Lyz Hoffman, Public Information Officer, (805) 961-8819
APCD Launches Voluntary Wood Smoke Reduction Program
Program Provides Cash to Help Remove or Replace Fireplaces, Woodstoves
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — Today, the Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District (APCD) launched the Wood Smoke Reduction Program, a voluntary pilot program that encourages homeowners to “Heat Clean, Save Green” by providing $500-$1,000 in cash incentives to help them remove or replace their wood-burning fireplaces or woodstoves. The APCD Board of Directors approved the program at its March meeting.
In the fall and winter months, the APCD hears from people concerned about the health effects from wood smoke in their neighborhoods. Breathing in wood smoke — which contains gases and particulate matter — harms the lungs and heart. Wood smoke from fireplaces and woodstoves makes up nearly a third of wintertime fine particle pollution in Santa Barbara County, according to state data.
This local program is similar to other successful voluntary programs throughout California, and is in line with state efforts to reduce levels of both particulate matter and black carbon, a short-lived climate pollutant emitted when wood burns. Based on the success of this pilot program, the APCD hopes to position the region to receive additional funds to be allocated by the California Air Resources Board.
“This voluntary pilot program offers Santa Barbara County homeowners a great opportunity to help reduce wood smoke impacts in their neighborhoods,” said APCD Director Aeron Arlin Genet. “It’s a change that can make a big difference in your neighborhood.”
The APCD will provide qualified applicants a $1,000 check to help cover the costs of replacing a wood-burning stove or fireplace, or a $500 check to help cover the costs of removing it; actual replacement or removal costs will be higher than the incentive offered. Devices must meet the following requirements:
Qualified devices to be removed or replaced:
- Operable woodstoves (conventional, catalytic, non-catalytic, and pellet)
- Operable wood-burning fireplaces (open hearth and fireplace insert)
Qualified devices to install as a replacement:
- Natural gas or propane fireplace inserts*
- Natural gas or propane free-standing heating stoves*
- Electric heat pumps
*The new device must be heater-rated and comply with the American National Standard ANSI Z21.88/CSA 2.33 (Vented Gas Fireplace Heaters)
Incentive funds will not be awarded to install the following devices:
- EPA-certified woodstoves
- Electric fireplaces
- Ethanol fireplaces
- Gas logs (for decorative purposes)
Other elements of the program include the following:
- Incentive funding will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, based on the date on which the APCD deems the application complete, until funds for this limited pilot program are exhausted.
- Funds will be awarded only after the pre-approved project is complete, and the applicant has met all requirements.
- Submission of an application does not guarantee incentive funding.
- The applicant must be the legal owner of the residential property in which the project will occur.
- Only one voucher will be issued per applicant and/or property.
- The wood-burning device for removal or replacement must be operable and indoors.