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  • Writer's pictureFire By Design

Ban on wood stoves? The truth!

Updated: May 15

There has been a large amount of speculation regarding the Clean air strategy and the worry that they are banning woodburners. We alone have received many calls from existing, past and future customers that want answers.

“I have a stove that you supplied 2 years ago.. what happens to my stove? Can I not use it?”

“You are quoting on an appliance is it ok to have this or do I need to change to an SIA approved Model?”

“I don’t want a wood fire any more can I switch to gas?” 

Of course we can help with all these queries and are happy to answers any of the questions that you have regarding selecting an appliance, using it, looking after it and anything else. 

We have been working alongside all of our manufacturers and have been aware of the act coming into place for many years now. Our team have been attending training for these new appliances and have seen a large amount of products that have already been through the testing and are ECODESIGN READY! 

“Government statistics have indicated that nationally 40% of wood is burnt on open fires.

This rises to 70% when it comes to London, despite the fact that burning wood on an open fire is not permitted under the current Clean Air Act.” – SIA (Stove Industry Alliance)

On the 22nd May 2018 the Environment Secretary Michael Gove published a Clean Air Strategy which aims to cut air pollution and save lives, backed up through new primary legislation. What does the strategy say and how will it impact you?

The new strategy is a key part of Defra’s 25 Year Plan to leave our environment in a better state than we found it. HETAS, Woodsure and The Stove Industry Alliance have all been consulting with Defra for some time now and once again Defra has clarified they are not looking to implement a ban on wood stoves.

Just to clarify there is – No ban on wood stoves. The Clean Air Strategy summarises actions to reduce emissions from domestic burning, clearly identifying there is no intention to ban wood burning stoves.

The key points:

Legislate to prohibit sale of the most polluting fuels.

Ensure that only the cleanest stoves are available for sale by 2022.

Give new powers to local authorities to take action in areas of high pollution, bringing legislation into the 21st century with more flexible, proportionate enforcement powers.

Work with industry to identify an appropriate test standard for new solid fuels entering the market.

Ensure that consumers understand what they can do to reduce their impact from burning.

The strategy also suggests Defra will give local authorities powers to go further in areas of high pollution – for example exploring what further steps government can take to enable local authorities to encourage ‘no burn days’ during high-pollution episodes. Published by HETAS on July 6th, 2018 by Alun

“Key to the Defra strategy is also educating homeowners to burn only wood with a moisture content below 20% and having their chimney swept on a regular basis by a registered chimney sweep. Following this advice will maximise the environmental benefits of a SIA Ecodesign Ready stove.” SIA

You can read the entire Clean Air Strategy here. You will find wood burning stoves and the fuel used on them covered in Section 6 – Reducing Emissions At Home, specifically pages 58-63 To Summarise:

  1. Are you using an open fire? Contact us for an alternative. You should stop using this. 

  2. Is your fire over 10years old or in poor condition? Contact us to consider a new appliance, not all appliances of this age need replacing.

  3. Do you know the moisture content of what you are burning?  We are able to advise and supply ready to burn fuel.

  4. Need a new appliance? We can guide you through the process of choosing the most efficient stoves on the market and many of ours already exceed the 2022 Clean Air Strategy.

  5. Where do you stand if you already own a stove or are having one installed before 2022 and it doesn’t comply with the Clean Air Act? We would suggest: If the fire is under 10 years old, properly installed and in working order – you should carry on using it. If the fire is over 10 years old – have it serviced and give it a health check (we can do this for you). Compare its efficiency against news models. If it is similar or 70%+ and in good order – carry on using you fire. There is no legislation or restrictions in place to stop you using these appliances with good quality fuels. Low efficiency appliances and those in poor order should be considered for replacement.

fire BY DESIGN see the Clean Air Act as a very positive policy for our business and the environment, fully supporting the measures.

We are already working towards only stocking stoves that meet these requirements by the end of 2020 – two years early.

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