HETAS Newsletter July 2023

The summer is passing us by, and we will soon be heading towards the heating season. It was a year ago that we saw a spike in interest caused by the energy crisis and rising costs. Across the twelve months, we have seen exceptional demand, from stove purchases, installations, through to sweeping, servicing and fuel sales. Policy makers also continue to consider how best to bring about improvements in air quality for everyone and ways to achieve net zero.

Most recently we have seen the publication of The Environment Improvement Plan, swiftly followed by the Climate Change Committee 2023 Progress Report to Parliament. The national Air Quality Objectives and Air Quality Standards Regulations limit and target values with which the UK must comply are summarised in the National air quality objectives of the Air Quality Strategy. Additionally, the UK has set legally binding targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050, meaning the country will no longer contribute any additional greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.

Domestic burning and the biomass sector both play an important role in both air quality and net zero targets, as identified through these key policies. The Environment Improvement Plan clearly states that the government is not considering a ban on domestic burning in England, and it recognises that some households are reliant on solid fuel burning for heating, hot water and cooking. We are also expecting changes to legislation in Scotland and Wales over the coming years. If a ban is not coming into place, then the natural progression is to continually do things better. This includes better appliances, better fuels, ongoing servicing and using appliances in the right way.

We expect to see the governments Biomass Strategy published at some point this year.

We have seen the Cleaner Choice certification scheme for stoves, boilers and biomass appliances continue to grow. The scheme stipulates that appliances must meet both the current requirements for exemption and have attained listing on the DEFRA website, whilst also achieving at least a 50% improvement on current particulate limits for exemption, when measured using the more robust test methodology recognised within the UK. We have included an update on the Cleaner Choice certification scheme in this month’s newsletter and put the spotlight on another manufacturer in our regular newsletter feature.

A growing number of manufacturers are committing to making the Cleaner Choice and having their stoves and boilers certified by the independent HETAS certification scheme.

Products approved by the HETAS Cleaner Choice scheme are independently proven to meet the most stringent emissions criteria, going further than any other industry scheme and exceeding Ecodesign and Defra Exemption requirements. In fact, products listed under the HETAS Cleaner Choice scheme achieve a 50% improvement on particulates against currently recognised requirements within UK Smoke Control Areas.

The recently published Environment Improvement Plan (EIP) clearly states that the government is not considering a ban on domestic burning in England and it recognises that some households are reliant on solid fuel burning for heating, hot water and cooking. Additionally, a ban on domestic outdoor burning would be considered disproportionate. With this in mind, consideration on the most appropriate appliance to install is of vital importance.

What are the requirements of Cleaner Choice?

The appliance must meet the following:

  • Clean air act requirements

Consideration for any higher-level scheme to embrace exemption and include improvement measures against those stipulated within PD6434.

  • HETAS Cleaner Choice 50% Improvement on CAA requirements

Appliances must meet the 50% improvement over an average of 3 or 5 tests (dependent on appliance) for particulates at both high and low output. The limit is given from the equation (5/0.3)*0.1)/2. E.g. for a 5kW stove output the limit would be 3.3 g/h.

  • Energy Labelling & Ecodesign requirements

Products must as a minimum meet all essential requirements of Ecodesign & Energy Labelling, including minimum seasonal efficiency and maximum permitted emission limits. This information also being clearly visible to the consumer to aid their choice on retailer websites and associated documentation.

  • Building regulation requirements

Requirement for instructions to contain guidance that a) is true representation of initial type testing results and

  1. b) does not conflict with ADJ installation practices and guidance. Will also require meeting minimum gross efficiency criteria within DBSCG, however Ecodesign now stipulates a more stringent measurement for this.
  • UKCA / CE marking requirements

The appliance must meet all the relevant clauses of UKCA/CE marking including verifying that a suitable FPC is in place.

The performance and environmental analysis of certified Cleaner Choice appliances can be found on the product search results for each certified product.