Metro Vancouver regulates wood burning fireplaces and stoves
Across Metro Vancouver neighbourhoods, some residents use wood for heating and cooking to supplement expensive utility costs and as back up if the power goes out.
To mitigate air pollution and reduce impacts to health and the environment of residential wood smoke, Metro Vancouver has passed a Residential Indoor Wood Burning Emission Bylaw 1303.
Phased-in bylaw requirements
Wood heating banned
May 15 to September 15 each year: the use of wood for heating or cooking is banned in Metro Vancouver.
Burning wood indoors
September 16 to May 14 each year, residents can burn wood indoors only according to Schedule B of the bylaw, which details emissions, types of wood products permitted, types of fires, prohibition of burning garbage, inspection and maintenance, and more.
Residents must register wood burning appliances
Beginning September 2022, Metro Vancouver residents in these communities within the urban containment boundaries must register their wood burning appliances.
To qualify for registration, the appliance must meet performance standards to ensure emissions are low.
Unregistered appliances not allowed
Beginning September 2025, unregistered appliances won’t be allowed to operate, except during emergencies, or if the appliance is operated within a low-income household.
The Village of Lions Bay, which is classified as a rural area by Metro Vancouver, has an extension to 2032 because of the Village’s history of, and ongoing problems with power outages.
Municipalities outside the urban containment boundaries or areas of municipalities outside the urban containment boundaries are also exempt.
If you hope to use wood stoves and fireplaces in the coming years, be advised that as of 2025 wood stoves and wood heating will be regulated in urban areas of Metro Vancouver. All wood burning stoves, heating units and fireplaces must conform to clean burning standards as specified in Metro Vancouver’s bylaw 1303, and must be registered with Metro Vancouver. Unregistered wood burning apparatus will be prohibited.
Alternative methods such as electricity and renewable energy sources such as geothermal and solar power as well as heat pumps will be required by 2025.
Provincial wood stove exchange program
- $250 for changing to a cleaner-burning wood stove;
- $400 for changing to a qualifying electric heat pump, gas, propane stove or pellet-fueled stove; and
- $500 for those who live in “red zone” communities. Learn more.
BC Hydro and FortisBC rebates
Rebates are available for heat pumps, insulation, draft-proofing, and hot water heaters, along with a $300 bonus offer for making two eligible upgrades within 18 months. Learn more.
- Read about the bylaw and best practices.
- Read about seasonal restrictions.
- Visit Metro Vancouver’s Residential Wood Burning bylaw website.
- Read Bylaw No. 1303, 2020: A Bylaw to Regulate the Discharge of Air Contaminants from Residential Indoor Wood Burning Appliances (opens 10-page pdf).