Wood burning stoves have been delivering a sustainable, renewable heating method for a long time – long before the carbon reduction and air quality targets were introduced. It’s been estimated that there are over 2 million stove and fireplace installations in the UK, which represents an investment of around £2bn in peoples homes. Stoves don’t just provide warmth, they make a genuine contribution to economic growth.
The confusing media coverage and stove misconceptions:
Wood burning stoves are a sustainable, renewable heating source. This has been proven time and again. However, there is some misleading information sadly still circulating in the media. Here are two to be aware of:
The SIA (Stove Industry Alliance) state that the figure of 38% of PM2.5 in the UK being caused by domestic wood burning is greatly exaggerated because it is based on an incorrect assumption of the amount of wood fuel used. This figure comes from a government survey in 2015, which incorrectly estimated that 6 million tonnes of wood are burnt each year.
The latest figures published by Defra show that in fact 1.75 million tonnes of wood fuel is burnt indoors each year. This number is much more closely aligned with the SIA’s own research, which gives a figure of 1.85 million tonnes. If Defra’s latest wood fuel volume figures were combined with the correct emission factors, the real percentage of PM2.5 attributable to domestic wood burning would be less than 10%
01/01/22 – The date when the new Ecodesign Regulations for solid-fuel space heating appliances come into force. Any appliance manufactured from this date must comply not only with increased appliance efficiency targets (75% minimum) but also provide an 88% improvement on permitted CO2 emissions. Furthermore, there are also strict emission limits for particulate matter (PM), organic gaseous compounds (OGC) and nitrogen oxides (NOx). As a company, we are pleased to announce all of our stoves have been Ecodesign Ready for a number of years. All our stoves are also clearSkies certified, which is a further commitment to producing only the most efficient, cleanest stoves.
Independent tests show that a modern SIA Ecodesign Ready or clearSkies certified stove will produce up to 90% less emissions than an open fire, and up to 80% less than a stove manufactured over 10 years ago.
Achieving the UK’s carbon reduction goals is much more than having the right appliance in the home. The appliance needs to burn the right fuel. This is where Ready to Burn comes in.
What is Ready to Burn?
The Ready to Burn initiative is for wood and log producers, having a distinct certification category for dry firewood. Ready to Burn logs are marketed as such, and they are guaranteed to have a moisture content below 25%. This should not only give confidence among consumers that they are buying correctly seasoned wood, but the initiative should also help raise awareness of the importance of correctly seasoned wood too. Some stove owners, especially new stove owners may not be aware of the vital importance of correctly seasoned wood. Burning seasoned wood correctly significantly lowers emissions from a stove.
Stoves are a key part of the future of heating. Moving towards Ecodesign Ready, only burning seasoned wood and avoiding open fires is the way forward for everyone.