Homeowners in the San Lorenzo Valley can apply to save $1,000 or more for replacing old wood stoves or fireplaces with a stove fueled by natural gas, propane or pellets.
But the funding is limited, so official are encouraging homeowners to consider these improvements sooner rather than later, before the funds run out. The Monterey Bay Air Resources District has set aside $75,000 for this program, now in its sixth year.
The wood smoke program helps improve air quality in the San Lorenzo Valley by subsidizing the replacement of residential wood stoves with cleaner-burning alternatives
The money is limited to the San Lorenzo Valley, which every year routinely has some of the worst winter air quality in the state because of wood stoves and fireplaces.
In 2015, there were eight days in the winter months when mountain air did not meet federal quality standards. In previous years, the numbers of bad-air days had been as high as 40.
Residents of Ben Lomond, Boulder Creek, Brookdale, Felton, Mount Hermon, Lompico and Zayante are eligible.
Discounts are available through participating local dealers, and the incentive subsidies are available on a first-come, first-served basis until the money runs out.
Homeowners qualified by Central Coast Energy Services as part of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program are eligible for the highest incentive, up to $2,500.
 For the past several years, the Monterey Bay Air Resources District has allocated its entire funding for changing out wood stoves to the San Lorenzo Valley, which has the worst air pollution problem in Santa Cruz County.
“The funding is appreciated – and important – given the geography of the Valley that literally holds smoke inside,” said Fifth District County Supervisor Bruce McPherson.
To apply for the funds, contact a local dealer, or go to www.Mbard.org

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