The Real Truth: No Ban On Wood Stoves!


Below is an article from HETAS regards to woodburning stoves and the actual truth regarding the clean air strategy 


No doubt you will have all seen some misleading headlines in recent months about a possible ban on wood stoves. Here, we identify the truth behind the headlines and what we can tell you who might have seen the headlines.

On the 22nd May 2018 the Environment Secretary Michael Gove published a Clean Air Strategy 2018 which aims to cut air pollution and save lives, backed up through new primary legislation.

What does the strategy say and how will it impact you ?

The new strategy, which is out for consultation until the 14th August, is a key part of Defra’s 25 Year Plan to leave our environment in a better state than we found it. HETAS, Woodsure and The Stove Industry Alliance have all been consulting with Defra for some time now and once again Defra has clarified they are not looking to implement a ban on wood stoves.

Frequently Asked Questions
A: Yes. The new standards only affect the sale of new stoves after 2022. If you purchase your stove before then, you are free to continue to use it after 2022.
A: Yes, but in future, existing owners will be encouraged to upgrade their old, less efficient stoves and will face restrictions on the fuel burned in them. To minimise air pollution, ensure your stove is serviced every year and the flue swept annually as well.
A: No, but from January 2022, stricter emissions standards will come into force for all wood-burning stoves sold in the UK. Several manufacturers make multi fuel stoves that comply with current standards. Manufacturers have been given from 2018 to 2022 to phase in new models and re-engineer existing models that comply.
A: Yes. A modern wood-burning stove generates more heat and emits 90 per cent fewer emissions than an open fire.

A: It’s important to remember that the pollution statistics include a large proportion of open fires, which do not reach the temperature at which some pollutants are burned off.

Anyone currently using an open fire may want to consider installing an efficient inset stove. An inset stove burns cleaner with 80 per cent of the heat radiating into the room as opposed to an open fire where just 20 per cent of the heat radiates into the room.

A: According to DEFRA’s new Clean Air Strategy, a DEFRA-approved CE 2022 wood-burning stove emits 335g of particulates per MWh. An open fire produces almost 10 times this amount of smoke. Burning wet wood (more than 20 per cent moisture content) produces more smoke but less heat.

No ban on wood stoves | The key points


The Clean Air Strategy summarises actions to reduce emissions from domestic burning, clearly identifying there is no intention to ban wood burning stoves. Here are the key points:

  • Legislate to prohibit sale of the most polluting fuels.
  • Ensure that only the cleanest stoves are available for sale by 2022.
  • Give new powers to local authorities to take action in areas of high pollution, bringing legislation into the 21st century with more flexible, proportionate enforcement  powers.
  • Work with industry to identify an appropriate test standard for new solid fuels entering the market.
  • Ensure that consumers understand what they can do to reduce their impact from burning.



The strategy also suggests Defra will give local authorities powers to go further in areas of high pollution, for example exploring what further steps government can take to enable local authorities to encourage ‘no burn days’ during high-pollution episodes.



The strategy identifies a number of voluntary initiatives that industry has undertaken to address concerns over air pollution from wood burning. These include Woodsure’s Ready to Burn, The SIA Ecodesign Ready scheme (administered by HETAS) and the Burnright campaign.


HETAS will continue to work with Defra and industry to drive forward policy and reduce air pollution from wood burning stoves.


Clean Air Strategy 2019

The Government published the Clean Air Strategy 2019, a key document in tackling air pollution, making our air healthier to breath, protecting nature and boosting the economy. One of the aims of the strategy is to raise awareness of the breadth of everyday activities that contribute to air pollution.


The government’s objective is to raise awareness of the potential impacts of air pollution at home and ensure that consumers are armed with reliable information enabling them to make informed choices to protect themselves, their families and their neighbours.


As you will no doubt be aware open fires and wood burning stoves have risen in popularity over the years, providing an additional form of heating for many, and for some, the sole heat source. While emissions from domestic burning have reduced significantly since the 1950’s, there is more that can be done to reduce pollution.


Strategy Key Actions

HETAS and Woodsure are playing a key role in these developments. HETAS was recently awarded the Defra contract as the Contractor to provide technical support to enable it to meet its legal obligations under the Clean Air Act 1993, with effect from 1st December 2018. For now, ensure you check the HETAS approved fuels list for solid mineral fuels, Woodsure for woodfuels along with the manufacturer’s instructions for specific advice on what to burn.



Mayor of London acknowledges that not all wood burning is the same.

After being widely misquoted as calling for a ban on wood burning stoves, the Mayor of London is urging Londoners who burn wood in their homes to use the right kind of equipment and fuels to help reduce emissions.


Recognising that the burning of wood on open fires is a major source of PM emissions in London, Sadiq Khan is advocating the replacement of open fires with Defra approved Ecodesign Ready stoves.

Defra approved Ecodesign Ready stoves can reduce emissions by 90% compared to an open fire and 80% compared to a stove produced ten years ago.