WHA Calls for Stronger Enforcement of Smoke Control Laws and Raising Public Awareness to Address Air

WHA Call for Stronger Enforcement of Smoke Control Laws and Raising Public Awareness to Address Air Quality

• The Wood Heat Association today submits its response to the Governments consultation on Cleaner Domestic Burning of Solid Fuels and Wood.

The WHA welcomes the Governments focus on addressing genuine air quality concerns arising from the domestic burning of solid Fuels and wood, however, believe proposals will only improve air quality if they focus on stronger enforcement of the existing rules and better public education, especially in urban areas. The Smoke Control Act already provides powers to Local Authorities and Government to ban the use of these polluting technologies in Smoke Control Areas.

The consultation correctly focuses on the domestic burning of logs and coal, where the majority of Particulate Matter emissions arise from the use of fireplaces, inefficient stoves, patio wood burners and other decorative or secondary heating sources. The Government’s Domestic Wood Survey shows that 68% (2014) of wood burning appliances in London were open fires, where the majority of domestic burning urban emissions arise from. In comparison, biomass boilers are already strictly regulated, ensuring that their low levels of emissions are tightly controlled, with over 75% of boiler models emitting less than a third of their legal limits.

Neil Harrison, Chair of the WHA Board of Directors, explains:

“While the Government’s proposals are positive they do not address the root of the problem. Proposals for a new cut-off point for the sale of wet wood and requirements on labelling will not change the fact that the majority of consumers are unaware of the rules and suppliers face almost no repercussions for ignoring them.

Government should be focused on increasing the levels of compliance rather than introducing yet more rules which will likely go unheeded”


For more information or to request an interview, please contact:

Hayley Allen
External Affairs Officer
+44 (0)20 7981 0862
[email protected]

Notes to editors
• The DEFRA Consultation on cleaner domestic burning of solid fuels and wood can be found here: https://consult.defra.gov.uk/airquality/domestic-solid-fuel-regulations/
• The WHA consultation response, including a briefing on particulate emissions from wood heat burning is available in the Annexe, can be read here: https://www.r-e-a.net/resources/pdf/333/181012_Defra_-_Cleaner_domestic_burning_of_solid_fuels_and_wood_Final.pdf
About the Wood Heat Association (WHA)

The Wood Heat Association is the UK trade association for the modern biomass heating industry. We bring together wood fuel suppliers, biomass boiler and stove installers and distributors, energy companies and developers. We are fully owned subsidiary of the Renewable Energy Association (REA), and the largest wood and biomass heating trade association with 240 member companies.
For more information, visit: www.woodheatassociation.org.uk
Renewable Energy Association (REA)
The REA is the largest UK trade association for renewable energy and clean technologies. Our 550 + member organisations range from energy utilities and renewable energy developers working across multiple technologies and solutions through to innovative niche technology companies and consultants. Our finance forum and other platforms support member organisations from the investment, insurance and legal sectors that enable this growing economy.
For more information, visit: www.r-e-a.net