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Scottish Government Ban on Wood Burners ASSC Response

Fiona Campbell, CEO of the Association of Scotland’s Self-Caterers, said:

“The ASSC is supportive of endeavours to help secure the target of net zero emissions by 2045. As an industry, we recognise our responsibilities and wish to play our part in this crucial objective. Our members offer a range of eco-friendly options for travellers and self-catering provides a local and sustainable experience unlike other forms of tourist accommodation.

The recent debate over woodburning stoves is part of a larger problem of government not understanding the needs of rural Scotland – whether that is on Highly Protected Marine Areas, the deposit return scheme, or short-term let regulation to name but a few – and we believe this policy won’t produce any material benefit and instead disproportionately impact those living and working in the countryside.

Tackling climate change is a political and moral imperative but it must be pursued in a fair, meaningful and achievable manner. We need a more balanced and responsible approach to regulation across the board which considers the sustainability of rural and remote communities as we progress towards a net zero society.”

What are the new regulations?

Wood burners are appliances such as wood-burning stoves, fireplaces, and firepits that are used to burn wood in our homes or gardens, usually for heating or cooking.

From 1 April, new homes built in Scotland will not be allowed to use direct emission heating systems such as oil and gas boilers, and bioenergy sources which includes wood and log burning stoves.

New properties will need to use “climate-friendly alternatives” such as heat pumps or heat networks.

The rules will also apply to those looking to convert an existing property. A conversion relates to changing the occupation or use of a building, for example turning an attic into a bedroom, and is different from making alterations or adding an extension.

The new regulations have no impact on homes that already have a wood-burning stove installed however the government is developing proposals for existing buildings.

There are some exemptions including if the heating system is being installed as an emergency heating system or for the purpose of frost protection.

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