As the UK’s leading supplier of firewood, kindling and biomass fuel Firewood Centre is proud to distribute premium quality fuels that are fully compliant with the new regulation arising from the Government’s Clean Air Strategy. Our wood fuel is 100% sustainable, renewable and responsibly forested. We are passionate about quality; our kiln dried firewood has a moisture content of well under 20% and following a comprehensive audit and testing process has been certified ‘Ready to Burn’ by the UK’s woodfuel accreditation scheme, Woodsure.
With that in mind, we thought it might be useful to explain what the Clean Air Strategy is, and what the implications may be for households that burn wood or other biomass fuels to heat their homes. This will clarify the reasons why it is so important to make sure that you only burn fuels that have a low moisture content and are therefore compliant with this new Government backed regulation.
What is the Clean Air Strategy?
The UK Government’s Clean Air Strategy was published in January 2019. Promoted as a “bold new goal” it sets out a plan to tackle air pollution and reduce particulates across the UK by 2030.
The Clean Air Strategy seeks to implement a range of actions to reduce various sources of air pollution resulting from transport, farming, industry, clean growth and innovation as well as from the home. This article takes a look at what this means for homeowners, and in particular those who burn wood and other fuels in their homes.
Why is it important?
It is estimated that over 1.5 million UK households use wood for fuel. Fireplaces and wood-burning stoves have been growing in popularity, but many people still don’t realise that burning the wrong types of fuel will produce particulate matter that contributes greatly to air pollution levels. This is mainly because a freshly cut log of ‘wet’ wood is likely to contain over a pint of water. When wet wood is burned much of the heat energy is used simply to dry out the water and this means that the wood will smoke and smoulder and so pollutants are released into the atmosphere. As a result of this type of air pollution, those with fires and stoves now face restrictions on what they can burn.
Furthermore, existing smoke control legislation will be tightened and Local Authorities will have greater powers to enforce it. The key focus of these restrictions will be on fuels like wet wood and traditional house coal which will probably be phased out.
How can I comply?
In addition to burning cleaner fuels, the government also wants to ensure that all new stoves sold from 2022 comply with EU Ecodesign regulations. The technology behind these new stoves allows combustion higher up in the fire chamber. This effectively re-ignites any particles of wood that are contained in the smoke and so the resulting emissions are reduced by as much as 80% when compared to a stove manufactured ten years ago.
Homeowners will be encouraged to upgrade their inefficient and polluting heating devices. In fact, Ecodesign compliant stoves are already on the market and so anyone looking to purchase a new stove imminently would be well advised to make sure that they opt for one that adheres to these new regulations.
So, when you combine these elements; dry wood or other quality smokeless fuels burnt in a good quality Ecodesign stove, it is easy to understand how these measures will greatly reduce the emissions and particulates that contribute to our air pollution levels, and this in a nutshell is the ethos behind the new plan.
The plan acknowledges that “using cleaner fuels, in a cleaner appliance which is installed by a competent person, knowing how to operate it efficiently, and ensuring that chimneys are regularly swept, will all make a big difference”.
In summary, to comply with the Clean Air Policy:
• All firewood must have a moisture content of under 20% at time of purchase and only retailers with the facilities to provide properly dried firewood will be able to supply it.
• Traditional coal not be available, only low sulphur treated alternatives will be acceptable.
• Stove design legislation will come into force which dictates that only Ecodesign compliant stoves, installed by a competent installer will be permitted.
Why Choose Firewood Centre?
Firewood Centre is the UK’s leading firewood supplier and distributes premium quality kiln dried logs to homes and businesses. We are committed to supplying the very best available fuels that contribute least to air pollution and are sustainably sourced. Our kiln dried firewood is Woodsure ‘Ready to Burn’ certified which means it contains less than 20% moisture. Our fuels are compliant with the recommendations outlined in the Clean Air Strategy this means that when you buy from us you can be certain that the fuel you burn meets with these important regulations.