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The Future of Wood Burning

The following is a press release from the SIA (Stove Industry Alliance)

Installing a SIA Ecodesign Ready Stove can help you be more energy efficient, reduce your carbon foot print and reduce particulate (PM) emissions.

Energy efficiency, carbon reduction and air quality are amongst the key issues facing us today. SIA Ecodesign Ready stoves meet these challenges.

Stove owners and those thinking of buying a new stove can be assured that the government is not seeking to ban wood burning stoves. Instead it wants to ensure that consumers use the cleanest stoves and the cleanest fuel. By doing this as part of its overall air quality plan the government expects to meet its air quality targets and benefit from the low CO2 emissions from burning wood instead of fossil fuels, like oil and gas.

Air Quality

SIA Ecodesign Ready stoves are designed to reduce particulate matter (PM) emissions by burning wood more efficiently and completely.

SIA Ecodesign Ready stoves have been independently tested by approved test laboratories to show that they met the emissions and minimum efficiency criteria for Ecodesign. The test results have also been verified by HETAS and listed on the HETAS web site.

Ecodesign is the European-wide programme to lower emissions and improve efficiency. Defra will require all stoves that are sold and installed to meet Ecodesign emission standards in 2022. SIA Ecodesign Ready stoves will meet the Ecodesign requirements and are available now.

Burning wood produces particulate matter (PM) but the amount produced depends on how the wood is burnt. Independent research conducted by Kiwa on behalf of the SIA has shown that SIA Ecodesign Ready stoves can reduce particulate emissions by 90% compared to an open fire and 80% compared to an old stove. The PM emissions limit for Ecodesign is 55% lower than for Defra exempt stoves.

Both Defra and the Mayor of London are backing the installation of SIA Ecodesign Ready stoves to reduce emissions from wood burning.

In its Clean Air Strategy the government has recognised that all wood burning is not the same and that reductions in particulate emissions, (PM), can be achieved through the installation of Ecodesign Ready stoves burning Ready to Burn logs.

The Mayor of London showed his support for Ecodesign Ready stoves by sponsoring two adverts in the Evening Standard encouraging Londoners to only burn dry wood and choose a Defra exempt stove which is also Ecodesign Ready.

Sadiq Khan went on to say:

“The Stove Industry Alliance (SIA) and Woodsure have launched their voluntary “Ecodesign Ready” and “Ready to Burn” labels to help consumers make the right choice in London and other smoke control areas.”

Speaking at the launch of SIA Ecodesign Ready on behalf of Dr. Thérèse Coffey Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Environment, Simon Hoare MP, said:

“The Ecodesign Ready brand is a great example of industry taking the lead to promote the benefits of more efficient and cleaner technologies and bringing them to the market. Ecodesign Ready stoves will help to cut air pollution.”

Neil Parish MP, Chair of the Select Committee Environment Food & Rural Affairs, said:

“What the SIA is doing fits in with the world we have; we have problems in our inner cities with very high levels of NOx and particulates. Anything we can do to reduce that from open fires and others, through SIA Ecodesign Ready stoves has got to be an absolute benefit.”

The government’s Clean Air Strategy recognises that in addition to using an SIA Ecodesign stove further reduction in particulate emissions, (PM), can be achieved by burning appropriately dry wood like Ready to Burn logs that have a moisture content below 20%. More information on Ready to Burn can be found at

The government has also recognised that maintenance and the way in which householder operates the stove have a significant part to play in the reduction of emissions. In addition to stove manufacturers the chimney sweeps have produced a useful guide on how to maintain and use your stove, called Burnright.


Energy Efficiency & Reducing Your Carbon Footprint.

Installing a wood burning stove can also help you be more energy efficient and reduce your carbon footprint.

Lowering CO2 emissions and improving energy efficiency are key objectives for the UK.  SIA Ecodesign Ready stoves can help households play their part in achieving these objectives.

SIA Ecodesign Ready stoves are over 80% efficient compared to 65% for stoves ten years ago and an open fire which is deemed to have an efficiency of 30%.

By replacing an open fire with a SIA Ecodesign Ready stove, you can both increase the efficiency of the heating in your home and reduce your carbon footprint without compromising on the cosy focal point that truly makes a house a home. The increased efficiency of a SIA Ecodesign Ready stove will make a noticeable difference to fuel economy and warmth in the house.

Wood is one of the most environmentally friendly fuels that can be used. It is a sustainable renewable energy source which is virtually carbon neutral.

The natural cycle of planting and harvesting trees has created a sustainable process that will provide carbon neutral solid fuel far into the future. CO2 is taken out of the atmosphere by growing trees at the same time as it is released by the combustion of the previous harvest. To reflect this closed loop CO2 cycle the carbon factor for wood logs in the official software used to measure the energy efficiency of homes (SAP) is only a small fraction of that for electricity, oil and gas.

So look out for the SIA Ecodesign label when you are buying a stove. The SIA Ecodesign Ready label is your assurance that the stove is:

* The most environmentally friendly stove available today.

* Has been independently tested to prove compliance with the Ecodesign criteria.

* Recommended by Defra.

Under current regulations an SIA Ecodesign Ready stove should also be Defra exempt to be installed in a smoke control area.