Is the Government going to ban woodburning stoves?

Err, no. Not at all.

We really shouldn’t be surprised any more at how news headlines often distort facts, but the negative publicity about the really positive things included in the Government’s consultation paper published in May 2018 on its 2018 Clean Air Stragegy has certainly been puzzling!!

The full story is here: https://consult.defra.gov.uk/environmental-quality/clean-air-strategy-consultation/ and Chapter 6 is the interesting section on “Domestic burning”

Here’s our summary of the key points:

1. Good news – from 2022 only new efficient, high performance woodburners can be sold. But there’s no suggestion that existing woodburners installed before 2022 can not continue to be used. Many of these “Ecodesign 2022” stoves are already available; the difference in performance between an Ecodesign stove and a standard woodburning stove is staggering (need convincing? Come and see one in action at our showroom in Stroud).
2. Good news – suppliers will be stopped from mis-selling firewood that they claim is dry or seasoned when they can’t demonstrate it’s actually ready to burn with a moisture content of 20% or less (the plan is that this won’t apply to “bulk” deliveries of firewood for people to dry/season themselves; it’s mainly targeted at garage forecourts etc selling nets of unseasoned logs. Sound familiar?)
3. Good news – local authorities will get new powers to clamp down on illegal domestic burning eg open fires burning wood in urban areas. Open fires and bonfires are absolutely the biggest source of pollution from wood smoke, not properly used woodburning stoves. Local authorities already have some powers to do this but enforcement is difficult and smoke control zones are out of date as towns/cities have developed
4. Good news – certain types of coal with high levels of sulphur emissions when burnt will be banned
5. Good news – people with woodburning stoves are encouraged to get them serviced and swept regularly

What’s not to like?

The government is inviting anyone who’s interested to comment on their proposals before 14/8/18 (just follow the link above to the consultation document).