Ban on Wood Stoves – The Facts

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Ban on Wood Stoves – The Facts

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There will be no doubt you will have seen some misleading headlines about a possible ban on wood stoves and the dangers of using them. However, the Environmental Improvement Plan clearly states that the government is not considering a ban on domestic burning in England and it recognises that some households are reliant on solid fuel burning for heating, hot water and cooking. Additionally, a ban on domestic outdoor burning would be considered disproportionate, however improvements are being considered in reducing impacts that solid fuel burning has on air quality. The Environmental Improvement Plan outlines further measures relating to clean air and emissions from the home. This includes proposals to tighten the limits that fuels in Smoke Control Areas must meet, reducing the limit from 5g of smoke per hour to a maximum of 3g.

Some key points to consider when addressing the current misconceptions:

  • Government is not considering a ban on domestic burning in England.
  • Use of modern wood burning stoves can help to improve air quality inside the home due to the natural draught created when the stove is in operation and used properly.
  • There are many other sources of particulate matter (PM) in the home, including cooking, that can release far higher levels of PM compared to modern wood burning stoves; Modern Ecodesign compliant stoves produce 90% less particulate emissions than an inefficient open fire.
  • HETAS Cleaner Choice certified products must demonstrate a 50% improvement on Clean Air particulate emissions, with some achieving as much as 70% improvement.
  • The actual PM contribution of modern wood-burning stoves is estimated by the UK government’s official figures at just 1-2%.
  • A modern stove will use less than a third of the amount of wood compared to an open fire to provide the same heat output.
  • 70% of wood burnt in London is done so on open fires – this is inefficient and an offence in smoke control areas.