What does Defra's recent Clean Air Strategy say about stoves?

Stove PM25 comparison chart

There has been some confusion recently about what is going to happen to wood burning stoves. Are they going to be banned as some of the big daily newspapers claim? Fortunately, the latest missive on this subject came very recently with the long-awaited Air Quality Strategy published by Defra. Here, for the first time in a long time, you have the facts about stoves straight from the horse's mouth – and the answer is an emphatic 'No'. Wood burning stoves are not going to be banned and that's official.

So here's what the Government's strategy actually says on the subject of wood burning stoves. 'Cleaner fuels and stoves produce less smoke, less soot and more heat. In future only the cleanest domestic fuels will be available for sale'. This is likely to mirror what has happened in the Republic where the ban on the sale of all smoky coal will soon come into force.

The strategy also observes that 'Not all forms of domestic burning are equally polluting' and recognises the benefits of the new Ecodesign Ready stoves when they state 'the appliance (eg stove or fireplace), how well it is used and maintained and what fuels are burnt in it, all make a big difference to how much pollution is produced. Significant air quality benefits can be realised through a new efficient appliance as compared with an old stove or open fire... The Stove Industry Alliance has introduced its Ecodesign Ready brand ahead of the implementation of the ecodesign provisions due to be introduced in 2022. This shows consumers which stoves are already compliant with the key components of the new legislation and therefore can have up to 90% lower emissions than an open fire or old stove'.

So, a new highly efficient wood burning stove, producing minimal emissions, can still take pride of place in your grand design and can still help you reduce your home's carbon footprint as well as provide the warm welcome that only living flame can. To find out more about the latest Ecodesign Ready stoves please click here.