Local firms Certainly Wood and Oaktree Stoves both welcome the recent announcement by DEFRA that it plans to encourage the use of cleaner fuels and phase out the sale of wet wood and coal for domestic burning.
Coal and wet wood are the two most polluting fuels and will be phased out between 2021 and 2023. However, both companies would like to emphasise the fact that many of the headlines have taken the news out of context and some suggest that wood burning stoves are to be banned.
This is definitely not the case, but the news from DEFRA paves the way for more positive news about woodburning and how wood burning stoves can actually be part of the solution, not the problem.
For clarification, the purpose of the new legislation is as follows:
- To stop the sale of all pre-packaged traditional bituminous 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 2m3 (loose stacked) must have a moisture content below 20%.
- Implement a national requirement for certified controlled sulphur content and a smoke emission limit on manufactured solid fuels (as currently only applies in Smoke Control Areas)
Paul Frazier from Oaktree stoves says: “Whilst good news about the fuel I am really concerned for my business that so many people still think that wood burning stoves are about to be banned and it’s simply not true. All my stock complies with the new regulation Ecodesign stoves that will reduce particulate emissions by up to 90 percent compared to an open fire and will need significantly fewer logs to produce the same amount of heat, but of course the logs must be dry.”
In terms of fuel quality Nic Snell from Certainly Wood adds: “Yes, good news because from an environmental perspective we need to address the concerns of particulate emissions from domestic wood burning and with the new Ecodesign design stoves and this new legislation getting people to only buy wood that is below 20 percent moisture content and Woodsure/Ready to Burn approved will have a massive impact and allay any fears about burning wood.”
“Negative media coverage which at times has been grossly mis-reported has been damaging to the industry and we need a balanced and realistic approach to reducing CO2 emissions and burning wood, a totally renewable and sustainable source of fuel must be a positive way forward to help reduce reliance on fossil fuels.”
To help homeowners make informed choices by getting the best advice, the Stove Industry Alliance (SIA) has recently set up the SIA Retail Group.
Members of this network of quality independent showrooms have made a commitment to ensuring all appliances they sell meet or exceed current legal requirements, will offer personalised advice on choosing the right stoves, will only use or recommend qualified competent persons to carry out installations and will provide advice on using the stove and choosing the right fuel.
A full list of members can be found here.
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