Solid fuel provides the vital heat you need to survive the winter
IN THE winter just gone many users of solid fuel (coal-briquettes-wood) saw the value of solid fuel, none more so than during storm Ophelia and the “Beast from the East”. In times when temperatures drop very low or during storm or snow events solid fuel provides strong physical heat (different from the central heating experience) and sometimes a sense of emotional comfort. In extreme cases during storms, where power outages are becoming more common, solid fuel provides the vital heat you need to survive.
The main solid fuels used in the South East are Bituminous Coal in rural areas and Smokeless Coal in Wicklow town which is a smokeless area. People also use Briquettes, some turf and wood both dried and undried. However, people are now more and more aware of the impact of air pollution. From an emissions perspective one critical measurable component is particulate matter (small soot particles contained in smoke referred to as PM2.5 & PM10). Government figures show that the most polluting fuels from an emissions perspective are undried wood and sod turf. These fuels also contain only 60% of the heat available from Smokeless Coal. While Bituminous Coal has lesser emissions than undried wood and sod turf, it still has significant emissions. The cleanest solid fuel to use is Smokeless Coal which, on average, has only 25% (i.e. one quarter) of the emissions of Bituminous Coal.
The Government intends to address this with a nationwide ban on Bituminous Coal from 1st September, 2019. In late 2017 – Minister Naughten announced a nationwide ban on Bituminous Coal. Per the announcement it will be illegal to sell or burn Bituminous Coal after 1st September, 2019. He has confirmed that position several times in recent months but the actual legislation is still outstanding.
However, consumers need not wait for any ban. Clean air inside your house and in your neighbourhood in important for you and your family. You can make the choice right now.
Time to embrace the future – a smokeless future.