Recent newspaper headlines declaring the Government are to introduce a wood burning stove ban has meant we’ve received a lot of concerned callers here at Certainly Wood. The bottom line is that there have been many ill-informed articles written – in fact, to coin a popular phrase, it’s fake news. So how has this myth about a ban come about?
The rumour mill went into overtime following a letter London mayor, Sadiq Khan, sent to then environmental secretary Michael Gove “to request extra powers to improve air quality in the Capital, including measures to tackle solid-fuel burning”. This was following the need to trigger London’s air quality alert for the seventh time in just over a year last September.
However, what the majority of the media failed to report is that the wood burning stove ban in question referred to old stoves, which are less efficient than new ones as he wanted emissions from wood-burning to be kerbed. Sadiq Khan only has the jurisdiction to talk about London, many parts of which have already been designated smokeless zones where you cannot use a log-burning stove anyway unless it is a Defra Exempt appliance. The same is true of smokeless zones throughout the UK where the only acceptable fuel is smokeless fuel.
Certainly Wood is 100% behind the recent Clean Air Act and our very own Nic Snell is an active member within the industry.
Nic sits on the Governance Panel of the new Woodsure / Ready to Burn Scheme and Certainly Wood is a member of the Stove Industry Alliance. Both groups work closely with Defra to ensure not only the constant improvement in the efficiency of wood burning stoves is but also continually finding ways to raise awareness of the new Ready to Burn standard for firewood.
We’re also huge supporters of manufacturers who make new contemporary wood-burning stoves, known as Ecodesign stoves, as endorsed by the Stove Industry Alliance (SIA). The aim of these stoves is to reduce potentially harmful particle emissions by more than 80% compared with stoves from a decade ago. We’re going to be looking at these types of stoves later in the month.
As for wood fires, everything gets very vague and we cannot really say what thoughts are about those at government level. Open fires are known to be inefficient and emit more pollutants into the atmosphere. Many people love an open fire as Nic Snell explains:
“I grew up with an open fire and it provided a real heart to our home. So, it was with reluctance that I changed to a wood-burning stove about 15 years ago and haven’t looked back. They’re more efficient, less hassle, a lot safer, burn less wood and also means the emissions from my chimney are greatly reduced. It can be a struggle to make the move to a stove, but it’s worth it for your health and the health of the planet”.