Solid Fuel Regulations
Solid Fuel Regulations
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 meters 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 meters 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.
Retailers should deal only with registered producers of solid fuels. Retailers will need to be sure that each product offered for sale has been sourced from a producer registered with the EPA, and that the product is listed as approved by the EPA for that producer. It is an offence to sell unapproved solid fuels.
Retailers should ensure their solid fuel products are appropriately labelled with the words “contents comply with the Air Pollution Act Regulations” and packaging must also include the EPA producer registration number. This is to give the retailer and the householder confidence that the product is an approved fuel. As a transitional measure point of sale information containing the required labelling information can be used for the coming heating season where labels/stickers cannot be attached by the producer.
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