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HETAS welcomes draft Environment Bill

HETAS, the solid fuel safety and standards organisation, has welcomed the government's draft Environment Bill presented by secretary of state for environment, food and rural affairs on October 15.

Chief executive Bruce Allen said: “We see the draft Environment Bill as another step in the right direction. Like us, the government shares priorities to address the problem of poor fuel and improve understanding among fuel consumers. Chimney sweeps, in particular, were identified as a powerful opportunity for making information available to householders, helping them burn fuels at home in an environmentally responsible way.

“HETAS and Woodsure were very much involved in the Defra consultations which led to the draft bill and we are already taking actions to contribute to these areas.

“The HETAS approved chimney sweep scheme is our fastest growing registration scheme, and our sweeps provide information as well as carrying out safety checks in the home. We are encouraging sweeps to also service wood and biomass burning appliances at the same time as sweeping to improve their safety and efficiency.

“This year we’ve opened our approved chimney sweep scheme up to more sweeps who can demonstrate they have the training and experience required. Our website provides a search facility to help people easily find a HETAS approved sweep. We’re also making it easier for sweeps to identify fuel and safety problems by providing a technical helpline and guidance to pass on to consumers, with plans for a mobile technology solution in the pipeline.

“Our Woodsure fuel quality assurance arm, with its ‘Ready to Burn’ dry wood fuel assurance scheme, is already helping consumers identify dry wood fuel (up to 20 per cent moisture content) and our HETAS mineral fuel scheme lists smokeless mineral fuels not exceeding 2 per cent sulphur.

“It’s important that we all work together to meet the government’s targets for clean air. At HETAS, we promote the highest standards for fuel, appliances and people to encourage the safe, efficient and environmentally responsible use of biomass and other solid fuels.”

30 October 2019

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