The sales of coal as a household fuel maybe banned under government plans to reduce air pollution from open fires and stoves, it has emerged. Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs wants to stamp out coal fires and smokey stoves in a bid for a cleaner environment.
Restrictions may also be placed on burning wet wood. Councils will be given more power to deal with people who ignore rules in smoke control areas.
Michael Gove wants to target inefficient home fires as they are the largest single source of particulates that contribute to lung and heart disease.
Burning Dry Wood:
Mr Gove is considering a ban on selling house coal – and only allowing low-sulphur alternatives. Furthermore he is also encouraging people to purchase dried wood. We have already talked at length about the importance of only using fully seasoned wood and also have provided detailed coverage on the new Ready To Burn Initiative – which helps people identify wood, which has been correctly seasoned, which will be a key ally in Mr Goves plans. He does state people will not be penalised if they buy wood to season themselves, which can take 1+ years.
Below is an diagram, which shows the heat output from logs at different moisture content levels. It’s easy to see how important it is to ensure you burn seasoned wood only.
Rejecting Demands to Ban Wood Burning Stoves:
It is encouraging to see Mr Gove is rejecting demands to ban wood burning stoves. Partly this is down to a plea from Sadiq Khan, the Labour mayor of London. As we have mentioned – it’s the old, inefficient stoves, and open fires, which is causing pollution – not the use of high efficient Ecodesign stoves, such as those found in the Charlton & Jenrick range.
In a recent article, we discussed the key elements of Ecodesign ready stoves, and how they will help contribute to a cleaner, greener environment.
The main issue with wood burning, and the associated pollution, is through the use of the aforementioned inefficient stoves and open fires. The efficiency of open fires are only around 20%, where with an Ecodesign stove, this is over 80%. Classifying the burning of all solid fuels together, whilst failing to really appreciate the huge environmental differences between open fires and high efficiency stoves, would be short sighted.
Replacing open fires and older stoves with the new Ecodesign Ready stoves could reduce emissions by 90%. The Stove Industry Alliance (SIA) has already proposed an upgrade scheme to help people move away from their open fires and enjoy the benefits of a modern clean burning stove.
We eagerly await further developments on this and will report on when it happens.