SIA response to Emissions of Air Pollutants in the UK, 2021 Data

Feb 15, 2023

SIA Response to latest data on Emissions of Air Pollution in the UK

The new Emissions of Air Pollution in the UK data issued on the 14th February 2023 by Defra shows that PM2.5 emissions across all sector sources – industrial processes, domestic combustion, road transport, industrial combustion and other sources – increased in 2021 compared to 2020.

It is noted that domestic combustion accounted for 22.7 (‘000 tonnes) of PM2.5 emissions in 2021 (27% of the UK total). It is also noted that wood fuel now makes up a larger percentage (75%) of PM2.5 emissions from domestic combustion than previously, this being driven by the reduction in the consumption of coal for domestic use.

It is important to remember that ALL domestic combustion appliance types are accounted for under the same figure within the Emissions of Air Pollution in the UK data. These include open fires, older stoves and modern, Ecodesign compliant wood burning stoves.

Of the total emissions attributable to domestic combustion, only 4.8% is attributable to modern, Ecodesign compliant wood burning stoves, and in the wider context that is just 1.3% of total UK PM2.5 emissions.

Commenting on the latest emissions data, Andy Hill, chair of the Stove Industry Association (SIA) said:

“The UK stove industry continues to innovate, producing modern wood burning stove appliances that are more efficient and less polluting than ever before. While the total figures attributable to domestic combustion within the government’s latest figures have caused many critics to attack all forms of domestic wood burning once again, the overall PM2.5 emissions linked to the very latest wood burning stove models is just 1.3% of the UK total.

A modern stove that is Ecodesign compliant, such as a clearSkies certified appliance, will produce up to 90% less emissions than an open fire and up to 80% less* than many older stoves. What other sector can claim to have achieved technical advances leading to such a significant reduction?

Members of the SIA have seen unprecedented demand over the last 12 months for appliances that meet the latest Ecodesign requirements, and we would urge anyone using an open fire or older stove model to consider upgrading their appliance to a clearSkies certified model#.

In addition, consumers must ensure that they burn responsibly by only using good quality, dry wood fuel such as Ready to Burn certified logs, having their chimney regularly swept and their stove well maintained, and ensuring that the installation is carried out by a qualified professional such as a HETAS or OFTEC registered installer.”

* Verified by independent emissions testing.

# clearSkies certified appliances have been independently verified as meeting the requirements of the Ecodesign regulation, plus any clearSkies appliance certified at Level 3 and above has been checked as having been granted Defra exemption, meaning it can be used to burn wood in a Smoke Control Area.

SIA Top Tips

  • Choose an Ecodesign compliant wood burning stove such as a clearSkies certified appliance. If you currently use an open fire or an older, very basic wood burning stove consider upgrading. A modern Ecodesign compliant wood burning stove, such as a clearSkies model, releases up to 90% less emissions than an open fire and can be up to 80% less than some older stoves. Your local SIA Retail Group member can help advise on the best stove for you and your family.
  • If you live in a Smoke Control Area, your stove will also need to be Defra exempt. All clearSkies Level 3 and above models are certified as Defra exempt.
  • Visit your local stove retailer for guidance on choosing the right size stove for your property and for a detailed installation quote. You can find your nearest SIA Retail Group member showroom here.
  • Ensure your stove is fitted and maintained by an appropriately qualified competent person such as one who is HETAS or OFTEC
  • Ensure you use quality wood fuel. Look for the Ready to Burn logo to ensure your wood logs are at or below 20% moisture content. Never used chemically treated wood or burn waste on your stove.
  • Have your chimney swept at least once a year by a registered sweep. The Federation of British Chimney Sweeps has links to all the main sweep associations. Chimney sweeps are a valuable source of information for good practice and advice – and they are happy to engage and encourage you to “Speak to a Sweep”.
  • Keep your stove in tip top condition by having it regularly serviced.

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