In a a word, no. The Government’s clean air strategy is looking to reduce pollution across the country in Industry, Farming, Transport and the Home. Wood burning makes up a small part of this plan. The key points of this new legislation, with regards to wood burning are:
– Ban the sale of the most polluting fuels
– Making existing smoke control legislation easier to enforce
– Making only the cleanest stoves available for sale by 2022
– Give powers to local authorities to tackle areas of high pollution
– Work with industry to test new fuels entering the market
We think that this is good news for our industry. Since we started in 2005, our aim has been to produce a wood fuel that burns with maximum energy, is easy to light and better for your chimney. There have been companies supplying wet wood, often telling customers that is is “well seasoned” when it is definitely not ready to burn. This goes against everything we stand for, and has often been a source of frustration for us, as their “seasoned logs” will no doubt appear cheaper than kiln dried logs. DEFRA have also recognised that the sale of poor quality fuel from garage forecourts is also contributing to the problem. This wood is often above 30% in moisture content and of varied species.
By 2022 you will need to install an Ecodesign Compliant stove if you wish to install another wood burning stove or replace your existing stove. The good news here is that stove manufacturers are already producing stoves that meet these standards. The new range of stoves reduce emissions and particulates by approximately 90% when compared to an open fire.
Woodsure, a fuel quality assurance scheme have set up Ready to Burn both of which we are members. They promote the burning of quality fuels and we are audited every year to ensure that we are compliant.
Whilst we are pleased to see some regulation in the market, and the ambitions of the Government’s Clean Air Strategy, what remains to be seen is the implementation of their plans. If they allow people to purchase wet wood, to “self season” what is to stop the customer attempting to burn the wet wood straight away?
The best news has to be that it is raising awareness about the problems that arise from burning poor quality wet wood, and highlighting the importance of using an accredited Ready to Burn supplier.