Latest solid fuel and biomass newsletter from HETAS and Woodsure

WOBO thanks Bruce Allen for the HETAS updates.

Local Authority Winter Newsletter

This month the government published its Environment Improvement Plan (EIP) 2023 and national emissions of air pollutants statistics. The plan is the first revision of the 25 Year Environment Plan that was published in 2019 and has a wide range of goals, from thriving plants and wildlife, clean air and water to mitigating climate change and enhancing biosecurity. Our industry key focus on the plan is within goal 2, clean air. Air quality in the UK has improved significantly in recent decades with a decrease in all five major air pollutants.

Statement from Defra

On 31st January, the government published its second statutory Environmental Improvement Plan (EIP23). The EIP23 is delivery focussed and sets out the actions that will drive us towards reaching our long-term environmental targets and goal.

The EIP23 covers the measures that have already been introduced to help reduce the emissions produced by burning in the home. These include:

  • The Domestic Solid Fuels Regulations which restrict the sale of wet wood in smaller packets, whilst bulk quantities are still available for seasoning at home, puts limits on sulphur content and smoke emissions from manufactured solid fuels and restricts the sale of bituminous (traditional house coal) for domestic use.
  • The Environment Act 2021 amended the Clean Air Act to make it easier for local authorities to tackle pollution from burning by providing powers to issue civil penalty notices (i.e. fines) for smoke emissions from chimneys in smoke control areas, rather than prosecuting at court.

On 1 May 2023 the final measure of the Domestic Solid Regulations comes into force restricting the sale of bituminous (traditional house coal). Defra will be engaging with local authorities to discuss enforcement of the regulations and smoke control areas. The EIP also sets out future measures we will take to reduce emissions. These include:

  • Tightening the limits that new stoves in Smoke Control Areas must meet, reducing the limit from 5g of smoke per hour to a maximum of 3g.
  • Extending the solid fuels legislation, including to fuels burned outside. This would provide consistency in the market making it easier for consumers, improve compliance with legislation and improve air quality.
  • Designing and implementing measures to drive a shift away from older, more polluting appliances to newer appliances which meet our tough new emission standards.
  • As part of designing these measures, Defra will be consulting with local authorities, stakeholders and the public.

©2024 All Rights Reserved World Organization of Building Officials.