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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
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    Hello again

    I was in a local stove shop before Christmas looking at their stock and discussing all things wood burning... One of the things the chap said was that they anticipate a nightmare situation (and lots of customer complaints) in 2022, when all they can sell is the EcoDesign Ready stoves. His reasoning was that:

    - They will have poorer draw. He showed as the top of one EcoDesign stove which had a baffle very close to the flue outlet, designed as such to meet the criteria for emissions.
    - They will be a lot harder to get going, partly due to the draw and partly due to the fact that the flue will heat up less (and slower).
    - They will be much less forgiving on wood quality.

    Obviously this is only one person's opinion. And the more cynical side of me wondered if he perhaps had an agenda to try and sell off more non-compliant stoves (to shift stock before the deadline), or to gain a quick sale. Equally possible that he was just being honest and sharing his knowledge though.

    So to the stove aficionados on the forum who have already been helpful with my other WBS questions - and anyone else who cares to join in - I'd love to hear your opinions on this....

    One other thought is whether anyone thinks there might be penalties or levies in the future for people burning wood on non-EcoDesign ready stoves. I appreciate no-one has a political crystal ball, but any musings are most welcome.

    Cheers, and happy new year :bigsmile:
    • CommentAuthorHollyBush
    • CommentTimeJan 3rd 2021
    If you need a WBS, why wouldn't you get an eco design one?
    Do you intend to burn unseasoned wood?

    I remember reading about a smoke or flue scrubbing device that replaces a chimney and catches all the nasties. The sooner that is compulsory the better - until then they are unlikely to be economical nor widely available.
    • CommentTimeJan 3rd 2021
    Posted By: greenfingerOne other thought is whether anyone thinks there might be penalties or levies in the future for people burning wood on non-EcoDesign ready stoves.

    I think an outright ban is more likely.
    Posted By: djhI think an outright ban is more likely.

    Well, that wouldn't be good! It would be quite rough on a lot of people who buy non-compliant stoves this year, or have done in the last couple of years or so, if their investment is then somehow banned int he near-ish future.

    Posted By: HollyBushIf you need a WBS, why wouldn't you get an eco design one?

    Since looking into it more, I am considering one now. I guess it was based on what I had been told, and the fact that Clearview have yet to produce one (perhaps because they don't agree with it?).

    Posted By: HollyBushDo you intend to burn unseasoned wood?

    We certainly don't intend to, but with live in rural Wales and will be using (and processing) our own wood. Obviously we'll always aim to season the wood and hopefully we'll achieve that. But perhaps the odd log will sneak through that has a higher moisture content than what's ideal. I can't imagine every log in the store will season at the same rate, and I won't be putting the moisture meet to every single log we burn.

    Also, whilst we do not plan to slumber, there may be times where we are on a long-ish dog walk, or out in the garden, and we don't want the fire to go out over a period of a few hours. From what I'm understanding, this will be more difficult to achieve with EcoDesign Ready stoves.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm all for green. We do not heat the house above 17C, we are going to have compost loos, we car share and use it minimally, we will do our best to only burn fallen trees and replant more than we burn, we encourage wildlife into the garden, we're vegan, we grow fruit and veg. etc etc. But we want a stove that will fit in with how we will use it and how we live. Not that I'm saying an EcoDesign stove won't; it's now something I need to explore...

    Many thanks for the replies
    • CommentAuthorphiledge
    • CommentTimeJan 4th 2021
    I cant see existing stoves being banned generally although I could see bans being put in place in certain populated areas in the same way that LEZ's exist for more polluting vehicles. In the same way that petrol and diesel cars will all but disappear over the coming decades, so will dirtier fires.

    Clearveiw will be out of business in the UK/EU if they dont produce compliant stoves so I guess new models are in the pipeline.

    If the supplier youve spoken to is being a bit negative about Ecodesign it might be worth speaking to suppliers of stoves already approved. If theres any concerns about lighting/flue warming/draw then make sure you have a fully insulated flue of the correct diameter/minimum length.

    To guarantee seasoned wood make sure youve got covered storage for 3 years worth and itll all be dry😊
    Thanks philedge.

    An LEZ type approach makes sense. The other idea that's floating about (and has cropped up before) is an element of council tax that is linked to EPC. And in time I guess an EPC could reflect the type of stove you have. Perhaps as black and white as to whether it is EcoDesign or not. Or perhaps a little more involved with different brackets to reflect the stoves' efficiency and emissions (like road tax). Who knows?!? But I hope if it did happen it would be more like the latter, as whilst not an expert on the subject, I'd hazard a good guess that a Clearview Pioneer or Woodwarm Fireview will be far more efficient and un-polluting than older stoves, and in a whole different league (different sport?) when compared to open fires.

    Agreed RE Clearview - will be interesting to see how they respond to the coming deadline.

    The supplier we spoke to had plenty of EcoDesign Ready stoves in the shop as well. I'd guess that any supplier would likely have stock of both, seeing as we're at the cusp of the change but still with a year to go.

    • CommentTimeJan 5th 2021
    Posted By: greenfingeran element of council tax that is linked to EPC

    I would fight that strongly, to the extent I could. EPCs are garbage. Basing a tax on them is nonsense.
    Yes, same here. If the time comes, give me a place and time and I'll meet you there with my pitchfork :)
    EPCs are garbage. But they are already used to hit people in the wallet - for example, RHI payments are granted or withdrawn based on the annual heating cost as stated in the EPC, or landlords forced to buy upgrades to their rental properties to meet a certain EPC threshold score, or Green Deal repayments based on supposed improvements to EPC.

    While those are not technically 'tax', the principle is well established of money changing hands on the basis of EPCs, unfortunately.

    To be fair, Council Tax valuation bands are also garbage.

    I'm with Phil - air quality regulation would most likely take the form of zones in which you are only allowed to burn stoves and fuel which have the right certificates, like the original Smoke Control rules. Different parts of the country might have different views about where they should go, so built up areas are more likely to favour tighter controls. As of now I would shy away from installing a stove, but particularly one that doesn't have the certificate.
    • CommentTimeJan 5th 2021
    Posted By: WillInAberdeenEPCs are garbage. But they are already used to hit people in the wallet

    Not my wallet :bigsmile: That's why I would fight council tax dependence specifically, I'm afraid. As long as I don't have a dog in the fight, I'll let sleeping dogs lie. :devil:
    We installed an EcoDesign compliant ACR Larchdale woodburning stove around May/June 2019 and have the air supply vented externally. The Inlet for the external air supply is through a 3m long pipe and the house is three story's so the chimney will be maybe 10m in length. We have no problem at all with lighting it and just use scrunched up newspaper and logs rather than having to use kindling or fire lighters. We buy kiln dried logs that are stored in a dry woodshed. Any logs obtained from trees around us are chopped up and left for a couple of years in the shed, so they're also very dry when they are put onto the fire.

    There is a little smoke when we first light the fire, likely from the newspapers then nothing - no smoke and no smell.
    • CommentTimeJan 5th 2021
    Looks very cosy! Did you crochet the cat during lockdown?
    That's his favourite spot in front of the fire. The dog usually sits on the other side.
    Yes, the cat does look semi-mesmerised by the flame. And enjoying the heat of course. I think to be fair on the dog you need to post another photo with them both in their positions :)

    I like the way your lighting gives the effect that the flames are causing it.

    Did you build the fireplace, and if so do you mind if I ask what tiles you used for the hearth?

    Thanks for sharing :)
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