Scotland implements ban on wood stoves in new homes

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In practice, that means new and renovated homes will be banned from using gas or oil boilers, or any form of bioenergy that produces electricity or heat from organic materials such as wood.

Instead, homebuilders are expected to use what are called “zero DEH” systems, such as heat pumps, solar thermal storage systems and electric storage heaters.

read more: Explained: Has Scotland banned wood stoves?

There was confusion about whether stoves were allowed as a back-up.

The regulations allow the use of direct exhaust heating systems for emergency heating, but state that “in small buildings, including dwellings, the heat demand in the event of a failure of the normal heating system is usually met by
This can be easily and easily dealt with by using a separate portable heater.

It also states that emergency heating from fixed installations will be considered “when the size, complexity or heat demand of a building makes portable solutions impractical or difficult to effectively manage.”

However, after questions were raised on social media, the Scottish Government clarified that wood-burning stoves and “other heating systems that produce emissions” would be permitted “where the need justifies”.

The news of the ban came as a surprise to many.

The Isle of Egg X account said the decision would be a “catastrophe” for the community where people like them are looking to build new homes or renovate existing ones.

He added: “They are a key part of our strategy to reach net zero by 2030. They are practical and cheaper to install than options such as heat pumps. They provide hot water in winter when solar heat is not available. Timber harvesting on the island provides affordable fuel and jobs for the local community.”

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Kate Forbes, the Scottish MP for Lochaber and Badenoch on the Isle of Skye, said she was “seeking an urgent explanation” from the Scottish Government.

She tweeted: “I see a lot of replies dismissing legitimate concerns because ‘everyone should already know this’ – and this is only true for new build properties. From what I can see in my inbox, the majority of Scottish rural residents are against this.”

Patrick Harvie, the Scottish Government’s minister for zero carbon buildings, told X it was not accurate to say he and his colleagues had banned wood burning and biomass heating.

“This is not true and I have seen people worry that hearing these allegations will force them to remove their wood stoves. No, that’s not the case,” he said.

“What is changing from this month are the rules for new buildings and major refurbishment buildings applying for building permits. It has nothing to do with existing heating systems or replacement systems that are not part of a building renovation. There is also an exception for emergency heating systems.”

“That’s because it’s better, easier and cheaper to install a clean heating system from the start, rather than retrofitting it later.”

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “Heating homes and buildings accounts for around a fifth of Scotland’s carbon emissions and we need to address these emissions if we are to tackle the climate emergency.”

“Proposals for new building thermal codes, which will come into force from 1 April 2024, were consulted extensively in 2021 and 2022.

“Both consultations showed strong support for the new standards. The changes will mean that new homes and buildings do not contribute to climate emissions by banning the use of polluting heating systems such as oil and gas boilers and bioenergy, including wood-burning stoves.”

“The standard does not apply to heating installations in homes and buildings built before 2024, so existing homes will not be affected in any way.”

“Wood-burning stoves and other heating systems that produce emissions can also be installed in new homes for emergency heating where the need is justified, in response to feedback from rural communities.”

“Separately, the Scottish Government has recently completed a consultation on its plans to introduce clean heating systems in existing homes and buildings and is currently considering its response. This includes proposals for the use of bioenergy and a ban on polluting heating systems in all buildings from 2045.”

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