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Industry bodies welcome new legislation

The government’s plan to ban coal and wet wood for domestic burning has been welcomed by two industry bodies, Heating Equipment Testing and Approvals Scheme (HETAS) and the Stove Industry Alliance (SIA).

Coal and wet wood are the two most polluting fuels and these will be phased out between 2021 and 2023.

The SIA would like to emphasise that modern Ecodesign compliant wood burning stoves burning the correct fuel continue to be a very sound environmental heating solution. Ecodesign ready stoves produce 90 per cent less emissions than an open fire and are a very low carbon method of heating using a totally renewable and sustainable fuel.

For clarification the purpose of the legislation announced is as follows:

  • To stop the sale of all pre-packaged traditional bituminous house coal (with a ban on loose sales via coal merchants to be applied at a later date).
  • Ensure that wood sold in single units under two metres cubes (loose stacked) must have a moisture content of 20 per cent or less.
  • Implement a national requirement for certified controlled sulphur content and a smoke emission limit on manufactured solid fuels (as currently applies in Smoke Conrol Areas).
  • The SIA encourages the public to burn approved dry wood and smokeless fuel in a modern SIA Ecodesign Ready appliance. By doing so they ensure the maximum efficiency of their appliance while significantly reducing particulate emissions.

Morley Sage, chair of the SIA, commented: “We welcome today’s announcement that will see the most polluting fuels phased out and encourage homeowners to use approved dry wood. As an industry that employs over 25,000 people across manufacturing, retailing, installation and servicing, headlines that suggest that wood burning stoves are being banned are not only categorically untrue, they are also very damaging to people’s jobs and livelihoods.

“The stove industry is committed to continuous appliance improvement as evidenced by the introduction of the SIA Ecodesign Ready scheme which clearly identifies appliances that already meet the strict Ecodesign standards that come into force in 2022.

“An Ecodesign Ready appliance used with properly seasoned wood fuel reduces particulate emissions by up to 90 per cent compared to an open fire and will need significantly fewer logs to produce the same amount of heat.”

Additionally, Bruce Allen, chief executive of Heating Equipment Testing and Approvals Scheme (HETAS) and Woodsure, said: “It’s important we take action, in the context of the climate emergency globally, to reduce the environmental impact of burning at home and these new measures will help people make better fuel choices.

“Trade professionals are ideally placed to educate householders about environmentally responsible burning. Directing people to Woodsure Ready to Burn fuel or Hetas Approved smokeless fuels is an easy way to help them meet the new rules.

“The right fuel is just one part of the picture, HETAS also works to encourage the cleanest appliances, installed by HETAS Installers and swept and serviced by HETAS registered professionals.

“The good news is that woodburning stoves are becoming much cleaner, with manufacturers working hard to meet new efficiency standards, and are much less polluting than open fires. HETAS verifies independent test reports and certifies modern stoves that meet the highest standards for efficiency as HETAS EcoDesign Compliant. These are easy to find on the HETAS website.”

25 February 2020

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