Lake Tahoe, Stateline, NV – With the onset of cooler temperatures, Lake Tahoe homeowners are encouraged to take advantage of rebates the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and partner jurisdictions are offering to help people replace older, heavily polluting wood burning stoves and fireplaces.
Inefficient wood stoves and open fireplaces are a substantial source of air pollution in the Lake Tahoe Basin. Their incomplete combustion of fuels results in elevated emissions of particulate matter, greenhouse gases, carbon monoxide, nitrogen, and other pollutants. Smoke from these old appliances can get trapped near the ground and surface of Lake Tahoe and decrease visibility and water clarity, particularly during atmospheric inversions that occur each winter.
Compared to older wood stoves and open fireplaces, newer, cleaner burning models of gas, pellet, and wood stoves and fireplace inserts certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency can burn one-third less fuel and cut emissions of pollutants by up to 50 percent. They are also safer, since their more complete combustion process reduces the buildup of flammable chimney deposits that can start house fires.
“Replacing older wood stoves with cleaner burning appliances yields multiple benefits such as cleaner indoor air, reduced air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions for the Lake Tahoe Basin, improved quality of life, and cost-savings from reduced fuel needs,” said Jennifer Cannon, program coordinator and an associate planner at TRPA.
The rebate program is anticipated to replace about 200 home heating appliances and reduce particulate matter emissions by an estimated five tons. Rebates for homeowners in the Tahoe Basin to replace older wood stoves with newer EPA-certified models range from $400 to $1,400. They are available on a first-come, first-served basis for owners of existing homes until program funding is depleted.
The rebate program is being administered by local agencies in the Tahoe Basin and eligibility requirements and rebate amounts vary by jurisdiction. Homeowners interested in the rebate programs are encouraged to contact their local office of air quality to find out if they are eligible prior to the purchase or installation of any new wood stove.
El Dorado County and South Lake Tahoe residents can contact Adam Baughman at the El Dorado County Air Quality Management District, 530-621-7571, firstname.lastname@example.org, to find out if they are eligible for the Chimney Smoke Reduction Incentive Program. More information is available online at www.edcgov.us/Government/AirQualityManagement/Grants_and_Incentive_Refunds.aspx?terms=wood%20stove.
Placer County residents can visit www.placer.ca.gov/departments/air and click on the link for the “New Wood Stove Replacement Program – Lake Tahoe” for updates, notifications, and information about the Burn Bright Burn Right Wood Stove Replacement Program.
The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency leads the cooperative effort to preserve, restore, and enhance the unique natural and human environment of the Lake Tahoe Region, while improving local communities, and people’s interactions with our irreplaceable environment. For additional information, call Tom Lotshaw, Public Information Officer, at 775-589-5278.