VENTURA COUNTY, Calif. – The Air Pollution Control District is incentivizing Ventura County residents to switch over to cleaner-burning devices rather than wood-burning fireplaces and stoves as a primary source of heat.
The APCD said it will offer residents up to $5,000 to make the switch.
More information is available in the press release attached from the APCD:
Smoke from burning wood contains major air pollutants including carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, fine particles and volatile organic compounds such as benzene and formaldehyde. These pollutants have the potential for serious adverse health effects, most commonly related to the respiratory system. Additionally, volatile organic compounds react with oxides in nitrogen in the presence of sunlight to form ozone, which injures lungs and makes breathing difficult.
Burning wood is also an inefficient way to produce heat. Most of the heat energy is used to dry wood before it burns, and fireplaces send a lot of the hot air up the chimney.
To reduce emissions and the negative impact on people's health, the district is partnering with the California Air Resources Board (CARB) Woodsmoke Reduction Program to award a total of $95,000 in vouchers through May.
Residents who live in Ventura County communities designated as disadvantaged or low-income by CARB or who meet other income requirements are eligible for enhanced vouchers of $5,000, which can cover a substantial portion of the cost of purchase, installation and permits. Standard vouchers provide $1,000.
The vouchers can be used for installation of natural gas or propane fireplace inserts or stoves; electric stoves, fireplace inserts or ductless mini-split heat pumps; or wood or pellet stoves or inserts that meet EPA requirements. They must replace open-heart fireplaces or free-standing wood stoves or wood stove inserts that are not EPA certified. District retail partner Chimney Savers Inc. must install devices.
The vouchers will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.
The program is part of California Climate Investments, which puts billions of cap-and-trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy and improving public health and the environment — particularly in disadvantaged communities.
The county district protects public health and agriculture from air pollution by identifying problems and developing plans to achieve state and federal standards.