Older-style Wood Burners Need Replacing

Anyone still using an older-style wood burner in Rangiora or Kaiapoi is being urged to check the rules and contact Environment Canterbury for help.

Environment Canterbury air quality director Katherine Trought says older-style wood burners aged 15 years and up are now banned from being used in Rangiora and Kaiapoi clean air zones on properties measuring under two hectares.

Low emission wood burners can be used until they are 20 years old or until 1 January 2019 – whichever is later – and ultra-low emission wood burners can be used indefinitely under the current rules.

Replacement options:

  • If you have an older-style wood burner that was installed more than 15 years ago, it can only be replaced with an ultra-low emission wood burner or an alternative such as a heat pump.
  • If you have an older-style wood burner that is fewer than 15 years old, you can get a building consent to replace it with a low emission burner but only if you apply before it turns 15 and before 19 December 2018. If this deadline is missed, you would need to choose an ultra-low emission burner or an alternative form of heating such as a heat pump.
  • If you currently have a low emission wood burner, it could be replaced by another low emission burner but only if a building consent is applied for by 19 December 2018. This might be something to consider if your low emission burner is nearing 20 years of age and you want to get the same model again for another 20 years.

Ms Trought says, “We understand that upgrading to cleaner heating technology is not easy or affordable for everyone. With winter upon us, we want to hear from anyone who has an older-style burner that has reached – or will soon reach – 15 years of age, so we can talk through the support available and put their mind at ease.”

Temporary waivers are being offered to some homeowners or tenants in the Waimakariri district who do not have a compliant heat source due to exceptional circumstances like poor health or financial hardship.

“A temporary waiver enables use of the existing wood burner for a limited time provided certain conditions are met, such as agreeing to burn smoke-free,” says Ms Trought.

Low-income tenants or homeowners in Kaiapoi and Rangiora may also be eligible for financial subsidies. Homeowners may also be able to add the cost of a new home heating appliance, insulation or ventilation to their rates bill later this year if Environment Canterbury’s proposed Healthier Homes Canterbury initiative is adopted.

Ms Trought says “Winter air quality in the Waimakariri District is improving, thanks to those who have switched to cleaner forms of home heating such as ultra-low emission burners or heat pumps. Our communities have welcomed the decline in high pollution nights over the past decade, and we are all looking forward to more progress in future years.”

Contact Environment Canterbury on 0800 329 276 for help.

Not sure if you're located in the Clean Air Zone? Check out the map below which shoes the boundaries.

Contact: Environment Canterbury

Phone: 0800 329 276

Email: ecinfo@ecan.govt.nz