Enel X removes over 10,000 wood-burning stoves, replacing them at no charge with air-conditioning systems to improve the air quality in the Metropolitan Region

Published on Thursday, 26 August 2021

  • This initiative is carried out through the Emissions Offsetting Program (PCE), created by the Ministry of the Environment to allow companies to offset emissions in projects submitted to the SEIA for evaluation, in order to benefit thousands of families from different communities around the Metropolitan Region.


Santiago, August 26, 2021 - The Minister of the Environment, Carolina Schmidt, along with the CEO of Enel X, Karla Zapata; the CEO of AZA, Hermann von Mühlenbrock, and the representative of SOFOFA, Jorge Cáceres, performed an inspection at the AZA steel plant, where the 10,000th wood-burning stove removed by Enel X was melted down after being replaced at no charge with hot/cold air-conditioning systems to benefit thousands of families in the Metropolitan Region.

The initiative is framed within the Heater Exchange Plan of the Emissions Offsetting Program (PCE), which is focused on residential actions to help decontaminate cities in Chile.

“There is no industry or sector that does not need to transform to address climate change, and here we see how this program operates, on the one hand, from a logic of circular economy, taking advantage of what was once seen as waste, and also with the reduction of emissions produced by replacing wood-burning stoves with systems that use cleaner energy and contaminate less,” says Minister of the Environment, Carolina Schmidt.

The program, which is framed within the Atmospheric Prevention and Decontamination Plan (PPDA) for Santiago, allows companies registered with the SEIA to offset the emissions generated by their projects and operations. It is also an example of the type of project that could be facilitated by regulations to allow for the implementation of the first national carbon market in Chile. In fact, the citizen participation process opens up today, and through September 3rd, for comment on regulations regarding offsetting for the green tax on fixed sources, and can be found at https://consultasciudadanas.mma.gob.cl/

“Electricity is the only energy that, since it is not combustion-based, does not contaminate inside or outside the home. For this reason, it is important to continue encouraging the replacement of wood-burning stoves with air-conditioning systems, which not only help decontaminate cities, but also offer the double function of heating in the winter and cooling in the summer,” says Karla Zapata, CEO of Enel X.

Since the program began in 2017, it has benefited families from 12 communities in the Metropolitan Regions: Colina, Lampa, Til Til, Peñaflor, Talagante, Calera de Tango. El Monte, Buin, Padre Hurtado, María Pinto, Curacaví, and Melipilla.

The more than 10,000 replacements made by Enel X have helped prevent the emission of 221 tons of MP2.5 and 35,849 tons of CO2. Moreover, this plan follows a circular economy logic, since the stoves that are removed are recycled and melted down to produce steel bars that can be reused in the construction industry.

“We are not only decontaminating the country, but we're also bring joy and wellbeing to hundreds of families in an alliance between the government, private parties, and trade associations, where we have accomplished a lot and continue moving forward,” explains the CEO of AZA, Hermann von Mühlenbrock.

The Director of the SOFOFA Center for the Environment, Jorge Cáceres concludes that, “this program looks to take a substantial leap towards sustainability, as a program that was designed in the Metropolitan Region, but that we hope to replicate in other regions of the country.”

About Enel X

Enel X is the global line of business of the Enel Group that offers services to accelerate innovation and drive the energy transition. Enel X, as a global leader in the advanced energy solutions sector, manages demand response services, with a total capacity of 6 GW and 124 MW of installed storage capacity around the world, as well as 175,000 charging stations for public and private e-vehicles available at the global level.