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Stove Industry Alliance welcomes new regulations on most polluting fuels

Feb 21, 2020

The Stove Industry Alliance (SIA) has welcomed the announcement by Defra today that it plans to encourage the use of cleaner fuel and phase out the sale of coal and wet wood for domestic burning.

Click here for PDF version of this press release

Coal and wet wood are the two most polluting fuels and these will be phased out between 2021 and 2023.

The SIA would like to emphasise that modern Ecodesign compliant wood burning stoves burning the correct fuel continue to be a very sound environmental heating solution. Ecodesign ready stoves produce 90% less emissions than an open fire and are a very low carbon method of heating using a totally renewable and sustainable fuel.

Defra’s announcement, contrary to some of today’s headlines, does not in any way suggest or recommend that wood burning stoves are being banned. The SIA recommends more accurate reporting on this point as the industry employs over 25,000 people and their future and livelihoods are being put risk by the suggestion that wood stoves are being banned.

For clarification the purpose of the legislation announced today is as follows:

  • To stop the sale of all pre-packaged traditional bituminous house 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 of 20% or less.
  • Implement a national requirement for certified controlled sulphur content and a smoke emission limit on manufactured solid fuels (as currently applies in Smoke Control Areas).

The SIA encourages the public to burn approved dry wood and smokeless fuel in a modern SIA Ecodesign Ready appliance. By doing so they ensure the maximum efficiency of their appliance while significantly reducing particulate emissions.

Morley Sage, chair of the SIA, commented: “We welcome today’s announcement that will see the most polluting fuels phased out and encourage homeowners to use approved dry wood. As an industry that employs over 25,000 people across manufacturing, retailing, installation and servicing, headlines that suggest that wood burning stoves are being banned are not only categorically untrue, they are also very damaging to people’s jobs and livelihoods.

“The stove industry is committed to continuous appliance improvement as evidenced by the introduction of the SIA Ecodesign Ready scheme which clearly identifies appliances that already meet the strict ecodesign standards that come into force in 2022. An Ecodesign Ready appliance used with properly seasoned wood fuel reduces particulate emissions by up to 90% compared to an open fire and will need significantly fewer logs to produce the same amount of heat*.”

To help homeowners make informed choices by getting the best advice, the 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 and offer comprehensive aftersales support. A full list of SIA Retail Group members can be found at stoveindustryalliance.com/membership/members-of-the-stove-industry-alliance/

* An open fire will need 16 logs to produce 4kW of heat over a 5-hour period, compared to just 5 logs needed by an SIA Ecodesign Ready stove.

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