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In recent months, the Scottish Parliament has witnessed a fervent debate surrounding the Scottish New Build Standard and the proposed Heat in Buildings Bill, both of which signal a potential shift in the regulation of heating systems, particularly concerning the utilisation of wood burning stoves. Amidst this discourse, the Stove Industry Alliance (SIA) has taken a proactive stance, petitioning the Parliament to safeguard the right to employ wood burning stoves for sustainable, low-carbon heating solutions.

Additional Context: Industry's Call for Action

The urgency surrounding the preservation of wood burning stoves as a viable heating option in Scotland has been amplified by the recent petition lodged by the SIA. The industry's appeal for a reconsideration of the proposed regulations reflects broader concerns within the sector regarding the potential ramifications of a ban on wood burning stoves. As discussions unfold within Parliament, it is imperative that stakeholders engage in constructive dialogue to navigate the complexities of energy policy and ensure the preservation of Scotland's rich heating heritage. 

Why Should We Protect Scotland's Use of Woodburning Stoves?

The Environmental Imperative

Central to the argument presented by the SIA is the assertion that wood burning stoves represent one of the most environmentally friendly heating options available. Comparing favorably against electric heating and heat pumps, wood burning stoves emit significantly lower levels of carbon, thereby contributing to the imperative of reducing carbon emissions in the journey towards a net-zero future. Moreover, modern wood burning stoves boast impressive efficiency metrics, emitting up to 90% less particulate matter than traditional open fires while consuming substantially less fuel for equivalent heat output. Read more about indoor particulate matter of woodburning stoves.

Addressing Fuel Poverty and Promoting Resilience

Beyond their environmental merits, wood burning stoves play a crucial role in addressing fuel poverty, providing a cost-effective means of heating for vulnerable households. Particularly in rural areas, where access to alternative energy sources may be limited, wood burning stoves offer a lifeline, enabling families to heat their homes affordably while minimising their carbon footprint. Additionally, these stoves serve as a reliable contingency measure during power outages, ensuring continuous access to warmth and safeguarding against the vagaries of fluctuating energy prices.

Economic and Social Contributions

The significance of the wood burning stove industry extends beyond its environmental and humanitarian implications. With an annual contribution of approximately £60 million to the Scottish economy and the support of around 2,000 jobs, this sector represents a vital component of the nation's economic landscape. Furthermore, the industry's commitment to innovation and sustainability has paved the way for advancements in emissions reduction and efficiency, positioning Scotland as a leader in responsible heating technologies.

Challenges and Call for Clarity

Despite the compelling case presented by the SIA, challenges persist, notably concerning the interpretation and enforcement of regulatory standards. The lack of direct consultation with industry stakeholders and ambiguity surrounding key provisions within the legislation have raised concerns regarding its practical implications. Moreover, the potential mandate for homeowners to replace existing solid fuel heating systems within a specified timeframe presents logistical, financial, and equity-related challenges that demand further scrutiny.


In light of the multifaceted benefits offered by wood burning stoves—from environmental stewardship and economic prosperity to social equity and resilience—it is imperative that policy decisions reflect a nuanced understanding of their role within Scotland's heating landscape. As Parliament deliberates on the Scottish New Build Standard and the Heat in Buildings Bill, it is essential to prioritise collaboration, clarity, and evidence-based policymaking to ensure a sustainable, equitable, and resilient future for all.

For more information on this urgent matter:

indoor woodburning stove


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