Air Pollution in the news

Air Pollution in the news

Statement from HETAS

HETAS is aware that the news is full of stories about air quality and mixed within the greater problems of transport are dramatic headlines about wood-burning.

Both HETAS and Woodsure have been working with Defra over the last year providing support and solutions where our industry will be part of the solution rather than part of the problem.

The London Mayor’s office have been equally supportive of HETAS and Woodsure. If you read the articles that sit beneath the dramatic headlines you will see that there is no wish from Defra to ban stoves or wood-burning.

The key issuers are:

  • Burn the right fuel in the right appliance
  • DO NOT BURN WET WOOD – the Defra approach fully supports the Woodsure Ready to Burn scheme as explained in Technical Bulletin #9 sent out last month
  • HETAS would like to see old open fires and old stoves replaced with modern clean burn appliances like Defra exempt stoves, Ecodesign Ready stoves and pellet stoves which can be 80% cleaner in use with the right dry fuel – click here to search for appliances on the HETAS website
  • Installation and servicing by HETAS registered professionals is a major factor in getting installations and servicing right
  • HETAS Approved Chimney Sweeps should be used to sweep chimneys regularly
  • We strongly recommend the use of smokeless mineral fuels as they are low in sulphur and cleaner in use
  • Make use of the HETAS Advice leaflets, available online here, or order via the HETAS Shop
  • Find out more on the https://www.readytoburn.org/ website

All these things are incredibly important to our industry and we must educate consumers on fuel, proper installation, appliance use, proper maintenance and sweeping. Always check you’re the user instructions for your appliance or consult with the installer, retailer or chimney sweep on correct use.

The reduction in particulate emissions when using dry wood is incredible. This is the most positive message we can give out and it is based on scientific research. Dry wood is so much cleaner in use and makes stoves work at their best. Other emissions are also reduced markedly when using dry wood. The Woodsure Ready to Burn Scheme and logo gives assurance that the wood logs are up to 20% moisture content and therefore “ready to burn” now. Any wet wood must be seasoned/dried before use.

You can be reassured that HETAS and Woodsure are incredibly active and working closely with Government to get this right and to reduce environmental impact from solid fuel burning so that consumers can enjoy the benefits of solid fuel, wood, biomass without feeling concerned.

Installers, servicing businesses and chimney sweeps have the biggest part to play in educating consumers and therefore reducing environmental impact and protecting our industry.

Stay tuned for the HETAS June e-newsletter next week where we will be issuing further updates.

Click here to get in touch with the team at HETAS.

Is your fuel legal?

Is your fuel legal?

Recently the Woodsure team provided an update to its members on the legality of woodfuel. The article is really insightful and we wanted to share the update with installers, retailers and sweeps so you can check with your suppliers.

When finding a supplier of the raw material, ensure that they can provide you with proof of Legality and sustainability this can be by the following:-

  • FSC, PEFC or other recognised voluntary certification scheme
  • Management plan in place & valid felling licence
  • Risk Based Regional Assessment (RBRA)

If purchasing from a company who is a member of a voluntary certification scheme it is important to ensure that the licence is valid for the supply you receive.  This can be checked on the relevant scheme website, such as FSC. Simply enter the details and check the product type is valid for what you are being supplied. A description of corewood, rough wood is fine, but if it states card or paper alarm bells should ring as a wrong licence number may have been given.

If purchasing timber that is not covered by a certification scheme, then we recommend that you use one of the other two methods to demonstrate legality.  Felling licences are given for felling on the licensed area of land they are granted for.  There are different types of permission to fell trees: health and safety, planning permission, Statutory Plant Health Notices or thinning of woodland.  Licences can be issued for one off activities or associated with a management plan.  A licence cannot be extended beyond its expiry date and its FREE OF CHARGE to apply for one! A felling licence associated with a management plan normally lasts 5 or 10 years.

RBRA can be used when receiving volumes of timber from within a region.  It assesses the risk of the timber coming from sustainable sources.  The Biomass Suppliers List and Confor have a template that can be used for timber being sourced within the UK and guidance on RBRAs on the government website for those sourcing from outside the UK.  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/woodfuel-guidance-version-2

We recommend all Woodsure accredited businesses should request that their timber supplier demonstrates proof of legality and sustainability. It is suggest you record all your suppliers on a simple spreadsheet document showing name, address, licence number, validity date and that you have some form of checking in case licences are revoked, perhaps check the licence numbers every quarter.

Importing Wood fuel

There are two things that you need to ensure when importing firewood into the UK: the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR), and the Statutory Firewood Notification Scheme.

Any wood coming into the EU needs to comply with the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR), which came into force on 3rd March 2013. The regulation affects all who first place timber on the EU market, plus those further down the supply chain.   Anyone importing wood into the UK is affected by this and must show that they have practices in place to ensure the legality of the wood being imported, even as a finished product. A due diligence system must be in place for anyone importing and to comply the minimum requirements are:

  • Full information on the supplier
  • Assessment that the timber being imported is legal and applies to regulation
  • Checked and identified any risks by obtaining any additional information to verify legality.

Templates for this can be found on the Forestry Commission England website.

For those who buy and sell wood further down the supply chain it is essential to record where you buy from and who you sell to.

Firewood notification came into force on 1st January 2017 to assist the Forestry Commission in assessing the pest-risk represented by the trade in fuel wood.  All relevant consignments, irrespective of size/weight, must be notified at least 3 working days prior to landing.  Notification of landing is a statutory requirement and failure to comply is a contravention of the Plant Health (Forestry) Order 2015.  In addition, certain species will also require a Plant Passport.

For more advice on this topic get in touch with the team on 01684 278188 or email info@woodsure.co.uk

Useful Links

Here are some other useful links on this topic:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/eu-timber-regulation-guidance-for-business-and-industry

http://www.fsc-uk.org/en-uk/about-fsc

https://www.pefc.org/

https://www.forestry.gov.uk/publicregisters

https://www.forestry.gov.uk/england-fellinglicences

https://www.forestry.gov.uk/pdf/FellingLicenceFAQJuly2005.pdf/$FILE/FellingLicenceFAQJuly2005.pdf

Latest news from the SIA

Latest news from the SIA

If asked the question Are the PM emissions from wood burning increasing or decreasing, you might well have answered increasing. A new study from Kings College London has shown that across the country PM from wood burning is going down, even with increasing stove sales.

The main reason given for drop in emissions is the replacement of open fires and older stoves with more modern appliances that produce lower amounts of particulate matter (PM 10 and PM 2.5). The study headed by Dr. Gary Fuller looked at the wood burning emissions across most of the main cities in the UK between 2009 and 2014. Most cities showed a decrease in emissions over the period

The outcome of the study reflects the fact that only DEFRA Exempt stoves, with emissions that meet strict DEFRA limits on emissions, can be installed in smoke control areas. The reduction may not have been as great as we would all have liked, as the decrease in emissions is partly offset by the continued use of open fires to burn wood. Although burning wood in an open fire in a smoke control area is not permitted under the Clean Air Act, 70% of the wood burnt in London is on an open fire.

New Ecodesign regulations will come into effect in 2022, and the Stove Industry Alliance (SIA) has already worked with stove manufacturers to have an accredited list of SIA Ecodesign Ready appliances that already meet these new regulations right now.

Burning wood on an open fire is the worst way to burn wood, both from point of view of heat generated and the emissions produced. An SIA Ecodesign Ready stove can reduce PM emissions by 90% compared to an open fire, 80% compared to a 10-year-old stove and over 40% when compared with a DEFRA Exempt stove.

The Stove Industry Alliance (SIA) has proposed an upgrade scheme that would help consumers make the move from an open fire or an older stove to an Ecodesign Ready stove. This could help accelerate the introduction of Ecodesign Ready stoves and the reduction in emissions.

HETAS, the SIA, Woodsure and other industry organisations are continuing to work together to tackle the issues of air quality relating to wood burning.

 

 

The Importance of Quality Fuel

The Importance of Quality Fuel

Case Studies

Will Richardson of Rural Development Initiatives talks to HETAS about the importance of quality fuel and the initiatives in place for woodfuel suppliers, from Woodsure and Ready to Burn to Grown in Britain.

We are all familiar with the importance of producing and using the highest quality woodfuels – improved efficiency, reduced emissions, reduced wear and tear on appliances to name a few. Policy makers and enforcers are following the woodfuel industry with interest as more and more woodfuel burning appliances are installed and more and more woodfuel is being burned.

A number of Woodsure accredited suppliers in the north of England have been working hard to achieve top quality supply chains and I’ve set out below a couple of case studies on two different firewood suppliers using different production techniques to get consistently high quality fuel.

The Importance of Quality FuelDelamere Logs

Delamere Logs at Norley, Cheshire created in 2010, is harvesting logs from its own land, as well as from the surrounding area, and is contributing to the local environment and economy. They have not only committed to Woodsure accreditation but have also achieved the Grown in Britain Standard, with both marks allowing them to demonstrate both the quality and locality of the product.

“Grown in Britain licensing guarantees that our firewood is all-British in origin,” says Will Starkey, partner at Delamere Logs. “The brand is a sign that timber products are sourced from managed British woodlands. Imported firewood can bring the threat of unwanted pests and diseases. Supporting British-grown timber and wood products removes such concerns and helps maintain jobs in rural economies here at home. Managing woodland correctly also benefits wildlife”.

Delamere Logs is an offshoot of the Starkey’s family farming business. The farm’s woodlands have always contributed to its livelihood, but brothers Sam and Will Starkey decided to create Delamere Logs in response to the growing market for woodfuel following the introduction of the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive.

Will and Sam rely on traditional natural seasoning of their firewood product. Small diameter hardwood roundwood is bought into their yard where it is stacked on bearers in an exposed location for 6 to 9 months before being processed direct into potato crates. Here the split firewood is stored for no less than 12 months in order to achieve consistent average moisture content levels of less than 20%. The advantages of natural seasoning is a much reduced initial capital outlay but the trade off is a very long lead in time from processing the timber to selling the finished product to the customer.

The Importance of Quality FuelWoodfuel Barn

Woodfuel Barn at High Spen, Tyne and Wear, have been producing high quality firewood since 2009. Peter Stenner decided to create the business in response to the growing market for wood fuel as he realized a need for producing a sustainable local service to meet the increasing demand for great value dry logs. The business has been Woodsure accredited since 2015 and also holds Grown in Britain certification.

The business concentrates on kiln drying their product. In 2010 it was decided to install a biomass powered kiln drying logs down to very low moisture which are ideal for modern wood burning stoves. These logs not only burn extremely well but they are also a clean burn so they do not produce as much soot. The biomass used in the boiler is a by-product of the wood processing used in the production of the logs making the process efficient and sustainable. Consistent average moisture contents of less than 17% are achieved. The advantages and disadvantages of kiln drying are reversed to those of natural seasoning – high capital outlay compared to a very quick product turnaround time.

Of course, these case studies aren’t to say that a combination of both techniques can be used – initial air drying followed by finishing the product off in a kiln. Additionally, different types of kilning processes can be used including solar powered kilns such as poly tunnels. But both case studies demonstrate the commitment many businesses have made to the production of quality assured woodfuel giving consumers and policy makers confidence in our industry to deliver.

Grown in Britain’s Northern Group Scheme, of which Delamere Logs and Woodfuel Barn are members, is managed by Will Richardson of RDI Associates: “With the recent introduction of ash die back disease to the UK it’s critical that we all do what we can to reduce the potential spread of other pests and diseases from imported firewood,” he says. “Buying Grown in Britain licensed wood products, such as Delamere’s and Wood Fuel Barn’s woodfuel, householders and businesses can be assured of British traceability. This linked with Woodsure assurance gives customers complete peace of mind that their product is of the highest quality. They will also be helping to create a sustainable future for our forests and woodlands.”

Find out more

Click here to find out more about gaining accreditation with Woodsure and Ready to Burn.

Click here to find your local supplier on the HETAS Woodfuel Search.

The Grown in Britain brand identifies wood that has been grown in Britain and assured through their all new licensing scheme. Click here to find out more.

RDI is a highly experienced project management, consultancy and training service provider working at the forefront of sustainable rural development. Visit the RDI website.

Is your wood Ready to Burn?

Is your firewood Ready to Burn?

Ready to Burn LogoInstallation of a stove can be a whole new experience for many homeowners with a lot of information to take in.  HETAS in partnership with Woodsure aims to eliminate the confusion surrounding what wood to burn.  We have launch a scheme called “Ready to Burn” and it enables homeowners to have confidence in the wood they are buying.

Moisture Content

Any wood displaying the Ready to Burn logo will have 20% moisture content or less and once you get it home it is “Ready to Burn”, safe in the knowledge that it will not be causing damage to their appliance and in addition will be reducing harmful emissions into the atmosphere.

We believe that there will be many benefits; appliances will function as they should, the environment will benefit from the reduction of harmful particulates from burning wet or unseasoned wood and homeowners will have the assurance that wood bearing the Ready to Burn logo is exactly that, ready-to-burn! If the right fuel is not used in appliances; the once-beautiful stove becomes ineffective, smokes and smoulders and over time creosote builds up in the appliance and flue.

Ready to Burn Suppliers

For more information and stockist, please visit the ‘Ready to Burn‘ and Woodsure websites.

HETAS also has a range of consumer advice leaflets which can be viewed at www.hetas.co.uk/consumer/hetas-advice.

Hitting the front pages!

Hitting the front pages!

You will have all seen the misleading headlines last week that suggest London Mayor has called for a ban on wood burning stoves. We wanted to keep our registrants up to speed on what is actually being said and the work industry is doing to tackle air pollution.

westminster landscape

Air Quality

The London Mayor’s Office Air Quality Team has contacted HETAS and Woodsure, our sister company looking after wood fuel quality. They were clear that the Mayor Sadiq Kahn is not proposing a ban on stoves. He is concerned about the various pollution sources like diesel, brake wear, tyre wear, and particulates from open fires and old stoves. It is his intention to look at some areas of London and consider whether areas e.g. close to schools – may have times when they are zero emissions zones. So for parts of the year, there may be some times when pollution emitting activities are reduced. These things are at consultation stage and no final decisions have been made.

Product Approval

HETAS has a Product Approval system that includes easy ways to identify the cleanest appliances and Woodsure has implemented the “Ready to Burn” dry wood log scheme as scientific studies have found that dryer wood fuel (up to 20% moisture content) reduces environmental impact greatly making stoves and wood-burning a safe, efficient and practical form of heat that can be used whilst being part of the environmental solution rather than being the problem.

Ready to Burn Latest News

Ready to Burn Latest News

Ready to Burn Latest NewsYou spoke: We Listened!

Following a recent governance meeting for the Ready to Burn initiative, it was agreed that the scheme would accredit suppliers based on a moisture content of 20% or less.

Burning dry wood on modern stoves can further significantly reduces the amount of particle emissions and improve air quality compared to burn wet wood on open fires.

Moisture Content

The Ready to Burn certification mark is available to wood log suppliers who demonstrate to Woodsure their firewood logs have a moisture content consistently below 20%.  Note: whilst less than 20% is a key requirement of the scheme the message we are promoting to consumers’ and the industry is to burn dry wood fuel, ie the message is: burn wood fuel that is dry and ‘ready to burn’. The scheme is open to firewood and briquette suppliers who we are expecting to supply ready to burn fuel.

The scheme focuses on fuel that is purchased with the intent to burn within a short period of time; including small pre-packed retail woodfuel bags, and bulk delivery bags less than 2m3. Any suppliers offering the sale of wood for seasoning should contact Woodsure to talk through our other wood schemes options.

The scheme has the support of DefraHETAS, the Stove Industry Alliance and Industry representatives, including large producers of pre-packed woodfuel have committed to a scheme that will clearly identify the wood that is ready to burn at the point of sale. Woodsure and HETAS will raise awareness for wood fuel consumers to only burn low moisture, ready to burn firewood.

Scheme requirements

The ‘Ready to Burn’ initiative is for wood log suppliers, having a distinct certification category for dry firewood logs where they are able to demonstrate through audit and point of sale moisture checks that woodfuel they sell as ‘Ready to Burn’ is:

  • Labelled as ‘Ready to Burn’
  • Is less than 20% moisture content
  • There is point of sale information, labelling and support
  • Where appropriate, retailers provide information on how to effectively store and keep the firewood in good condition

Is your firewood Ready to Burn? Contact the Woodsure team on 01684 278188 or click here to complete an enquiry form.

Find out more about Woodsure: Click here to subscribe to their quarterly newsletters.

Stove Industry Alliance

Stove Industry Alliance

The Stove Industry Alliance (SIA) has just released a series of leaflets, covering Ecodesign and its implications for the industry, Ecodesign Ready stoves and the importance of burning dry wood. The leaflets are designed to give stove retailers and installers the information they need to talk to their customers on these important topics.

The SIA is an association of stove manufacturers and distributors, wood fuel suppliers, flue and glass manufacturers and industry supporters like HETAS and Kiwa.

The following SIA downloads are now available:

Find out more…

Search for Ecodesign Ready appliances on the HETAS Appliance Search facility.

For more information about the SIA please visit www.stoveindustryalliance.com.

The range of HETAS advice leaflets are also available at www.hetas.co.uk/consumer/hetas-advice and can be ordered via the HETAS Shop.

Ready to Burn Update

Ready to Burn LogoReady to Burn Update

Following on from a successful launch during June at Hearth & Home, HETAS and Woodsure are pleased to see firewood producers signing up to the Ready to Burn initiative. We introduced the scheme in our last newsletter and intend to have suppliers registered in advance of the heating season.

The ‘Ready to Burn’ initiative is for wood log producers, having a distinct certification category for dry firewood logs where they are able to demonstrate through audit and fuel testing that woodfuel they sell as ‘Ready to Burn’ is:

  • Labelled as ‘Ready to Burn’
  • Is less than 20% moisture content

(check the manufacturers instructions for your appliance, it should have guidance on the appropriate fuel and moisture content)

  • There is point of sale information, labelling and support
  • Where appropriate provides retailers with information on how to effectively store and keep the firewood in good condition

Making this dry fuel available to consumers in a way that they can recognise it is ready to burn and differentiate it from wet wood, will significantly increase the sale of dry wood whilst at the same time educating consumers on the benefits.

The principle of the Woodsure scheme is that raw materials, the collection of trees and forestry thinning or post timber processing is legally sourced, processed to achieve size and moisture characteristics and made available to the end consumer with clear identification.

If you are interested in joining the scheme or know of a supplier you’d like to recommend the initiative to, please click here to complete the Woodsure enquiry form.


 

Hearth & Home 2017

Hearth and Home 2017Hearth and Home 2017 Logo

The Hearth and Home 2017 Exhibition takes place from the 11th to the 13th June at the Harrogate International Centre.

The exhibition launched its new website back in December and the site includes details of all exhibitors and the latest floor plan to navigate your way around the many exhibitors. Click here to visit the new look website.

As with previous years, you will find HETAS in Hall C, stand 7. We will be supported during the exhibition by Woodsure and the team from HETAS Insurance Services.

If you haven’t already done so it is quick and easy to register to visit the exhibition. Click here to register now.

The team look forward to seeing everyone at Hearth and Home 2017 in Harrogate this June.