Waving Goodbye To Wet Wood and House Coal
by Taylor Gathercole
February 21, 2020
It is with great pleasure we hear about the latest announcement from DEFRA who have stated they will phasing out both house coal and wet wood to cut pollution.
"Sales of two of the most polluting fuels, wet wood and house coal, will be phased out from 2021 to 2023, to give householders and suppliers time to move to cleaner alternatives such as dry wood and manufactured solid fuels." 
An excellent step in the right direction towards regulating the solid fuel industry, and making it more accessible for consumers to ensure they're purchasing the safest and least polluting fuel for their home fires.
From the beginning, we implemented a sustainability strategy, which would fit the government's plans moving forward, and ultimately begin to raise the standard of solid fuel that is currently being produced.
This is why we make sure all our wood fuel is 20% or below moisture content, comes from ASNW or SSSI Woodlands within an 80-mile radius of production yard, using modern-day sustainable practices, processed using 100% renewable energy and kiln-dried using captured waste heat from an on-site biogas plant.
By moving towards the use of cleaner fuels such as dry wood (20% or below moisture content) we can all play a part in improving the health of millions of people, lessen the risk of house fires and improve the impacts on our environment.
- Sales of all bagged traditional house will be phased out by February 2021
- Sales of all loose coal direct to customers via approved coal merchants will end by February 2023
- Sales of wet wood in units of under two cubic metres will be restricted from February 2021
- Wet wood solid in larger volumes (more than 2 cubic metres) will need to show how to dry it before burning from this date
- Manufacturers of solid fuels will also need to show they have a very low sulphur content and only emit a small amount of smoke
For the record, this is not a ban on wood-burning stoves or even open fires. This is the government finally putting regulations in place to make sure we're burning clean solid fuel. Something we believe should have happened many years ago.
We hope moving forward that Wood Sure, Ready To Burn Certification becomes mandatory for all solid fuel suppliers.
Here are 5 steps for a cleaner greener burn:
1) Make sure you know where the wood is coming from and the supplier's practices to reduce CO2 in the distribution and processing.
2) Ensure your wood fuel is sustainably harvested so that woodland is maintained as a carbon store and renewable resource.
3) Dry, season and store your wood properly or buy seasoned timber that is ‘Ready to Burn’ to drastically reduce emissions of particulates during burning.
4) Use an efficient wood burner, ideally one that is 2022 ECO-DESIGN READY. These have enhanced efficiency and many are permitted for use in smoke control areas.
5) Service and clean your flue and burner regularly to maintain efficiency.