​Ont. to use carbon market funding for wood heating projects

TORONTO — The provincial government says funding from Ontario's participation in the carbon market is being used on four new wood heat pilot programs.

The government says the projects are designed to help people in northern, rural and Indigenous communities save on energy costs.

It says the programs will also fight climate change and improve air quality by reducing the use of greenhouse gas-intensive fuel sources and old, inefficient wood stoves.

The programs will operate in communities without access to natural gas that rely on a mix of wood, propane, fuel oil and diesel-generated electricity to heat homes and other buildings.

The Indigenous-led pilot programs will operate in Wiikwemkoong and Nishnawbe Aski Nation territory and offer free installation of new wood and pellet heating systems.

Another two municipally-led pilot programs will offer rebates for these systems to people in the northern Ontario communities of Wawa and Sioux Lookout.

“This project is a tremendous step forward in providing safer and healthier living conditions for our communities that rely on diesel power,” NAN deputy grand chief Derek Fox said Wednesday in a release.

“The communities that have received the wood stoves will see a reduction of the health, safety and environmental impacts associated with diesel generation,” he said.

© 2018 The Canadian Press