Coal Legislation 2021 – Can I still legally use coal?

Following recent media coverage of the changes in Government and Environment changes regarding the use of carbon fuels there may be questions you have:

Can I still get fuel for my fire? If so what can I use?

I have a multi burner can I still use wood fuel, if so what types are available to me?

When do any changes take place?

Here are some of the facts that we know of to date:-

Bituminous (non-smokeless) Coal

In a positive attempt to reduce global fuel carbon emissions, the Government has introduced legislation banning the retail sale of bituminous coal (non-smokeless coal) in plastic sacks on garage forecourts and other outlets as of the 1st May 2021. However, this does not mean bituminous fuels are no longer available! They will still be available until May 2023 but they will have to be delivered to you directly from a stockist such as Charles Swann, in either pre-packed sacks or in loose form for storage in a bunker.

Smokeless Coal

Although bituminous coals are to be phased out, smokeless coals can still be used for the foreseeable future and are very much less harmful to the environment. In almost all applications there are smokeless coals available to replace any bituminous variant that you may use.

Wood only or Multi-burner?

There are many types of home fuel burners around today but not all are designed to burn coal or smokless fuels, some can only burn wood. How do you tell? As a rule of thumb if your burner has a lower grate for collecting ash and some adjustable ventilation it is likely to be a multi-burner and so can burn woods and solid fuel. If you are unsure please give us a call and we will do our best to help identify you burner and advise the most suitable fuels for it.

Wood Fuels

Wood fuels are one of the most harmful to our environment, in particular natural hardwood and softwood logs, as they have the highest carbon emissions when burned. Legislation is changing so that only dried variants of wood such as kindling and kiln-dried wood will be acceptable for use. These fuels will be readily available but it does present problems of maintaining the dried state during transport and storage. In many cases, there are suitable smokeless coal replacements available that can be used in place of wood products.  Please feel free to contact Charles Swann if you have questions and we will do our best to help.

If you have any questions about the use of coal or firewood in your home or business, do not hesitate to give us a call and discuss your needs. 01922 408 152

Below are some links to government documents and releases

Press release May 2021: Restrictions on sale of coal and wet wood for home burning begin

Guidance February 2021: Selling coal for domestic use in England


Charles Swann (Walsall) Ltd
Old Landywood Lane
WV11 2AP

Contact Information

Phone 01922 408 152
Fax 01922 711 350

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