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Clean Air Act, Stoves and the Future

The introduction of the CLEAN AIR ACT 2022

On the 1st January 2022 has led to several changes affecting the solid fuel industry and some miss -leading information circulating about bans on stoves and wood burning etc, which we will try to explain.

The Clean air act 2022 is part of a long term strategy from DEFRA (Department of Environment, Fisheries and Rural Affairs) to leave the environment in an improved condition, it has been influenced by a government commissioned report that identified 38% of National particulate pollution as coming from domestic solid fuel burning.

Particulate pollution is a concern in built up areas, microscopic particles (P.M 2.5 and smaller) can enter the lungs causing health problems.

38% is a large proportion of the sources of the pollution, larger than most other sources, Transport, Industry etc, this has been disputed as it seems disproportionally high and new government and independent private reports significantly reduce the figure.

It is also difficult to exclude pollution from other sources such as garden fires, barbecues even burnt toast from a kitchen extractor, all are registered in pollution monitoring stations as a burnt organic compound – the same as wood.

DEFRA have consulted with the solid fuel industry to find ways of reducing pollution figures and making solid fuel heating cleaner and more efficient, this has resulted in the new efficient and clean ECO DESIGN stoves and rules to regulate fuel sources and stop the use of the most polluting fuels.

There is and has not been, any intention to ban stoves, a recent government policy, the “ Environment Improvement Plan “ clearly states – The GOVERNMENT IS NOT CONSIDERING A BAN ON DOMESTIC BURNING IN ENGLAND.

It also acknowledges that solid fuel is an important secondary heat source and some house hold rely on it for heating and hot water.

Wood burning is sustainable, Carbon Neutral and environmentally friendly, Trees are natural batteries, using sunlight to grow while soaking up Carbon Dioxide.
When burnt wood releases no more Carbon Dioxide than absorbed during growth.

It is now vitally important that stoves are correctly fitted and maintained by qualified personnel, chimneys significantly affect the way stoves burn and new Eco Design stoves rely on correctly configured chimneys to work cleanly and efficiently.

More information on this subject is available on the HETAS website.

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