The trade body representing the stove manufacturing industry has welcomed the governmentâ€™s draft Clean Air Strategy, published last month, which will tighten the rules around the burning of solid fuels by homeowners.
Under the strategy, launched by Environment Secretary Michael Gove, Defra has outlined a series of measures it is keen to implement to tackle emissions from a range of sources including domestic fuel burning, as well as agriculture, the maritime sector and non-road mobile machinery.
As part of the strategy, Defra has said it will legislate to prohibit the sale of the most polluting fuels, by introducing a 2% sulphur limit for the sale of all solid domestic fuels as well as ensuring that only Ecodesign-compliant stoves are available for sale by 2022.
The Stove Industry Alliance (SIA) has led a voluntary initiative to inform consumers of the eco-design requirements, through its â€˜Ecodesign Readyâ€™ brand, ahead of the implementation of the provisions due to come into force in the next decade.
As part of the strategy, Defra has also highlighted the Woodsure â€˜Ready to Burnâ€™ scheme, which enables consumers to easily recognise which wood is dry, and ready to take home and burn, instead of wet wood which requires seasoning for up to two years prior to burning.
In a statement issued following the release of the strategy, SIA, said: â€œThe Clean Air Strategy recognises that all wood burning is not the same. SIA Ecodesign Ready stoves are designed using improved burn technology developed by the stove manufacturers to produce 90% fewer emissions than an open fire and 80% fewer emissions than a stove manufactured 10 years ago. This means that owners of these stoves not only have a product that is carbon neutral but one that is also making a significant improvement to air quality compared to older appliances.
â€œWood burning stoves still have strong green credentials as the CO2 absorbed by the trees before they are coppiced is equivalent to the levels of CO2 produced by SIA Ecodesign Ready stoves when the logs are burnt. This makes the wood burning stove entirely carbon neutral, and a product owners can be proud of.
â€œTo maximise the benefits of using a SIA Ecodesign Ready stove only wood with a moisture content below 20% should be burnt and the chimney should be swept on a regular basis by a registered chimney sweep. Defraâ€™s Clean Air Strategy clearly identifies these points.â€