Are Woodburners Going To Be Banned?
We’ve had quite a few customers who have been under the impression that the government is intending to ban woodburning stoves, so we wanted to clarify the current situation.
Are woodburners going to be banned?
Neither the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, nor the Secretary of State for the Environment Michael Gove, have announced any plans to “ban” woodburning stoves.
Sadiq Khan has called for Londoners to use the right kind of equipment and fuel (tackling toxic emissions from wood burners)
Sadiq Khan wants to stop people burning wood on open fires and to switch instead to cleaner, ecodesign-ready wood-burning stoves. Michael Gove’s Clean Air strategy intends to "ensure only the cleanest stoves are available for sale by 2022” and to “legislate to prohibit the sale of the most polluting fuels” (Clean Air Strategy 2018 Consultation)
Are the regulations changing on stoves?
The plan is to change the regulations in 2022. After this only the most clean burning stoves will be available for sale and the most polluting fuels will not be on sale. At Westcombes, the majority of stoves we sell are already compliant with the new regulations coming in 2022, and we only sell fuel which has the lowest level of pollution emissions.
Are the stoves you sell at Westcombes sufficiently "clean"?
At Westcombes, we only sell stoves which have been approved by Michael Gove’s Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) for use in London. What’s more, the majority of the stoves we sell are already meeting the requirements for the new regulations coming into force in 2022. We can tell you which stoves are compliant with this and which are the most environmentally friendly.
What about the most polluting fuels?
Customers may not be aware that it is not just the type of stove you have which makes a difference to the environment, but also the fuel you burn. If you are buying wood from a local garage or other store, it is rarely properly seasoned and is often damp. Burning this type of wood causes pollution.
We sell kiln-dried ready to burn wood which has a low moisture content, and the lowest level of pollution emissions, compared to other types of fuel. Defra-approved ‘smokeless fuels’ emit ‘medium’ levels of pollution emissions, and wood that has not been kiln dried or seasoned emits ‘high’ levels of pollution emissions as does wood which is found or unpurchased (so wood you may get from your garden). You should never ever burn waste woods which may be painted or treated and can emit ‘very high’ levels of pollution emissions.
There has been a lot of talk recently about the contribution stoves may make to environmental pollution, but it is important to be aware that an estimated that 70% of the wood burned in London is on open fires (which is illegal under the Clean Air Act of 1956) and this is the major contributor to the particulate matter from wood in London’s air.