On 1 January 2022, the UK will officially adopt a new set of environmental regulations concerning the manufacture, sale, and use of wood-burning stoves.
All newly manufactured wood stoves will now have to comply with the EU’s Ecodesign standard, which limits the amount of particulate emissions that come from heating appliances.
Read this article to learn everything you need to know about the 2022 wood-burning stove regulations and how they will impact the manufacture, sale, and use of wood burners in the UK.
Why Is the UK Government Introducing an EU Standard?
The biggest question most people have when learning about the introduction of the Ecodesign standard is why the UK government decided to introduce a new EU standard in the first place. After all, one of the promises of Brexit was for the UK to move away from EU regulations.
The answer to this question is simple. The decision to introduce the standard was made long before Brexit and falls in line with the governments eco goals.
The government views the implementation of Ecodesign as a standard for wood burning and multifuel stoves as one of the steps that need to be taken for the UK to reach carbon dioxide net zero by 2050.
Other steps include Ready to Burn, an initiative by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs that forbids the sale and use of poorly dried firewood and briquettes. The Clean Air Act, which forbids burning wood fuels in non-certified appliances in areas that are designated as Smoke Free. As well as the upcoming 2023 ban on burning house coal and wet wood.
What Is Ecodesign?
Ecodesign is a standard that limits the amount of particulate matter that can be emitted by a wood-burning multi-fuel stove and the composition of said particulate matter. Coupled with Ready to Burn and the upcoming wet wood ban, this should make biomass heat a lot more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly than before.
Is Ecodesign Stricter Than Existing UK Regulations?
Yes, the Ecodesign standard is much stricter than existing UK regulations, so wood burner manufacturers will have to make changes to the way they build their appliances.
Defra’s current standard also allows for as much as 5.5 grammes to be released per kilo of wood fuel burned. Ecodesign cuts this to 2.4 grammes.
The current standard allows carbon monoxide (CO) to represent as much as 1% of total emissions. Ecodesign cuts the permissible threshold to just 0.12%.
Effective minimum net efficiency thresholds were also changed. Most open fires used in the UK today currently operate at around 20% efficiency. Ecodesign increases this to 40%. And closed stoves will need to operate at no less than 75% efficiency to be certified for sale in the UK.
When Will the New Regulations Be Introduced?
All solid fuel stoves intended for sale in the UK must comply with the new standard starting January 1 2022.
To receive Ecodesign certification, every newly manufactured appliance will need to be tested by an independent testing lab.
Introduction of Energy Labels
Alongside the introduction of Ecodesign regulations, all multifuel stoves will now have to come with an energy efficiency certification label.
This label is referred to as the appliance’s Ecolabel and will look exactly like the labels you find on washing machines, refrigerators, and other household appliances.
This move is designed to make it easier for end consumers to compare wood stoves from different manufacturers.
Will End Customers Still Be Able to Use Older Stoves?
Users of existing non-Ecodesign multi-fuel burners will be allowed to continue using their appliances without any limitations. This being said, buying non-compliant stoves will become more and more difficult as time goes on.
Can You Still Sell Non-Certified Stoves in 2022?
Yes, sellers will still be able to sell their existing stock of non-Ecodesign stoves in 2022 and onwards. Buying non-certified stoves from wholesalers will also be possible.
Ecodesign regulations apply only to the manufacture of new wood-burning stoves, not the sale of existing stoves.