How to improve wood burning in Denmark

A combination of factors including the type of fuel, operation patterns, stove or boiler type, chimney design and surroundings determine the pollution caused by the specific wood burner. The Environmental Protection Agency is working to reduce pollution through solutions that address them all.

Campaigns for sensible heating 

Throughout several heating seasons, the Environmental Protection Agency has conducted a series of nationwide information campaigns on proper wood burning. Most recent with the campaign " Quit Smoking for Wood Stoves " (in Danish).

Scrapping scheme for old wood stoves

In 2015 a scrapping scheme for old wood stoves (DKK 45 million) was launched. If you have an old wood stove from 1990 or before, you can apply for DKK 2.150 if you scrap your old stove. The scheme is planned to end in 2016 or when about 20.000 old wood stoves are scrapped.

In 2008 and 2009, the Environmental Protection Agency provided DKK 20 million for a scheme to scrap old burners. The money went towards phasing out of burners dating from 1980 or earlier and updraft boilers. The scheme was very successful and more than 5,600 boilers were scrapped. It has now ceased.

New regulations for wood burning stoves

The Danish Ministry of the Environment issued a Statutory Order in 2008 concerning wood burning stoves, boilers and similar heating systems. It states the permitted emission levels of particulate matter, carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons from wood burners. A new revised statutory order has entered into force on 26. January 2018. 

Manufacturers, importers, distributors, users and chimney sweeps all play a part in ensuring newly installed heating systems comply with current limit values for emissions of harmful particles, etc.

The Statutory Order also stipulates actions municipalities can take regarding complaints about smoke from wood burning. In addition to enforcement orders, the municipality can institute requirements for specific areas in supplementary regulations.

Download Statutory Order on wood burning stoves (in English).

Support for new heating technologies

Since 2008 the national programme for environmental friendly technologies - www.ecoinnovation.dk - has set aside more than DKK 20 million for the development and testing of technologies, for the reduction of air pollution from wood fuelled stoves. The technological devices include particle filters, moisture meters for wood and computer simulations.

New EU regulation on wood stoves and boilers

The EU Member States have adopted requirements on air pollution from new wood-burning stoves and boilers. As opposed to Denmark, which has had requirements since 2008, many countries in the EU have not previously had any regulation of the area. As three-quarters of particulate pollution in Denmark originate from other countries, the new regulations could reduce particle emissions from wood-burning stoves and boilers by more than 50% over a number of years. The impact will be huge, because wood-burning stoves are among the largest sources of particle pollution.

The new EU environmental requirements, which will enter into force in 2022, are about at the same level as the requirements in force in Denmark. 

See press release from the Danish EPA

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