Traditional Coal Ban Q&A

Posted by Kathy Glendinning on


As of May 1st, 2021, the sale of house coal is being phased out in England.

Here’s what YOU need to know about the forthcoming changes, and how to prepare for them.

Q: Why is house coal being banned?

A: It’s perhaps the most polluting domestic fuel available on the market. When burned on an open fire it gives off a dense dark smoke out of chimneys. It gives off PM 2.5 which is not good for the atmosphere we live in, but also will soot up chimneys quite quickly.

Air quality is now firmly on the governments agenda and as part of air quality plans, the government has decided upon scientific recommendation to start phasing the use of it out in England from May this year.

Q: So is house coal being banned completely as of May 1st, 2021?

A: No, it’s still available! House coal will not be available for sale in pre-packed bags as of this date in England however it is still available in Scotland and available for delivery in open bags in England too. It won’t be available in Supermarkets, Garage Forecourts and Discount Stores. But it will still be available in open bags or delivered loose into your bunker by an approved Coal Merchant.

Our coal men can continue to deliver to you in England or you can collect smaller sized open bags from an approved coal merchants like us, this service will be available until May 1st, 2023. For Pearsons of Duns you can still collect all house coals in prepacked bags and at Swainson & Cowins in Penrith you are able to collect in open 20kg/25kg bags!

Q: Why the two year extension for Approved Coal Merchants?

It’s being used to get house coal users to make a gradual switch to other approved fuels and to limit supermarkets volume discount selling Coal throughout the nation.

Q: But what about smokeless ovoids?

A: The majority of smokeless coal known as Ovoids and Ovals (the approved type, including anthracite) will continue to be sold. The only ban relating to smokeless coal is for the non-approved versions, which have high sulphur contents these won’t be available at all apart from in Scotland & Wales.

Q: What Fuel should I use instead of House coal?

A: Start mixing house coal and approved smokeless ovoids to get used to the burning qualities of the smokeless ovoids. The smokeless burns longer, although can be harder to light, but are hotter and are a much more consistent burn, and better still cleaner for the atmosphere we live in.

Q: Will there be any exemptions?

A: Commercial sales is acceptable for example Pubs, hotels and bookstores can still buy Coal in England to burn on open fires.

Q: Will I be banned from “burning house coal after May 2023?

A: Provided you are not in a smoke control area and are using an open fire, there is no legislation to stop the burning of house coal. So fill your bunkers!

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