Date posted: 04.05.24

Trade body calls for U-turn on new builds moratorium

Published in The National (Scotland) 4 May 2024 BY XANDER ELLIARDS.

Wood-burning stoves in new-build houses across Scotland are effectively banned under regulations introduced last month.

The trade body representing the wood-burning stove industry has lodged a petition with the Scottish Parliament calling for the ban on installations in newly built homes to be reversed.

Andy Hill, the chair of the Stove Industry Association (SIA), said a petition had been lodged calling for a U-turn on the policy, which he claimed “threatens the livelihoods of the estimated 2000 residents of Scotland employed within the stove industry”.

It emerged after new building regulations, which came into effect on April 1, effectively banned woodburning stoves from being installed in new-build Scottish houses.

The new regulations also state that if an existing building undergoes major conversion work, it should have any wood-burning stove removed if it “was located within a part of the building which is subject to conversion”.

However, homes built before the regulations came into effect can still have wood-burning stoves installed, and people with them in their houses will not be compelled to remove them.

The SIA questioned the environmental motivation behind the policy, saying in a briefing document: “Woodburning stoves are the lowest carbon emitting heating available for homes, with a carbon intensity 1/19th of direct electric heating.”

The body pointed to UK Government figures, which state that the carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2-eq) emission factor (kgCO2e/kWh) of wood logs is 1/19th that of electricity (0.01074 compared to 0.207074) and 1/16th that of mains gas (0.01074 compared to 0.18).

It added: “The exclusion of low carbon technology such as modern stoves from the New Build Heat Standard and the proposed Heat in Building Bill is in direct conflict with the stated goals of both pieces of legislation.”

The SIA said it had lodged the petition with the Scottish Parliament on May 3 and it is expected to go live for signatures in due course.

Hill said: “The SIA strongly opposes the New Build Heat Standard and the proposed Heat in Buildings Bill.

“By effectively banning the permitted use of wood-burning stoves in new-build properties, the new standard leaves households extremely vulnerable to total heat loss in the event of a power cut or where there are grid supply issues.

“Furthermore, the standard specifies heating technology with higher carbon emissions than a woodburning stove which is fundamentally at odds with the objective of the standard.

“The proposed Heat in Buildings Bill not only seeks to apply the same restrictions on wood-burning stoves but also has the potential to decimate the housing market by imposing a requirement for those purchasing a property to ‘comply with the prohibition on polluting heating within a specified amount of time following completion of the sale’.”

He continued: “Such legislation is not only severely detrimental to consumer choice, it has the potential to leave Scottish residents without heat and facing higher than ever domestic heating bills.

“It also threatens the livelihoods of the estimated 2000 residents of Scotland employed within the stove industry and risks stripping approximately £60 million annually from the Scottish economy.”

The Scottish Government was approached for comment.


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