Reader poll: Should wood-burning stoves be banned in new buildings?

Should wood-burning stoves be banned in new buildings?
  • Yes
  • No
0 voters

There needs to be rural proofing by Scottish government on this matter. We have had more power cuts in the last year than in the 25 years we have lived here. We have a heat pump and solar but as elderly and vulnerable living in a rural area with the frequent storms we now have, we need the reassurance of the wood stove. Our one does conform to the legislation and we only use very dry wood. Attention needs to be paid to the fuel used, the nature of the rural area, recognition of the needs of vulnerable communities and individuals and more assistance in meeting costs of fuel should be explored.


While having them as a stop-gap in case of a power cut is one thing, wood-burning stoves cause terrible air pollution and I’ve recently heard from people who are unable to go out in the evening and/or have had to move because the people in the area in winter have too many stoves polluting the air.
I feel like a lot of wood-burning stoves are seen as an attractive airbnb/staycation feature and/or a luxe ‘cosy’ feature of a property, and in those cases I think it’s right to ban them in new properties or putting one in where it’s not been before.


The problem is we all love the romance of wood, coal and peat fires, so many stories and art involve a lovely warm fire. In the past we didnt know that burning these fuels, even in an enclosed wood burner, causes lung damage, cancers and early death, it is similar to being in a room with a smoker. There is overwhelming evidence of this, I would encourage you to look it up because its fascinating and compelling. Did you know that every Dyson air purifier sends data, every few mintes back to the manufacturer, from all over the world , all the time. If you have one, they can tell who has a fire burning and who doesnt! Literally millions of people have died, early , because they did not know the harm that indoor fires cause. I used to have a fire every night in the winter, but I now feel worried about the harm I must have done to my childrens lungs. It is the job of a government to act to protect its citizens when new evidence comes to light to show population harm (think about seat belts or air bags in cars for example) and to legislate accordingly. If they did not do this, it would be a dereliction of their basic duty. This is NEW houses, which can be designed with good insulation, solar panels and a battery and heat pump to keep hot water and heat in the house when there is a power cut. This already happens in other parts of the world, New Zealand is a good example (although this was motivated by earthquake risk originally as you don’t want an open fire burning when the house falls down(same for gas cookers)!

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We have a heat pump solar panels and a woodburner. We burn well seasoned and kiln dried waste wood pulp briquettes. The heat pump is very expensive to run but OK for background heat in the home. We set it to 13C and it still costs a shed load. The woodburner allows us to have a warm cosy room to enjoy. The electricity for the heat pump is generated from power sources that have a bad eco footprint., even the onshore wind turbines that blight the moors nearby with the miles of pylons cables and substations. Insulation is the best way forward not legislating the population into poverty and cold induced illness and death. This is the end result of the policies of the middle class neo liberals who are in control and more into virtue signalling and self promotion than helping the majority of us thrive.

The overall answer is that Scotland has abundance of wind energy and can supply affordable heating to its relatively small population.
Unfortunately long term mismanagement of uk energy policy has left Big Oil still in charge - wanting to build new gas/fossilfuel power stations to plug the gap.

I agree with katep re. rural communtities. We live rurally on 2 acres (1.5 is woodland) in SW Scotland. We have solar (best in the summer), an air heat-pump also acts as a whole-house heat recovery system (which works well but at the current cost of electricity is now used minimally), no gas available as we are rural, an old kerosene boiler which we keep as back-up as we are in out 70s, and a 25 kW (max) multi-fuel boiler designed to mostly use wood which heats a wter heat-store tank and, when in use, the radiators. The wood is local and plentiful (with hard work). We plant new trees, so carbon balance is fairly neutral. Grid electricity has only just occassionally broken the 50% produced by “renewable sources” (and that, the analysis includes nuclear…!).
This morning (9 AM Fri 18th May), UK is using 30 GW of electricity. 41% generated by gas(!), 26% nuclear (includes 10% imports), 10% solar, 5% biomass, 5% wind, and 13% ‘other’, inlcuding pumped storage. UK use of gas is far more more important to deal with c.f. air pollution from rural homes with efficient wood burners.
(FYI - I am a retired engineer (electrical, electronics and agricultural qualifications) and scientific reasearcher (cancer, environmental health and climate change)).