clearSkies is a new objective and independent emissions and energy performance certification mark for solid fuel stoves and fireplaces.

There are two key legislative requirements for wood burning stoves in the UK. Firstly, any stove produced after 1st January 2022 must comply with the forthcoming Ecodesign Regulations on emissions and efficiency, and secondly any wood burning stove installed in a UK smoke control area must be tested and certified as meeting the Defra exemption criteria.

clearSkies is the only independent certification mark to cover both of these requirements in a single, simple label. All appliances certified under the clearSkies mark meet or exceed the efficiency and emissions requirements for the forthcoming Ecodesign 2022 regulations, and all clearSkies appliances certified at level 3 or above are also Defra Exempt.

This makes clearSkies the only single comprehensive appliance certification mark covering everything the discerning architect, specifier or self-builder needs to know about a stove or fireplace in terms of Ecodesign compliance and the ability to be able to use the appliance in smoke control zones. 

Future proofing your projects

The label also makes it easier to distinguish lower emission, higher efficiency appliances by having differing levels of certification from level 2 to level 5.  The higher the level, the better the appliance performs in terms of lower emissions and higher efficiency. clearSkies is also the only label to go beyond the Ecodesign requirements, with Level 4 appliances exceeding the requirements by 15% and Level 5 appliances by nearly 30%.

Put simply, choosing a clearSkies certified appliance makes it easy to specify market leading heating appliances that meet strict low carbon, low emission and high efficieny requirements for building and design projects. Plus, it reassures your clients that their wood burning stove or fireplace is future-proof.

Setting a new benchmark

Chair of clearSkies, Morley Sage, commented: “clearSkies really does set a new benchmark when it comes to designing and building modern, energy efficient homes with a real fire as their focal point. The scheme was over three years in development and is the first objective and independent emissions and energy performance certification scheme of its kind. This ground-breaking initiative is clear evidence of the commitment of the stove and fireplace industry to ensure that its appliances are as clean and efficient as possible. This will mean lower emissions and improved air quality, whilst providing low carbon and heart-warming heating solutions.”

New build or retrofit heating solution

A modern wood burning stove not only provides an efficient and low emission space heating solution, it can be partnered with other technologies to create a controllable whole house heating solution. Specified in conjunction with a heat pump, for example, which operates at a steady state, a clearSkies stove will deliver fast, controllable and low carbon local space heating to deal with the common temperature fluctuations of the UK climate.

As a retrofit solution, a clearSkies appliance will help to dramatically reduce emissions, with independent tests showing that a clearSkies appliance produces up to 90% less emissions than an open fire and up to 80% less than an average stove that is 10 or more years old.

Thanks to the efficiency improvements required under the Ecodesign Regulations, all clearSkies certified appliances also have lower running costs, helping to meet client requirements for cost efficiency.

Bringing families together

As well as ticking all the boxes for efficiency, running costs and low carbon credentials, specifying a clearSkies stove ensures that a client’s lifestyle needs are also met. A real fire creates a focal point within the home, drawing families together and helping to create a sense of wellbeing, warmth and protection. The associated health benefits of wellbeing and reduced stress are being increasingly documented.

A wood burning stove also provides the comfort of knowing that you can heat a home in the event of grid outages or extreme temperature events.  Wood burning is also inherently low carbon – it has a carbon emissions intensity of less than 10% of grid gas and electricity – and is sustainable.

The scheme has been welcomed by a number of UK government departments and industry groups, including Defra, Scottish Government and Welsh Government.  

Comprehensive choice

Since the scheme’s launch in August 2020, a total of 247 appliances from 21 different brands have been certified and can be found on the clearSkies product listing. With over 100 more appliances in the process of applying for certification, clearSkies is set to offer an ever growing choice of stoves from leading manufacturers, making the clearSkies product listing the go-to resource for designers, builders, architects and specifiers.