SNP takes ‘sudden turn’ over wood stove ban

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At the same time, former Green Party minister Patrick Harvie accused the SNP government of “dismantling modest measures” to tackle the climate crisis after a “little bit of lobbying from vested interests”.

Since April, new build heating standards have meant that all new homes and buildings in Scotland must be fitted with “climate friendly heating systems”.

Prohibits the use of direct exhaust heating (DEH) systems.

read more: Prominent architect denounces ‘insane’ ban on wood stoves

In practice, this means that 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 so-called zero DEH systems such as heat pumps, solar thermal storage systems and electric storage heaters.

However, the new rules provide an exception for the use of DEH systems in emergency situations.

One of the biggest critics of the de facto ban has been Deputy First Minister Kate Forbes.

Mr Forbes told the Scottish Mail on Sunday that the government was currently “reviewing a range of policy areas to ensure they are in line with people’s priorities”.

She told the paper: “There has been a change in management in recent weeks and it is very understandable that people would be concerned about, for example, the ban on wood stoves in new build properties, particularly as it is a trusted source of information.”

The comments were raised in Parliament by Conservative state MP Rachel Hamilton, who called on the Government to review.

“I have listened to the concerns raised by the community and will be revising regulations on wood stoves and biomass boilers to address the issues of inflexibility they have raised,” Mr Martin told MSPs.

“The outcome of this review will ensure resilience to disruptions to electricity, heating and supplies, and respect for rural communities, culture, traditions and sustainable systems.”

“I want to ensure that climate-friendly alternatives to direct emissions are promoted in an appropriate way across Scotland, without unintended consequences on fuel poverty and sustainability, particularly in rural areas.”

“The review will be carried out over a short period and will involve the community, businesses, local authorities and others to ensure all views are heard.”

“Well, to my surprise, the SNP has made another sharp about-face,” Mr Hamilton replied.

“Our party has long called for a change to these rules. They are erroneous, incomplete and do not understand the realities of rural life.”

read more: Wood Stoves vs. Heat Pumps: Emissions Issues

Mr Harvey said there were clear exceptions to the regulations and building regime.

“So isn’t it clear now that with a little lobbying from vested interests and a little misinformation, the SNP will begin to dismantle the modest measures that have been put in place for good reasons?” he said.

Martin said he agrees that there is “a lot of misinformation on this subject.”

“These regulations do not ban wood stoves,” she argued.

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