Ecodesign is a new Europe-wide emissions regulation scheme for stoves

“A blanket ban on wood burner stoves makes little sense, particularly when so much is currently being done to ensure that technologically advanced options are available. Using a modern, clean burning, Ecodesign-ready stove can reduce emissions by up to 90%,” according to Phil Wood, Contura Stoves Country Manager for the UK and Ireland, in response to Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan’s recent call for a ban on wood burning stoves in the UK capital city.

He continued: “Supported by Defra, Ecodesign is a new Europe-wide emissions regulation scheme for stoves and space heaters due to be introduced in 2022. Ecodesign Ready stoves have been engineered to burn wood more completely. The targeted introduction of combustion air at higher levels in the fire box of the stoves reignites the combustion particles before they can leave the stove. This technology reduces particulate emissions by 90% compared to an open fire and 80% compared to a stove of 10 years ago and can also lead to significant reductions in CO, NOx and Organic Gaseous Carbon compounds (OGC).

“UK air quality is a growing and worrying issue. However, we can significantly reduce the level of emissions from burning firewood simply with the replacement of open fires and old wood burners with Ecodesign Ready stoves. This is where the ‘quick win’ in emissions reduction can be made. Contura has been fully committed to the Ecodesign project from the outset. Today, and five years ahead of schedule, all Contura stoves already operate under the Ecodesign limits.

“It is also crucial to educate stove owners on the correct operation of the stove and on sourcing the right fuel to ensure emissions are kept to a minimum. Kiln dried wood, and species such as ash, beech or birch, burn particularly well. Good quality wood with the right moisture content (between 12% and 20%) will generate the correct heat, the correct flame and will not emit black or grey smoke.

“Legislation on the types of fuel available to purchase would be welcome, but in the meanwhile, stove owners can be sure of the wood’s quality and origin by buying from accredited British suppliers. Woodsure, the UK’s wood fuel accreditation scheme, has also recently launched a new ‘Ready to Burn’ initiative, which offers a certification mark to suppliers who can demonstrate that their logs have a moisture content below 20% so stove owners looking for that guarantee should keep an eye out for the Ready to Burn label.

“A replacement scheme to upgrade old stoves would make much more sense than a complete ban to tackle the issue of emissions from wood burners. The fact remains that burning a sustainable and renewable energy source such as wood offers a better heating economy and helps to reduce the carbon footprint of our homes in the long-term as it reduces the reliance on energy from power stations used to power central heating.”