Specflue supports wood stoves as Whitehall announces consultation

Leading flue, chimney and renewable heat technology supplier Specflue has defended clean-burning wood-fuelled stoves following the announcement of a government consultation on the impact of solid fuel on air quality.

The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) is seeking information on the use of fuels such as wood, house coal and manufactured solid fuel for domestic heating, and the effect that changes to the availability of these fuels would have on consumers and businesses (http://bit.ly/2rRMTrN).

Ian Sams, Specflue’s commercial director, said: “Even in the face of rising wood burning stove sales, particulate matter (PM) from wood burning is diminishing, according to a study from Kings College London published by Defra on January 30 this year (http://bit.ly/2EQkG7F).

“As open fires and older stoves are replaced with more modern appliances, so they produce lower volumes of PM. New Ecodesign regulations are due in 2022 to encourage even cleaner wood burners, but industry body the Stove Industry Alliance (SIA) already has an accredited list of SIA Ecodesign Ready appliances that meet these regulations now.

“An SIA Ecodesign Ready stove can slash PM emissions by 90% compared to an open fire, 80% compared to a 10-year-old stove and more than 40% compared with a DEFRA Exempt stove.”

Mr Sams has encouraged people in the heating industry to get involved in Defra’s consultation: “This is an important piece of work that will affect the solid fuel sector for years to come because responses to it will influence the government’s Clean Air Strategy due to be published for consultation later this year. The more input the government recieves the better the outcome will be.”

The consultation will consider how to encourage consumers to shift from burning more polluting fuels such as wet wood towards less polluting fuels such as dry wood.

Notes

‘Airborne particles from wood burning in UK cities’ (http://bit.ly/2EQkG7F) is published by the Environmental Research Group at King’s College London. It said: “It is believed that domestic wood burning in the UK has been systematically underestimated by a factor of three in the national emissions inventory and there is therefore an important need to properly quantify its contribution to the urban atmosphere. This study aimed to quantify particulate matter (PM) from wood smoke in cities in the UK.”

The study examines wood burning emissions across most of the main cities in the UK between 2009 and 2014. Most cities showed a decrease in emissions over this period.

Open fires account for around 70% of the wood burnt in London, according to the Stove Industry Alliance.

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