What's the #1 Air-Pollution Source in Montreal During Winter? Old Wood Stoves and Fireplaces

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Cash for Burners

In Montréal, Canada, the biggest source of air pollution during the winter is not the industrial or transportation sector. It's old, inefficient wood stoves and fireplaces. They release so much particulate matter in the air that the provincial government, along with NGO partner Équiterre, has decided to offer cash incentives for people to replace their old stoves and fireplaces with modern models that have much better combustion characteristics and don't pollute as much.

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It's not just a question of air quality either. Old stoves and fireplaces are inefficient; if you're going to be burning wood to keep warm during the winter, the green thing to do is to make sure that as much of the heat that is produced by combustion is released into your home and isn't going out the chimney. Wasting wood is just as inelegant as wasting fossil fuels, or even electricity from renewable sources. While, say, wasting wind power doesn't create more pollution, the opportunity cost is real, and the wasted energy won't go to displace polluting one, or won't be used to do useful things.

How Much Cash in Incentives?

The Québec Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment, and Parks (yeah, epic job title), Pierre Arcand, has said that incentives between CAD$300 and $900 would be offered. The program will be managed by Équiterre and they have funds of 6 million Canadian dollars at their disposal, which hopefully mean that a lot of hyper-polluting old stoves and fireplaces will be traded in.

You can find out more on the site of the program: FeuVert.

Via Radio-Canada (French)

See also: Air-Purifying Road Surface Eats 45% of NOx Pollution

Tags: Air Pollution | Air Quality | Montreal