There has been much made of the impact of wood burning stoves and that there is the possibility that they will no longer be available after the introduction of the Clean Air Strategy. We are happy to say that this is very much not the case, in fact they will be a large part of the Clean Air Strategy moving forward!
Recent media coverage has, in some cases, insinuated that emissions from open firewood burning is comparable withemissions from wood burning stoves. The Clean Air Strategy definitively recognises that all wood burning is not equal.
SIA Ecodesign Ready stoves are specifically designed using improved burn technologies. Stove manufacturers have developed these stoves to produce 90% fewer emissions than an open fire, and 80% less emissions than stoves manufactured 10 years ago. People using older wood burning appliances can make a significant improvement to air quality by upgrading to an SIA Ecodesign Ready model.
Statistics have indicated that nationally 40% of wood is burnt in open fires -this increases to 70% in London – despite the fact that using an open fire is not permitted under the current Clean Air Act.
Additionally,a cornerstone of the Clean Air strategy is to educate homeowners to burn only wood with a moisture content below 20%, kiln dried logs are ideal, additionally having their chimney swept on a regular basis by a registered chimney sweep.
Rest assured if you already have an older stove and can’t afford to outlay on a new model right now, you will be allowed to keep using it. However,as we mentioned above you will only be allowed to burn certain fuels on it. By only burning wood with a moisture content of 20% or less you will limit the amount of smoke you produce. Coal, meanwhile, has been identified as the dirtiest fuel, and will be subject to new stringent regulations.
It’s worth remembering that an SIA Ecodesign Ready wood burning stovehasstrong green credentials. The CO2 producedwhen the logs are burnt is absorbed by growing trees making modern wood burning stoves a low carbon, low emission, high efficiency and sustainable heating solution.
The government’s own energy efficiency indicator shows that logs have a significantly lower carbon factor than traditional fossil fuels; gas, oil or electricity.
You can read the full DEFRAstrategy here (it’s wordy and a long read but really useful to get a proper insight in to the post 2022 strategy)