DEFRA Announces New Wood-Burning Stove Regulations

Last year, DEFRA released a practical guide on open fires and wood-burning stoves. In line with this, HETAS has confirmed that, despite the tighter wood-burning stove regulations, the government has officially ruled out any ban on such equipment. It is worth noting that domestic wood-burning stoves are reportedly responsible for up to approximately 20% of airborne pollution, specifically in the form of NOx and particulate matter.

Industrial users currently employing wood waste to heat their factories must comply with stringent regulations. However, these regulations are expected to be modified to reduce emission levels even further. The existing strict emission limits, applicable to systems consuming over 90kgs/hour of wood, do not extend to those operating below the 90kg limit. This, however, is set to change.

Under the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), the initial emission levels for NOx and particulate matter were set higher but were subsequently revised and lowered throughout the programme. By the scheme’s conclusion, the limits had decreased to 30g/GJ for PM and 150g/GJ for NOx, specifically for industrial boiler systems. Notably, Ranheat ceramic filters have consistently demonstrated an average of 1.2g/GJ for particulate and 110g/GJ for NOx.

With the new wood-burning stove regulations, particulate limits will be capped at 375g/GJ. However, the existing rules are expected to become even more stringent, potentially dropping to 185g/GJ. Considering the government’s focus on domestic wood-burners, there is a strong likelihood that these stricter limits will extend to industrial installations, possibly affecting even smaller ones.

As a result, it is anticipated that the new hand-loaded industrial heaters will be required to adhere to limits lower than the proposed new emission limits.

Currently, hand-loaded industrial heaters must comply with the Clean Air Act and have undergone government exemption testing, although many of these tests were conducted over 20 years ago.


Ensuring Compliance with Ranheat Systems

There is a prevailing sentiment that the forthcoming more stringent limits will be universally applied to all new industrial installations. Meeting these lower limits poses a challenge for natural draft systems as they lack adequate control with a natural draft chimney.

However, with Ranheat, meeting these stricter wood-burning stove regulations will not be a problem in the event that they are extended to industrial biomass boilers. Every Ranheat system comes equipped with induced draft (electric chimney fan) and forced draft fans for both primary and secondary air. The operation of these fans is regulated by flue gas temperature. Notably, our warm air heaters incorporate multitube heat exchangers, contributing to lower flue temperatures and enhanced efficiencies. 

Please note that whether you opt for a specific Ranheat system or any wood-fired installation utilising waste wood, it is essential that they comply with all the current regulations. You are legally required to secure planning permission, chimney height approval and permits to authorise the legal burning of wood waste. This may involve obtaining an exemption from the Environment Agency for up to 50kgs per hour or acquiring a permit for a Site Waste Incineration Plan (SWIP) or a full Part B permit. Rest assured, our team at Ranheat can provide free assistance to enable you to obtain these permits and permissions.


Wood-Burning Stove
Wood Burning

Get in Touch

To learn more about the various types and sizes of industrial wood-burning equipment starting from 75kW and above, please call us on 01604 750005 or email [email protected]. Alternatively, for more information, you can also visit our website at Ranheat also makes spare parts and provides a range of services, including repairs, for wood-burning boilers and heaters manufactured by other companies.


  • 28 June 2024
  • Alexander Franklin