The current Solid Fuels Regulations took effect from 31 October 2022, and apply equally across the State.
The primary focus of these regulations is on improving air quality and improving people’s health outcomes, by restricting the retail, online and commercial sale of smoky fuels, including smoky coal, turf and wet wood. These fuels are proven to be a major contributor to air pollution in Ireland.
The thresholds which now apply are:
- Coal products and manufactured solid fuels must have a smoke emission rate of less than 10 grams per hour. This is the same as was previously in force in Low Smoke Zones.
- Manufactured part biomass products must have a smoke emission rate of less than 5 grams per hour.
- Coal products and manufactured solid fuels, including manufactured part biomass products, must have a sulphur content of less than 2% by weight on a dry ash-free basis, and subject to a market assessment, from 1 September 2025 this will be reduced to 1%.
- Fuel products which are 100% biomass products (including wood products and wood logs), supplied in units of two cubic metres or less, must have a moisture content of less than 25% (from 1 September 2025, this will be reduced to less than 20%).
- Wood logs supplied in units of two cubic metres or more must now be accompanied by a notice outlining the need to store and season wet wood until it is sufficiently dried.
- It is now not possible to sell turf via retail, online or other media, in public houses or other public places.
The Regulations also place certain obligations on producers, importers, and retailers of solid fuels.
The Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications has produced and regularly updates dedicated FAQs for the following sectors:
- Producers and importers of firewood
- Producers and importers of other solid fuels
- Couriers & haulage companies
- Media companies
These may be found at www.gov.ie/cleanair
The video below help to raise awareness of the solid fuel regulations, and ask people to think twice before lighting a fire if they also have other forms of heat available: