THE NEWS PAGE
22 May 2012
Another tragic death from CO poisoning in a boat: http://www.lancashiretelegraph.co.uk
Do take a look at the Soliftec advice sheet for boat installations drawn up with the Boat Safety Scheme.
Soliftec News - Bio Intelligence
23 April 2012
The Bio Intelligence Service has completed an 8-volume survey of domestic solid fuel heating in Europe, with a wealth of technical and market data. It estimates total appliance sales at about 2.3 Million per year.
1 Scope and Definitions
2 Economic and Market
3 Consumers and Infrastructure
4 Products Technical
5 Base Cases and Costs
6 Best Available Technologies
7 Improvement Potential
http://ecosolidfuel.org/ ('Documents' section)
New Energy Statistics
The UK Department of Energy and Climate Change has published new energy statistics, including averaged fuel prices, production and consumption trends at:
Soliftec News - HSA warning about pellet stores
27 May 2011
The Irish Health and Safety Authority have asked us to draw your attention to a significant danger of gas poisoning from stored wood pellets following a fatal accident where a householder entered a pellet store.
Safety Notice: http://www.hsa.ie/eng/Topics/Safety_Alerts/Wood_Pellet_Feed_Hoppers_Tanks/
News Item: http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2011/0215/1224289830398.html
Inventorying PM emissions - Advances of Atmospheric Aerosol Research in Austria
30 April 2011
Paper by W Winiwarter tries to separate wood smoke from other biological sorces of PM10s such as fungal spores and concludes that wood smoke odour is likely for many communities with traditional wood stove use.
Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)
The UK Government has announced a Renewable Heat Incentive to offer tariff support to big heat users - the industrial, business and public sector, to be followed in October 2012 by a similar scheme for domestic properties. http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/what_we_do/uk_supply/energy_mix/renewable/policy/incentive/incentive.aspx
The UK Department of Energy and Climate Change has released a new digest of Energy Statistics. This shows that, while solid fuel heating is now only about 2 to 3% of the UK market, its share has risen very significantly over the past few years. http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/statistics/publications/ecuk/ecuk.aspx
A new Statutory Instrument lists appliances which may be used in Smoke Control Areas when burning smoky fuels such as wood. The list includes new products by Esse, Tiger, Micromet, Dimplex and others. http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2010/2173/pdfs/uksi_20102173_en.pdf
New CE Marking Rules
A new Construction Products Regulation is to be laid before the European Parliament in 2011. This is expected to make the 'CE' marking of solid fuel heaters compulsory, even in the UK and RoI, from mid 2013, but with, in many cases, a much simplified certification procedure. We'll keep you informed. You can read the draft regulation at:
New Standard for Fireguards
A new version of British Standard 8423 for semi-permanent Fireguards (sometimes called 'nursery guards', as opposed to moveable sparkguards to BS 3248) has been introduced effective from the beginning of August 2010. It changes the specification from one of construction to a set of performance standards. Copies of National Standards can be purchased from National Standards Organizations, such as http://shop.bsigroup.com or http://www.nsai.ie, or your local library may give you access to an online subscription at no direct cost to you.
EU Ecodesign - Hot Air Heating
The Ecodesign Lot 21 Project Team are asking for your comments on proposals for EU legislation on Hot Air Central Heating products. See: http://www.ecoheater.org
New NSAI Building Standards
The National Standards Authority of Ireland are asking for your comments on a proposed new code of practice for domestic plumbing and heating. This very comprehensive document now includes, amongst other things, advice on the installation of solid-fuel central heating, link-up systems and heat accumulators and is likely to be useful to heating engineers everywhere. The Document SR 50-1:2010 can be downloaded from: http://www.nsai.ie/NSAI/files/d5/d51696f5-28ad-4a09-8344-fc47f154e267.pdf
Scottish Technical Handbook
The '2010 Technical Handbook - Domestic' comes into force in Scotland on October 1, 2010 and includes rules about the installation of Solid Fuel appliances. http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Built-Environment/Building/Building-standards/publications/pubtech/thb2010dom
The UK 'Airborne Particulate' report for 2009 has now been published and is available on the Air Quality Archive web site. It appears, at a quick glance, to show a continuing gradual improvement in air cleanliness. http://www.airquality.co.uk/reports/reports.php?report_id=61
New Approved Document - 1st October
A new Approved Document with recommendations for the installation of heating appliances will be coming into effect in England and Wales from 1 October 2010. Among other changes, it clarifies the size recommendations for fluepipes and the positioning of flue terminals for solid fuel appliances. You can download the full Approved Document at: http://www.planningportal.gov.uk/uploads/br/BR_PDF_ADJ_2010.pdf There is general information about this from the UK government at http://www.communities.gov.uk/planningandbuilding/buildingregulations/legislation/partlf2010consultation/partlfconsultationfaqs/partlf2010consultfaq/?id=1279064
Fraudulent CE Certificates
We've been made aware of more than one company who have been presenting as proof of the safety of their stoves 'CE Certificates' from a company called 'ESC Certification and Testing Ltd'. These certificates are fraudulent.
ESC operates the web sites www.ukesc.org and www.cerz.cn, claiming that it can test solid fuel heating products for CE certification. The company is NOT a Notified Body and these claims are false. ESC Certification and Testing is in the process of being wound up following a petition against the Company by the UK Secretary of State for Business on the grounds of Public Interest.
If your company has, possibly in all good faith, bought certification services from ESC, you may be entitled to compensation - contact the Official Receiver's office.
BIO Intelligence Service
The European BIO Intelligence Service would appreaciate your feedback on its definitions of what solid fuel appliances are and how they perform. These 'base case' figures may be used to form legislation for years to come. Pass your comments on to email@example.com
The University of Nottingham have demonstrated their 'Score' device which might be able to generate electricity from a solid fuel stove and are anxious to find an appliance manufacturer to work with. There is more information at http://www.score.uk.com/research/default.aspx http://www.score.uk.com/research/Shared%20Documents/Score_Papers/MEC%20poster%20final%20version.pdf
If you might be interested contact: Paul H. Riley School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, The University of Nottingham, NG7 2RD Paul.Riley@nottingham.ac.uk Tel: +44 (0)115 951 5356
UK Low Carbon Transition Plan
The UK Government has published its 'Low Carbon Transition Plan', available from the website below. This presents important ideas about improving wood fuel supply both from forests and by diverting waste, it has nothing to say about appliances.
The BIO Intelligence Service has now published the results of its investigations into small solid fuel combustion installations at http://www.ecosolidfuel.org/documents_15.php These are likely to be highly influential on future Europe-wide regulations and appear to be moving towards very much stricter emissions control. You are invited to comment on these documents to firstname.lastname@example.org, if you wish your opinion to be included.
New Solid Fuel Appliance Standards
Ecosolidfuel.org are collecting opinions on behalf of the European Commission to help decide what standards will apply to stoves in future. The new standards are expected to be compulsory and very strict. If you take the (considerable) trouble to fill in their questionnaire (at http://www.ecosolidfuel.org/docs/BIO_EuP_Lot15_Q3-Task%206.xls), your opinion can be included.
Global Carbon Meetings
The Global Carbon Project would like to bring to your attention a number of upcoming meetings on carbon related sciences. See: http://www.globalcarbonproject.org/meetings/index.htm In particularly, the 8th International Carbon Dioxide Conference, 13-19 September 2009 in Jena, Germany. The deadline for abstract submission is 30 April. The conference takes place once every four years and is one of the top global scientific events on carbon cycle sciences.
Air Quality Standards
Strict EU air quality controls will come into force at the beginning of 2010, becoming stricter still at the start of 2015. This may have significant implications for solid fuel heating appliances.
The 5th International fireplace exhibition will be held at Expocentre Moscow from the 9th to 12th April 2009
Fuel Prices Update
Overall prices paid for all domestic fuel types increased by 24.6% between August 2007 and August 2008. Domestic electricity prices rose by 18.0%, gas by 28.2%, heating oils by 58.4% and coal and smokeless fuels by 17.8%. This resulted in solid fuel consumption rising by 3.0%, while all other fuels fell, oil by 4.7%, gas by 0.8% and electricity by 11.2%. (Source - UK Office for National Statistics) The fuel cost data spreadsheet on the Soliftec website has been adjusted accordingly. You can download it to add your own local data and estimate heating costs for various rooms and houses.
Westport Wood Energy Conference
Sustainable Energy Ireland are hosting a one-day seminar 'Wood Energy - Fuelling YOUR Future' on Wednesday 10 September 2008 at the Westport Wood Hotel, Westport, Co Mayo.
EU Domestic Appliance Performance
The European Commission has announced a series of preparatory studies on the energy efficiency of domestic appliances. This is expected to lead, eventually, to stricter performance requirements. The study of small solid fuel heating appliances is being conducted by Bio Intelligence Service (France), AEA Technology (UK) and The Silesian University (Poland). A website has been set up (www.ecosolidfuel.org) and will soon include an opportunity for you to contribute to the study. I'll try and keep you informed.
Competent Persons Scheme
The UK Department for Communities and Local Government has updated the official list of organisations authorised to certify competence in the installation of domestic solid fuel appliances. These now include...
APHC (Association of Plumbing and Heating Contractors (Certification) Limited www.aphc.co.uk 02476 470 626
Building Engineering Services Competence Accreditation (BESCA Limited) www.hvca.org.uk / www.besca.org.uk 0800 652 5533
HETAS Ltd (Heating Equipment Testing and Approval Scheme) www.hetas.co.uk 01462 634721
NAPIT Registration Ltd www.napit.org.uk 0870 444 1392
NICEIC Group Ltd www.niceic.org.uk 0800 013 0900
A fuller explanation is on the Communites Website: http://www.communities.gov.uk/index.asp?id=1131138&syncNav=1#4
European harmonised standards
As of 1 July 2007 the following industrial standards will become 'harmonised' and therefore compulsory throughout the European Union. All new appliances will be required to conform.
EN 12809:2001 Residential independent boilers fired by solid fuel - Nominal heat output up to 50 kW
EN 12815:2001 Residential cookers fired by solid fuel
EN 13229:2001 Inset appliances including open fires fired by solid fuels
EN 13240:2001 Room heaters fired by solid fuel For more information, see
UK Home Information Packs
From June 1 2007, homes sold in the UK will require a 'Home Infomation Pack', including an energy usage report and rating. These will be developed from the procedure given at http://projects.bre.co.uk/sap2005/pdf/SAP2005.pdf which can give considerable advantage to homes fitted with closed solid fuel appliances capable of burning wood.
New UK Renewable Energy Grants
There's a new Government grant scheme for low-carbon heating technologies on the way. (see http://www.lowcarbonbuildings.org.uk/about/). Details haven't been finalised but it looks as if only appliances and installers registered with the scheme will be considered for government cash. Manufacturers and installers can pre-register now to be considered for inclusion in the scheme.
Forthcoming UK Legislation
The UK Communities and Local Government Department have announced a schedule of new legislation for 2007. Of special interest may be... Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications Amendment of the energy efficiency and competent person scheme provisions of the Building Regulations Sustainable and Secure Buildings Act 2004
DEFRA Energy and carbon saving calculations
The UK Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs has published a draft of new Energy, cost and carbon saving calculations.
Caution on Climate Risks
Professors Paul Hardaker and Chris Collier of The Royal Meteorological Society have criticised the 'overplaying' of global warming, potentially damaging the credibility of all climate science.
SOLIFTEC NEWS - EU Action Plan for Energy Efficiency
A European Action Plan for energy reduction proposes stricter requirements for heating appliances and buildings, with a move towards zero-energy dwellings. It expects heating product labelling to be compulsory by 2008. There's more information at: http://www.soliftec.com/euplan2006.htm This may have significant implications for the solid fuel/wood burning sector.
SOLIFTEC NEWS - UK Government 'The Energy Efficiency of Dwellings' Report
Shows that relatively simple home improvements, such as cavity wall insulation, could save around 7M tonnes of carbon a year. There's more information at: www.soliftec.com/buildingefficiency.htm
SOLIFTEC NEWS - UK Stern Report on Climate Change
Sir Nicholas Stern's report into the economic consequences of climate change suggests that the global economy could shrink by a fifth unless drastic action is taken - including a move towards renewable energy sources, for which he recommends support for energy R+D be at least doubled and support for deployment should increase five-fold.
There's more information at: http://www.soliftec.com/sternreport2006.htm
SOLIFTEC NEWS - BBC UK Fuel Bill Analysis
The cost of powering British homes has risen dramatically in recent years.
Full story: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/spl/hi/guides/456900/456986/html/default.stm
SOLIFTEC NEWS - Britain tops energy waste league
The UK is Europe's worst energy waster, with the problem to cost £11bn by 2010, a study says.
Full story: http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/em/-/1/hi/uk/6075794.stm
SOLIFTEC NEWS - Fuel cost and carbon emissions - spreadsheet and example
SOLIFTEC issue new spreadsheet to calculate energy costs and carbon emissions:
SOLIFTEC NEWS - UK planning law on climate change
A bill covering climate change and cuts in carbon dioxide emissions is being considered by the government.
Full story: http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/em/-/1/hi/uk_politics/6045680.stm
SOLIFTEC NEWS - Stove Performance Data Sheets
In response to requests from several appliance manufacturers, a worksheet is now available to assist in preliminary evaluation of stove performance at www.soliftec.com/documentsindex.htm
This accompanies the information page on evaluating stove performance (www.soliftec.com/StovePerformance.pdf)
SOLIFTEC NEWS - Carbon Trust Grants
The UK Carbon Trust are holding a free 'Applied Research and Incubation Workshop' in Central Birmingham on 23 November 2006 to provide practical information on Applied Research grants and the Incubation Support scheme for low-carbon technologies. Anyone interested should email email@example.com
SOLIFTEC NEWS - New Fire Safety Order
The new Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order (RRFSO) becomes the new law in October 2006. The main effect of the changes will be a move towards greater emphasis on fire prevention in all non-domestic premises. Fire certificates will be abolished and will cease to have legal status. The Fire Safety Order will apply in England and Wales. (Northern Ireland and Scotland will have their own laws.) More information is available at http://www.communities.gov.uk/index.asp?id=1124877
SOLIFTEC NEWS - Solid Fuel Safety in Thatched Properties
A document has now been agreed with the National Society of Master Thatchers and is available for review at http://www.soliftec.com/quarantine.htm.
Appliance and flue manufacturers, thatchers and installers are especially asked for their comments on this important safety matter before the document is made public.
SOLIFTEC NEWS - Guide To The Building Regulations
A handy guide for those perplexed by the England and Wales buiding regulations is now available online from the Department for Communities and Local Government at http://www.communities.gov.uk/index.asp?id=1131116
SOLIFTEC NEWS - Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Philip Malkin of Fires & Fireplaces draws our attention to the Parliamentary report on gas safety, to which Jane Heginbotham of the Solid Fuel Association contributed, (available from http://www.gassafetygroup.org.uk/publications.php ) which points out that 469 people died from CO poisoning in the UK in 2002 and that while only a very tiny proportion of these may be attributed to solid fuel appliances there is a worrying 'statistical vacuum' in our industry.
SOLIFTEC NEWS - Evaluating Stove Performance
A new Information sheet is available on 'Evaluating Stove Performance' at http://www.soliftec.com/documentsindex.htm . This outlines some simple methods of assessing the efficiency and heat output of closed solid fuel appliances. If you find any errors or omissions, please do email Glyn Hughes at firstname.lastname@example.org. Like all Soliftec documents this is completely royalty-free for you to copy, alter and use as you wish.
SOLIFTEC NEWS - Competent Persons Scheme
The UK Department for Communities and Local Government has updated the official list of persons competent to supervise the installation and solid fuel appliances. These are:
HETAS Ltd (Heating Equipment Testing and Approval Scheme)
Building Engineering Services Competence Accreditation (BESCA Limited)
www.hvca.org.uk / www.besca.ork.uk
0800 652 5533
NAPIT Certification Ltd
0870 444 1392
The full list can be viewed at http://www.communities.gov.uk/index.asp?id=1131138 .
SOLIFTEC NEWS - Building Research Technical Report on flues
The UK Department for Communities and Local Government has made available a Building Research Technical Report called 'Location of flues to prevent ingress of gas and oil firing flue gases under all weather conditions'. Although principally concerned with oil and gas installations, it may be equally useful for solid fuel flues and chimneys.
The document is available at http://www.publications.odpm.gov.uk/pubdetails.asp?pubid=2033
SOLIFTEC NEWS - UK 'HOME INFORMATION PACKS'
It has been announced that this delayed scheme is now due to re-start in June 2007 and is likely to include the need for inspection of solid fuel appliances, fireplaces and chimneys. There is more information about this announcement at the UK Government Communities website http://www.communities.gov.uk/index.asp?id=1501921, and a dedicated website at www.homeinformationpack.gov.uk
SOLIFTEC NEWS - 5% UK VAT on certain wood appliances now agreed
More than a year after the Chancellor announced a 5% VAT rate for wood-fired boilers we have finally agreed how this is to be interpreted and implemented.
In essence, the 5% rate will apply to the supply AND the installation, in non-commercial premises, of ALL wood-only appliances with boilers having a water output above 7.5kW. The full agreed statement, with some examples, is available at http://www.soliftec.com/5vat.htm
SOLIFTEC NEWS - UK Coal now in profit
UK Coal announces profits for the first time since 2003. Full story at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/5319532.stm
SOLIFTEC NEWS - Register Update
The Register of Domestic Solid Fuel Appliances has been updated to include more manufacturers and more detailed information. It is available at http://www.soliftec.com/theregister.htm. In particular, note the smoke emission figures from New Zealand appliances. If you are aware of any mistakes or omissions please email Glyn Hughes at email@example.com