From Saturday 1st May 2021 new restrictions on the sale of house coal and ‘wet wood’ for household burning came into force for those in England. The aim of the new rules is to reduce air pollution.
With a reported 8% of households using such fuels, they are the biggest source of tiny pollution particles that are the most damaging to health. with closed stoves/open fires responsible for approximately 38% of pollution particles under 2.5 microns – a figure three times more than that generated by road traffic.
Those with such fires will be able to continue to use them and the new rules will drive them towards the use of ‘dry wood’ and manufactured solid fuels both of which produce less smoke/pollutants and indeed typically will produce up to 50% more heat.
Specifically, the changes mean:
- Producers of solid fuels will be required to show that they have a very low sulphur content and emit a small amount of smoke
- The sale of bagged traditional house coal and wet wood in units less than 2m³ is now unlawful
- The sale of wet wood in volumes greater than 2m³ must be sold with advice on how to dry it before burning
- A new certification scheme has been brought in to help households identify suitable products.
Similar proposals are being considered within Wales and Scotland.