Most-polluting UK home fuels to be burned up 

Posted: August 17, 2018 by oldbrew in Emissions, Energy, government, pollution

Where does this leave people who were encouraged to buy wood burning stoves?

The UK government is consulting on proposals to ban wood and coal burning in households, reports Energy Live News.

The sale of the most-polluting fuels used in UK households are to get the chop as part of government plans to reduce emissions.

The burning of wood and coal in homes is said to be the largest single contributor to particulate matter pollution – formed of tiny particles that can enter the body and cause short and long term health problems – and identified as the most damaging air pollutant by the World Health Organisation.

According to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), domestic burning contributes 38% of particulate matter pollution, compared with 16% from industrial combustion and 12% from road transport.

Plans to restrict the sale of wet wood for domestic burning and phase out traditional house coal were initially set out in the government’s draft clean air strategy earlier this year.

The proposals – which include applying sulphur standards and smoke emission limits to all solid fuels and ensuring only the cleanest stoves are sold by 2022 – are expected to prevent 8,000 tonnes of harmful particulate matter from entering the atmosphere every year.
. . .
Defra has launched a consultation on the proposals which will run until 12th October 2018.

Full report here.

Defra consultation letter [pdf]

  1. pameladragon says:

    Outrageous! Isn’t this the same U.K. that is encouraging the US to clear-cut acres of forest in the southern states to be pelleted so it can be burned to generate electricity in the U.K.? I have burned coal for home heating and for the past 17 years burned wood as our only source of wood! One of the nicest features of our new home on the other side of the pond is the presence of a wonderful wood-burning system that heats the entire home via hot water circulated in radiators.

    The burning of wood for home-heating is one of the few ways homeowners can afford to keep warm in winter without resorting to expensive electricity. There are stoves equipped with catalytic cores that increase the heat and actually burn the smoke, reducing particle emissions. This sounds like some scurrilous Malthusian plot to freeze segments of the populations to death!

  2. cognog2 says:

    Thank God I am approaching the end of my useful life.

    What is desperately needed is a VOICE for we consumers of energy. At the moment decision making for the young on keeping warm and getting about is a total lottery, driven by articulate activists who have little concept of the consequences of their actions or the result of their vague aspirations.
    Wood, coal, diesel, petrol, gas, fracking, Lpg, electricity, solar, wind, storage, biomass? A total lottery of decision, the way governments are behaving. I feel for you young.

    Come on YOUTH, Start thinking about your future. Do your homework and get activated. Do you really want to have your energy requirements dictated by others by smart meters. Do you really want to be forced to have an EV and have to rely on a duff infrastructure to enable you to use it? Do you really want to pay the inevitable cost of all this intermittent power.? Read the figures and guess what wage increase you will need. For heavens sake get ACTIVATED!,

    Well if you don’t then be my guest. I’ll be pushing up the daisies.

  3. ivan says:

    I notice that only give scary percentages – remember that 38% of next to nothing is still less than next to nothing.- without real figures it is meaningless.

    Another thing, it appears that we are seeing another tentacle of the UN getting on to the band wagon of climatology. If the WHO is pushing this hype in the developed countries why isn’t it pushing for HELE coal plants for the developing countries to give the people cheap reliable electricity to cook on rather than wood and dung fires which ate used at the moment? Doing that doesn’t fit the Agenda 21 and 30 requirements.

  4. Adam Gallon says:

    “Defra has launched a consultation on the proposals which will run until 12th October 2018.”
    No they haven’t, they’re looking for a rubber stamp of the proposals.

  5. J Martin says:

    5 minutes ago it was nox from diesel that was the worst polluter, now it’s a small number of old houses heating systems. Will the government be making grants available to assist the elderly who’s only form of heating is a coal fired of coal fire back boiler ?

  6. oldbrew says:

    People can voice their opinions via e-mail until 12 October 2018:
    [For other options see link below]

    Defra says: Domestic burning is the single largest source of harmful particulate pollution in the UK. Many people do not realise that there are cleaner alternatives, such as dry wood instead of wet, or low-sulphur smokeless fuel instead of coal.

    – – –
    So not the end of the road for stoves, but what is within the law as fuel will be a lot stricter if they get their way.

  7. ivan says:

    So not the end of the road for stoves, but what is within the law as fuel will be a lot stricter if they get their way.

    Which will make it an order of magnitude more expensive – more pocket lining for some, just like the subsidies given to wind and solar except this goes direct from the public to the supplier.

  8. I produce lots of waste wood. I have two choices:
    1 Dry the logs and branches, store them and burn them cleanly in my woodburner, producing lots of useful heat and few emissions from the chimney.
    2 Pile them in a field and burn them in the open air, producing lots of smoke and particles.
    What to do?

  9. oldmanK says:

    @ Phillip Bratby says: August 18, 2018 at 7:18 am

    I produce lots of waste wood. I have two choices:

    None of them. Recycle your waste into compost; bedding for horses, chickens, pets; raw feed for mushrooms; etc . Make money not smoke.

  10. pameladragon says:

    Dry the wood and burn it to heat your home, no brainer. But what is this business about burning green/wet wood? I don’t understand why anyone would do that. How do they even get it burning and the resulting fire would be smoky and cold.

  11. oldbrew says:

    Open bags of “wet” wood currently sold in petrol stations will be made illegal.

    Only wood that has been dried to less than 20 per cent of moisture can go on sale, which will increase its cost.

  12. oldmanK says:

    If you’re going to buy the wood work the numbers first. You’ll probably find you are better off with electricity.

    That besides the inconvenience of wood storage, cleaning stove – and house- , periodic stoking, not to mention the health bill. plus the initial investment cost of stove.

  13. Shaun says:

    Culturally, I am a cave man. Think I could argue for an exemption?

  14. John PAK says:

    Does the mighty govmnt plan on corking Icelandic volcanoes and banning wildfires in dessicated upland peat bogs.
    Here in Au we have a dozen sizable bushfires burning and the smoke is often so thick that we can look directly at the mid-day sun.
    Talk of banning certain stoves or fuels must surely have some ulterior motive.

  15. oldbrew says:

    Stoves inside domestic buildings are the perceived problem.