Helping your customers understand what’s behind recent media reports is important. Here’s some great information and resources for you and your business from the Stove Industry Alliance.
The benefits of wood burning stoves: Spreading the word
As many Guild members will be aware, the Federation of British Chimney Sweeps, of which the Guild is a member, has recently joined the Stove Industry Alliance (SIA) as a Stakeholder Member. This SIA is committed to working on behalf of all its members to help spread the word about the many benefits of wood burning stoves and the role they will play in meeting challenging future policy objectives such as net carbon zero. Here’s a quick round up of some of the recent SIA activity.
At the heart of all SIA consumer communications are three core messages – right appliance, right fuel and right maintenance. The SIA references the importance of regular chimney sweeping as part of an ongoing programme of regular stove maintenance.
The SIA regularly posts across four social media channels – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn – using a mix of graphics, text, photography and video content. We also have a dedicated YouTube channel and the SIA website which hosts a range of videos and content.
The SIA’s misconceptions video was designed to help dispel the myths around wood burning stoves and some of the negative headlines perpetuated in the national press. The video covers some of the most common misconceptions such as wood burning stoves’ overstated contribution to PMs, that all wood burning is fundamentally “bad” and explains why the comparison between the emissions from stove and diesel cars is not factually correct.
All SIA members are encouraged to help spread the word by sharing these materials on social media and on their own websites.
Influencing the influencers
The SIA has developed productive working relationships with key government departments over recent years and is actively involved in responding to several key consultations from the likes of Defra, BEIS, Welsh and Scottish Government and the Greater London Authority.
Increasingly we see the growing importance of engagement at local government level as well. With greater powers for air quality management likely to be conferred to local authorities within the forthcoming Environment Bill, the SIA has been representing the industry at key local government events and building up its contacts with LAs across the UK.
The SIA’s latest document, Wood Burning Stoves: A guide for local authorities, has been written specifically for LAs with the intention of alerting them to the benefits of wood burning stoves and how replacing open fires and older stoves with new, Ecodesign compliant models is the single most effective policy for reducing emissions from domestic wood burning.
Positive press coverage
In addition to regularly challenging negative and misleading press articles directly with journalists and publications as they arise, the SIA has an ongoing programme of proactive and positive press communications.
The SIA targets a range of different trade and consumer titles, and its most recent article features in the June issue of H&V News.
Cutting edge appliances– the oldest form of heating in 21st century technology
Since its launch in August 2020, the clearSkies appliance certification scheme continues to gather pace. There are now in excess of 260 certified appliances, of which over 80% are Levels 4 and 5, meaning they go significantly beyond the minimum requirements of Ecodesign in terms of greater efficiency (up to >85% efficient) and lower emissions.
Sweeps are in the ideal position to be able to identify those homeowners that could benefit from upgrading their open fire or older stove to a new, clearSkies certified appliance and the SIA would encourage sweeps to in turn encourage their customers to visit the clearSkies website and contact their local retailer for more information.
Earlier this year the SIA appointed James Verlaque to the role of Technical Manager. James has many years’ experience in the combustion industry, most recently with Kiwa Gastec.
James’ role is crucial to the SIA’s ability to advise members on legislation and regulatory developments, and in building relationships with the industry’s key stakeholders. He is currently working closely with the FBCS on the development of an NVQ qualification for newly qualified sweeps.
All SIA members can raise technical queries or concerns for discussion at the SIA technical committee meeting.
Being positive about wood – sustainability and low carbon heating for our low carbon future
Whilst burning wood has been getting some unfair criticism in the press regarding its emissions, it is easy to forget that burning wood is intrinsically low carbon heating. Wood is a natural carbon dioxide sink and even accounting for processing and transport costs has a carbon intensity of less than a tenth of natural gas, oil and electricity. Hence if you are burning wood on a modern Ecodesign compliant stove you will most likely be displacing other more carbon intensive fuels.
We also continue to present the wellbeing issues associated with woodburning – the focal point for family living, air changes through the dwelling, the de-stressing effects of woodburning and the security of being able to continue to heat your house in the event of a power cut or very cold periods.
Get in touch
The SIA can be contacted via the website or by directly contacting: