The Bay of Plenty Regional Council is reminding homeowners in the Rotorua Airshed that this is the last winter households can use non-compliant wood and coal burners.
Rotorua has a wintertime air quality problem which is caused by burners which burn wood or coal and emit PM10 particulate matter.
The pollution affects the most vulnerable in the community, including the elderly, young children and those with pre-existing respiratory and heart conditions are most at risk when air pollutants are high.
Bay of Plenty Regional Council Senior Regulatory Project Officer, Marion Henton, said there were roughly 3000 non-compliant wood and coal burners left in the Rotorua Airshed which cannot be used after January 31, 2020.
“For over ten years we have been working on this complex issue with the help of Rotorua Lakes Council, the local community and other key stakeholders to upgrade and replace old, smoky fires to cleaner technology”.
Mrs Henton said the Bay of Plenty Regional Council has two schemes that help homeowners remove and replace non-compliant burners.
The Hot Swap Scheme
To improve Rotorua’s air quality, old wood/coal burners can be swapped for either a new low-emission burner or alternative heating, such as far-infrared electric heating.
Hot Swap is a loan offered to Rotorua ratepayers whose properties are in the Rotorua Airshed. Appliance supply and installation cost goes onto the property rates and can be paid back over ten years. Some loans are interest-free, and some are interest-bearing.
The Low Income Heating Grant
The Bay of Plenty Regional Council also offers a Low Income Heating Grant to owner-occupiers who meet specific criteria.
What is a non-complaint wood burner?
If your house is within the Rotorua Airshed and you have a wood burner that was installed before September 1 2005, then the wood burner is deemed non-compliant. You will not be able to use that wood burner after January 31 2020.
Indoor open fires, chip heaters, coal ranges and Marshall heaters are illegal to use now.
To see if your home is located in the Rotorua Airshed boundary, please refer to the diagram below.