement Office (7 days per week - 24 hours per day)
      Tel:  250 469-8686 - follow the prompts  Fax: 250 862-3340

If you need more information, contact us.

Regional Air Quality Coordinator
250 469-8408

Printer-friendly Contact Us     Site Map     Plug-ins     Site Disclaimer     Privacy Policy