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Press Release


Wood burning emissions going down


5/2/2018

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.1
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 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 2015. 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 but the decrease in emissions is partly offset by the continued use of open fires to burn wood. Although burning wood in an open fire is not permitted under the Clean Air Act, 70% 2 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. A SIA Ecodesign Ready 3 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.


1 https://uk-air.defra.gov.uk/library/reports?report_id=953

2 BEIS Domestic Wood Usage Survey, 2016

3 Ecodesign is the European wide legislation designed to reduce emissions from heating appliances.