Defra consults on air quality
Defra has confirmed via its latest consultation that it isn’t looking to ban the use of stoves. They do want to know what you think about their proposals for helping householders move to cleaner fuels for domestic burning.
The Clean Air Strategy states that air pollution is the top environmental risk to human health in the UK. We often think of air pollution as being caused by transport or industrial level burning of fossil fuels. Now that the emissions from these sources has decreased, the relative importance of emissions from other sources has increased. The Strategy is clear that we now need to tackle these other sources of air pollution, including emissions caused by heating our homes.
So what is this latest consultation all about?
Launched in August and running through until mid-October this consultation is focused on cleaner domestic burning of solid fuels and wood.
Using cleaner fuels in a cleaner appliance installed by a competent person, knowing how to operate it efficiently, and ensuring that chimneys are regularly swept by a professional or registered chimney sweep all make a big difference. Defra has developed simple guidance for all local authorities to share with residents on these simple steps and is working with industry to encourage householders to take action in all these areas.
This consultation gives more detail about the proposals set out in the Strategy, focusing on the domestic use of solid fuel in England considers what further steps can be taken to encourage households to make a change from dirtier to cleaner fuels, with some key areas of focus:
- Consumers who burn traditional house coal switching to alternative fuels (e.g. low sulphur manufactured solid fuels);
- Consumers switching from wet wood to dry wood (with a moisture content of 20% or less);
- Introduction of sulphur limits and smoke emission limits for all manufactured solid fuels.
It is here that Defra confirms that “We are not considering banning domestic burning. The government recognises that households have installed wood-burning stoves and the government is not seeking to prevent their use or installation.”
Our recent ‘Ban on wood stoves’ article helped clarify the direction Defra is working toward. Feel free to share this content on your social media channels and with you customers.
The proposals in this more detailed consultation include:
- Restrictions on the sale of wet wood for domestic burning so that it can only be purchased in volumes over a specified cut-off point;
- Applying sulphur standards and smoke emission limits to all solid fuels;
- Phasing out the sale of bituminous or traditional house coal;
This current consultation runs until Friday 12th October 2018.
HETAS and Woodsure will be contributing to the consultation and we encourage industry to do the same.
To view all the information relating to the consultation and to contribute visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/air-quality-using-cleaner-fuels-for-domestic-burning.