Using a woodburning stove in a Smokeless Zone
Most of London, all of Harlow town and parts of Cambridge are within smoke control areas (smokeless zones) which enforce the Clean Air Act. You can use a stove in these areas, but must choose one which is DEFRA Approved.
The Orion Heating list of Smokeless Zones
Data available for much of Essex, Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire and North London. Following many emails and phone conversations with local Councils, we now have a pretty definitive list of Smokeless Zones in this area. Phone 01279 813591 to discuss your local requirements and Clean Air Act status. We can pass on the official information made available to us, or point you in the right direction to clarify the situation further.
Approved Fuels and Exempt Appliances – What does that mean?
A ‘Smokeless Approved Fuel’ is one that can be used in a smokeless zone without restriction. These fuels are unsurprisingly sold as ‘Smokeless Fuel’ and refer to coal that does not release microscopic un-burnt particles during combustion. The rules were laid down in the Clean Air act to prevent smog.
Wood is NOT a Smokeless fuel, so cannot be burnt as freely as other approved solid fuels.
Wood CAN be burnt in a Smokeless Zone on an Exempt Appliance. Specifically one which has been tested by DEFRA and made exempt form the Clean Air act restrictions.
DEFRA Approved stoves are therefore the cleanest and most environmentally friendly woodburners. The DEFRA badge is a sign of carefully designed air systems and good engineering, not only a bolt on option for City centre stoves.
Do you really live in a Smokeless Zone?
The rules in central London, Harlow and Cambridge are there to keep the air clean and are not at all ambiguous, be aware that they are tightly enforced. So make sure you buy a DEFRA Exempt stove if you live in a true Smokeless Zone. In other areas the zones can be unclear or historical. We can offer advice on choosing the correct stove for where you live. However if customers are in doubt, a phone call to their local council environment department is necessary.