New £300 Wood Burner Fine: Updated Rules 2023

New £300 Wood Burner Fine: Updated Rules 2023

If you own a log burner and reside in England, there's a chance that you may be up for a nasty surprise in the near future. According to the latest regulations relating to log burners, you may be fined up to £300 if your stove emits more than 3g of smoke per hour. In some cases, you may even get a criminal record.

In this article, our wood fuel experts will tell you everything you need to know about these latest regulations and fines for use of wood fuels in smoke control areas.

Read on to make sure you don’t fall victim to the £300 fine.

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Who Can Be Fined £300 For Wood Burner Use?

Most households in England. The new £300 fine for wood burner use applies to all households that use log burners in smoke control areas. As these areas cover most of England’s towns and cities, most households in England may be subject to this fine. To avoid paying the fine, you must ensure that your burner emits less than 3g/hour of smoke.

Why Have the New Log Burner Fines Been Introduced?

The new fines were introduced to help local authorities better enforce pollution control in smoke control areas.

Read also: Log Burners, DEFRA and Smokeless Fires: Your Questions Answered

Consequences of Violating the New UK Wood Burner Regulations

First-time offenders whose chimneys are emitting too much smoke can be fined up to £300. Local authorities retain the right to pursue a criminal case against households that become repeat offenders.

Will Log Burners Be Banned in the UK?

No. The UK government’s latest 25-year environmental plan does not include a complete ban on wood stoves. This is because wood fuel is an important source of warming and cooking heat for over a million UK households. Instead, the government plans to tighten the rules to ensure wood fuels are used more efficiently.

How Much Stricter Are the New Regulations?

The new regulations are 40% stricter than the old rules. Previously, a stove could emit 5g of smoke per hour. The new rules only allow for 3g of smoke per hour. If your stove emits more than 3g/hour, you may be subject to the new wood burner fine.

Why Have New Log Burner Fines Been Introduced in 2023?

The new 2023 regulations, including the new wood burner emission limit, were introduced as one of the measures of the UK government’s new environmental plan to cut emissions. The plan outlines the government’s goals for the new 25 years.

Why Is the Government Cracking Down on Wood Stoves and Coal?

Coal and wood stoves are considered to be the largest source of PM 2.5, fine particulate matter with aerodynamic diameters equal to or less than 2.5 micrometres (0.0025 millimetres). These particles are so small that they can enter your lungs and blood, which is a health hazard.

While wood fuel is only hazardous when wet wood is burned and inefficient burners are used, coal burning needs to be phased out completely. 

How Large Are the Emissions Created by Wood and Coal Stoves?

According to the latest data, when taken together, wood and coal stoves account for 38% of the United Kingdoms PM2.5 emissions.

Wood stove emissions can be lowered by choosing higher quality wood fuels, avoiding the burning of wet wood, and using a more efficient stove. There is nothing that can be done to make coal less polluting.

Wood and Coal Emissions Vs Other Sources of PM2.5

Emission Source

Percent of UK PM2.5 Emissions

Home Burning of Wood & Coal


Industrial Combustion


Solvents & Industrial Processes


Road Transport


What Other Wood Fuel Regulations Has Defra Introduced?

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has introduced a multitude of new environmental regulations targeting unsustainable log burner use in recent years.

The most important of these is the banning of the sale of wet firewood to UK households and the introduction of the Ready to Burn wood fuel quality standard. This standard forbids the sale of all firewood containing more than 20% moisture. This is because the high water content is what creates smoke when firewood is burned. Wood fuels containing below 20% moisture are considered safe.

In order to avoid putting undue stress on large households and farms that want to save money by seasoning their own firewood, a provision was made for the sale of wet wood in bulk quantities (over 2 metric tonnes). In this case, the seller must provide detailed instructions on proper firewood seasoning.