The government this week has confirmed that it will go ahead with plans to ban the sale of house coal and wet wood fuel which it had initially announced some 18 month ago. The government believes that wood burning stoves and coal fires are the largest source of fine particle matter (PM2.5) air pollution which directly impacts our health, with the particles making their way into our bodies.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has generated a detailed report on the air quality of the UK with recommendations to tackle and improve air quality, the report can be viewed here.
Whilst the government is not outright banning the use of wood burners or open fires, there will be changes in the fuel that you are able to purchase:
- Sales of bagged traditional house coal will be phased out by February 2021, and the sale of loose house coal direct to customers will end by 2023.
- Sales of wet wood in small units (less than 2m cube) will be phased out from February 2021. Wet wood in volumes greater than 2m cube will also have to be sold with advice on how to dry it out before burning.
- Makers of solid fuels will also need to show that they have a very low sulphur content and will only emit a small amount of smoke.
These changes will only impact England, but the government is already looking into similar proposals for Wales and Scotland.
How these changes will impact the price of fuel for wood burners and open fires is yet to be seen but clearly the government wants consumers to switch to cleaner fuels and methods of heating their homes. With the government and private sectors heavily investing in renewable energy sources to power the grid and the changes in attitude towards the environment now would be an ideal time to consider switching to an electric fire for your living room.
We stock a range of electric flame effect fires and fireplace surrounds to suit all tastes, view our range here online or visit us in store for a demonstration. Now including our Amazon Alexa enabled e-Smart electric fire.