Which? Stove User Survey

Which? Stove User Survey

Which? has been championing the cause for consumers since 1957, asking probing questions of businesses and manufacturers, and pursuing the answers that put you in the driving seat.

A recent survey from Which? highlighted the importance of using professional services when it comes to purchasing and installing a wood burning stove. The survey which was sent directly to stove users provided some interesting insights for industry.

Consumer Survey

To find out how much people know about vital stove safety information, Which asked nearly 1,500 stove owners what details they were given when they bought their stove and had it installed.

One are of the survey focused on the stove purchasing process and identified the patchy level of information provided at the point of purchase.

Interestingly, our research also found that people who bought from a big-name retailer were less likely to have been given information than those who went directly to the brand or an independent store, installer or chimney sweep.

This was also the case for people who bought online, as opposed to buying in a physical store, especially when it came to the correct wattage for their stove or the best fuels. Just 43% of those who purchased online received this information compared with 71% of those who bought in a physical store.

HETAS firmly believes it is imperative consumers get expert advice and the right appliance for their home when considering buying a wood burning stove. HETAS Approved Retailers undertake training aimed towards providing consumers with the information they need to make the right choices when purchasing a stove. Stoves have become more sophisticated pieces of equipment, as manufacturers develop appliances with greater efficiency and substantially reduced emissions. HETAS continues to register a growing number of retailers.

Bruce Allen, CEO of HETAS, said: ‘It is imperative consumers get expert advice and the right appliance for their home when considering buying a wood burning stove.”

Allen also stressed the importance of making sure that stoves are installed and serviced by properly trained and registered professionals. Always check the ID card and registration of any trade professional you allow into your property.

In the last year, consumer calls to HETAS have doubled and many callers are asking what must be considered when choosing a stove. At HETAS, our Registered Installers and Approved Retailers advise customers how to operate their appliances effectively and safely.  Even consumers accustomed to solid fuel may need an update on the way that stoves best operate. Getting the right size stove is critical for comfort, efficiency and clean burning. HETAS has seen a growing number of retailers signing up the voluntary retailer scheme to demonstrate that their staff have undertaken the appropriate training.

User Habits

Consumers also admitted to Which? to some bad habits when it came to using their stoves. 14% of the stove owners we spoke to ‘slumber’ their stove – eg setting it to burn at a low output – most of the time, and 5% said they do this every time they use their stove. HETAS recently ran an article on the issues associated with slumbering a stove. The survey identified that more than a quarter of stove owners don’t know what the best fuel is for minimising pollution. A third weren’t told that the best fuel to use and nearly half (43%) weren’t told which ones to avoid – leaving them potentially using the most polluting fuels.

The government’s Clean Air Strategy, published earlier this year, included measures to ban the sale of the most polluting fuels and ensure only the cleanest wood stoves are sold. Industry eagerly awaits an announcement from government on the next steps for the Clean Air Strategy. In the meantime, check out our recent update on the strategy here.

HETAS continues to promote the importance using appropriately trained and registered professionals when it comes to using wood burning and multi-fuel stoves.

HETAS Guide Survey

HETAS Guide SurveyHETAS Guide Survey

It’s been a few months since we published the HETAS Guide 2017. HETAS constantly strives to provide installers, retailers and manufacturers with useful information in the Guide and the online search function. We would really like your thoughts on the current Guide and how you use it so we can continue to provide you with the information on appliances to assist you in completing a safe and compliant installation.

The survey will take less than five minutes to complete and your feedback is very much appreciated.

Click here to take the survey.

You can view the current HETAS Guide at www.hetas.co.uk/professionals/hetas-guide or click here to view the Appliance Search.

Trailblazer Survey


The Plumbing and Domestic Heating Apprenticeship Standard Consultation closes in just five days time.

The Draft Standard can be downloaded here. The Survey can be completed at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/apprenticeship_standard_feedback. Please read the Draft Standard prior to completing the survey.

The Plumbing and Domestic Heating Trailblazer Employer Group have created a second survey and would like as many plumbing and heating employers as possible to offer feedback via this source. The Plumbing and Domestic Heating Trailblazer Employer Group are leading the development of the new Apprenticeship Standard for England for Plumbing and Domestic Heating. The group carried out research last autumn which provided valuable information from other employers in the industry, and this research helped to inform the Draft Apprenticeship Standard.

The Trailblazer Employer Group now invite employers to review the proposed Draft Apprenticeship Standard and to provide comment on the Draft. They ask you to consider how well the Standard meets the plumbing and domestic heating industry’s needs for future Apprenticeship training.

The survey consultation is live until the 26th Januaury.

The Trailblazer Employer Group thank respondents in advance for taking the time to feed into this consultation; your feedback is very important to the Group and to the future of the industry’s apprenticeships.

If you require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact: Jacqui.Chivers@summitskills.org.uk