Rural residents save money, energy upgrading old wood stoves

WEST CARLETON – The City of Ottawa approved a program that will allow those who love wood heat to save money and energy by upgrading their old wood-burning stove.

Last Friday (April 26), the Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association of Canada, with funding support from the City of Ottawa, launched the Ottawa Wood Burning Changeout program in West Carleton.

The program, open to all rural residents of Ottawa, provides a financial incentive in the form of a rebate to encourage residents to replace an old, inefficient wood burning appliance with a new, certified appliance. Pre-1992 wood stoves have limited controls on smoke emissions.

“In contrast, today’s modern stoves and fireplaces cut emissions by more than 70 per cent,” public affairs director Adam De Caire said. “Installing CSA/EPA-certified wood burning appliances have dramatic impacts on the indoor and outdoor air quality of communities, and woodstove changeout programs are proven to incentivize investment. In addition to the environmental benefit, there is also a financial benefit to home owners, as new appliances are more efficient, requiring less wood to produce the same amount of heat.”

The program provides a rebate of up to 25 per cent of the cost of purchasing and installing a new, certified wood burning appliance, to a maximum cap of $750. The program also benefits Ottawa area businesses, which serve as the exclusive retailers for the program. Applicants will also be required to prove their old outgoing appliance is properly disposed of, to ensure they are permanently removed from circulation.

“They’re more efficient in terms of the heat they produce,” Clive Gadcoe told West Carleton Online from Harding The Fireplace at 2755 Carp Rd. “You’ve got some really good retailers that are going to help with the change out.”

New wood-burning fireplaces produce 10 per cent less emissions than their older counterparts.

“They are more efficient in terms of the heat they produce,” The Fireplace Centre’s Andy Cotnam said. “They provide better value in terms of heating costs. We’re getting rid of that cloud of smoke. A good burning stove you won’t see smoke. There’s more technology than people think. You have a lot of control over the heat that’s put out.”

Mayor Jim Watson feels the program fits in well with the city’s goal.

“This program is a very practical investment that will have a positive and measurable environmental impact, both in short and long-term,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “Having Ottawa businesses as exclusive retailers shows how environmental and economic benefits don’t have to be at odds with one another.”

The program will also feature a number of educational sessions on best burning practices, proper use of the appliances, proper preparation and storage of fuel, and more. For full program details, list of participating retailers, and to apply, click here.

“Residents in our rural communities will really appreciate the chance to have a new appliance that provides the same comfortable heat, using less fuel than their old appliance, and with greatly reduced emissions,” said Coun. Eli El-Chantiry, Chair of the City of Ottawa’s Agriculture and Rural Affairs committee. “And the fact that these new appliances all come from small, local Ottawa businesses makes the program ideal.”