CVRD is offering rebates to those switching from wood-burning appliances to heat pumps. (File photo)

Rebates offered to Cowichan residents to switch from wood-burning appliances to heat pumps

Initiative intended to help deal with health issues

Starting this week, up to $2,000 per household is available to help Cowichan residents make the switch from wood-burning home appliances to heat pumps.

Motivated by health concerns associated with poor air quality in the Cowichan Valley during the winter when wood heating is prevalent, the Cowichan Valley Regional District is continuing its wood-stove replacement rebate program in 2020 with increased incentives.

The primary concern with wood burning is the release of fine particulate matter, which can travel deep into the lungs, making it harder for people to breath, triggering asthma and heart attacks, and causing chronic illnesses.

In the Cowichan Valley, hospital admission rates for children with respiratory illness is 70 per cent higher than the B.C. average, and chronic respiratory illness for people over 45 years of age is 50 per cent more common than in B.C. as a whole.

“We’re proud of the success we’ve seen through this program since it began in 2009, as it’s helped to replace 1,100 smoky old wood stoves across the region,” said Aaron Stone, chairman of the CVRD.

“This year we’re providing additional support to those homes making the transition to heat pumps, helping to clear the air as well as reduce the carbon footprint of our communities.”

To streamline the wood stove rebate program with initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the CVRD will no longer offer rebates for replacing wood stoves with gas or propane heating appliances.

A $300 rebate, plus a $50 retailer discount, is available to residents who upgrade old wood stoves with cleaner, EPA-certified wood or pellet appliances.

For those households replacing wood-burning appliances with heat pumps, the 2020 program offers a $1,850 rebate, plus a $150 retailer discount.

“Efforts to improve local air quality, such as replacing smoky wood stoves for cleaner home heating, can benefit health overall in the Cowichan Valley,” said Dr. Shannon Waters, medical health officer for the Cowichan Valley region.

“An added bonus with a heat pump is that it can also cool your house, which is important as summers are predicted to become increasingly hotter.”

For more information about the CVRD’s wood stove rebate program, home heating and real-time air quality in the Cowichan Valley, visit


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Get ready to enjoy the ride and laugh along with Brentwood’s ‘Spamalot’

Spamalot is a twisted musical take on the tales of King Arthur.

Cowichan T-Birds return to provincials

After an absence of two decades, Cowichan Secondary School’s senior girls basketball… Continue reading

Cowichan leaders call on province to help with homelessness, addiction

Cowichan Leadership Group wants meetings with 10 provincial ministries

Province kicks in $750,000 for new flood gate on Canada Avenue in Duncan

Gate part of a new $1.9-million flood mitigation plan

Rail disruptions expected to continue after new protest sites emerge

Nationwide rail and road blockades have been popping up for weeks

B.C. man who pulled a gun on off-duty cop gets two years in prison

Encounter also lead police to a home where 100 guns and explosives were found

Protecting privacy key to stopping spread of COVID-19, B.C. health officials say

The number of coronavirus cases in B.C. remains at seven

COLUMN: Forestry no longer close to top of B.C.’s economy

Our reactions to a forestry downturn reflect the past, not the present

Caught on camera: Police release video of man who allegedly stole seaplane in Vancouver

Police say the man broke into the Harbour Air terminal and then got into one of the seaplanes in the harbour

51 health professionals send letter to Trudeau, Horgan panning northern B.C. pipeline

They point to studies about the health and climate change risks from pipeline

Fake meat and a latte? Starbucks adds Beyond Meat in Canada

The Seattle roaster has talked about introducing plant-based patties in the U.S., but has yet to do so

Groundhogs got it wrong: spring isn’t coming soon, Weather Network says

The only part of B.C. to warm up early will be Victoria

Most Read