Wood-burning – Inconvenient Truth, Part 2

Sadiq Khan asks for powers to control wood-burning

Part one of this blog was on the inconvenient truth that burning wood, especially in our cities, is a major contributor to particulate air-pollution that’s killing an estimated 29,000 people a year in the UK.

It describes how to be neighbourly and minimise your air-pollution:

In the 13 months since Sadiq Khan was elected Mayor of London, there have been 7 ‘red alert’ air pollution incidents, when Londoners were advised to stay indoors if possible.

Now he has called for only the least-polluting ecodesign woodstoves to be on sale after 2022 – and asked for powers in a revised Clean Air Act to set tighter controls on burning solid fuels from 2025.  If granted, this will probably enable any UK city to: Continue reading

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Wood-burning – Inconvenient Truth

There’s ever-growing  evidence that wood-burning is a big contributor to air pollution, especially in cities.

On January 22nd London had a major air pollution incident, with Camden, Westminster and The City hitting 10 out of 10 (worst) on the Air Quality Index.  “We think about half of the peak was from wood smoke” said Timothy Baker, air pollution expert at King’s College London.  Wood smoke pollution is most on cold evenings and weekends – this was a cold, still Sunday.  Small smoke particles have the worst health effects, especially PM2.5 (smaller than 2.5 micro-meter), which get deep into your lungs.    During that incident Cambridge levels of PM2.5 were  9/10 on the index. Domestic wood smoke contributes about a third of all UK PM2.5, which is  2.4 times more than traffic

UK government’s best estimate is that 29,000 extra deaths a year are caused by PM2.5   Public Health England estimates that 5% of mortality of people aged 30+  in Cambridgeshire is due to PM2.5 pollution. So this really is a major health problem, with wood smoke a significant contributor. Continue reading

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Thermal Imaging Guide

You can reveal where buildings are wasting heat with vivid thermal images… this guide shows how with lots of practical examples.

I’ve been testing the £200 Flir One smartphone add-on. It’s as good as CCF’s £1,800 thermal imaging cameras with smartphone advantages, although not so rugged.  Many more community groups and individuals can now afford to use thermal imaging to show poor insulation, draughts and other ways our homes loose heat.

Drawing on CCF’s experience of thermal imaging since 2009, this guide aims to help many others get started and to supplement our training sessions.

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