The answer is NO!
Wood burning stoves are not going to be banned.
The latest and final version of the Clean Air Strategy has led many to worry that their log burning days are over. On the contrary, SIA EcoDesign ready stoves are actually part of the solution, not part of the problem. The report states that by 2022, all new log burners must limit their emissions to an agreed level, something the most efficient stoves on the market are already doing. So, in the wake of recent news articles, we decided to clear up any confusion behind recent claims that wood burning stoves are going to be banned.
Some of the main points are:
- Only the cleanest stoves will continue to be sold in the UK from 2022
- Regulations will be in place to limit the most unclean solid fuels in favour of more efficient ‘Ready to Burn’ logs
- You will be allowed to continue using a log burner in your home EcoDesign stoves already exceed low emission targets and are supported by the Mayor of London
- The stove industry is working with the government to cooperate on new measures
Here at Home Fires Jersey, we are also already doing our part by offering our Stove Scrappage Scheme. If you scrap your old stove for a new EcoDesign ready stove, you will benefit from 10% off the price of your new log burner!
The Clean Air Strategy has been in development for some time. Led by Michael Gove, it has been researched by DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs) and has been making rumbles for a while. However, this week the final version was released, leaving in its wake a flurry of news stories claiming our wood burners are going to be banned.
As you may have gathered, though, this is not the case.
Stoves are just one part of the Clean Air Strategy. It also covers new regulations across communications, our power sources, transportation, farming and industrial processes. The aim is to drive down different pollutants being emitted from a number of sources, all of which have been shown to have a negative effect on public health and the environment.
This is what the report states as its objective when it comes to domestic pollution:
“The government’s objective is to raise awareness of the potential impacts of air pollution at home and ensure that consumers are armed with reliable information enabling them to make informed choices to protect themselves, their families and their neighbours.”
How Much Do Wood Burning Stoves Contribute to Air Pollution?
So, why have stoves drawn so much attention from the Clean Air Strategy? How much air pollution are they really giving off?
The report acknowledges that there are different types of pollution in our air which all come from different sources. However, one figure that caused something of a stir was the statistic that 38% of primary particulate matter (anything in the air which isn’t gas) currently comes from domestic wood and coal burning. This poses a major health concern as it can easily be breathed in and damage our lungs.
However, the Clean Air Strategy also acknowledges that all stoves are not necessarily a problem! SIA Ecodesign stoves are known to significantly reduce dangerous emissions, making them much cleaner than an open fireplace or an old fashioned stove.
Open fireplaces will no longer be sold in the UK from 2022.
Will I Still Be Able To Use My Wood Burner?
Yes, you will still be able to use your wood burner. As the Stove Industry Alliance points out, this is not a ban but simply the introduction of tighter regulations – something which happens to all industries.
As part of a strategy to clean up Britain’s air, the report has laid out the following new requirements:
- Legislation will be brought in to prohibit the sale of the most polluting fuels
- Only the cleanest stoves will be available for sale by 2022
- Smoke control legislation will be easier to enforce
- Local authorities will have more power in areas with higher pollution
- DEFRA will work across the government to align their aims
- Awareness of the environmental impact of wood burning will be improved
- New tests will be required for new fuels
The second point on this list has led some reports to claim that stoves will be banned. Rather, it means that from the year 2022, all new stoves sold in the UK must meet the agreed emissions standards. SIA EcoDesign stoves are already doing this.
If you already have a stove installed in your home, you will be allowed to keep using it. However, you will only be allowed to burn certain fuels on it. It is already recommended that you only burn wood with a moisture content of 20% or less to limit the amount of smoke you produce. Coal, meanwhile, has been identified as the dirtiest fuel, and will be subject to new regulations.
The following extract from the Clean Air report explains more:
“Not all forms of domestic burning are equally polluting. The appliance (for example, stove or fireplace), how well it is used and maintained, and what fuels are burnt in it, all make a big difference to how much pollution is produced… There are simple steps that households can take to limit emissions both indoors and out. Using cleaner fuels, in a cleaner appliance which is installed by a competent person, knowing how to operate it efficiently, and ensuring that chimneys are regularly swept, will all make a big difference.”
You can read DEFRA’s guide to wood burning here to find more information on burning cleaner fuels.
You can find some tips for making sure your wood burner is running as environmentally friendly as possible on this blog post.
What is the Stove Industry Doing to Help?
The Stove Industry Alliance has been working alongside DEFRA for a long time. As a result of this, DEFRA approved and EcoDesign ready stoves are already available and contributing to lowering air pollution. There are many designs available and their higher efficiency can save you money, too.
In addition, the Woodsure Ready to Burn Scheme has begun to certify producers of logs with low moisture content. In order to receive this mark of approval, the wood must have been seasoned for 2 years, which can reduce emissions by up to 50%.
Chimney sweeping associations are also on board and last year attended a meeting with DEFRA to discuss how they can help reduce emissions, too. The industry is taking health concerns over wood burning seriously, so by 2022, you will have everything you need to help keep the air clean.
Find out more about EcoDesign stoves on this blog post.
Nobody is going to force you to remove your wood burning stove from your home.
However, there are a few main takeaways of the Clean Air Strategy to bear in mind:
- An EcoDesign stove is the best way to enjoy wood burning at home and produces a fraction of the fumes an open fire emits
- From the year 2022, all new stoves being sold in the UK must adhere to low emission levels
- The use of the most unclean fuels, such as coal, will be regulated
For more information on SIA EcoDesign stoves, give our expert sales team a call on 07797836872 or email us to: firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to help you.