Because of the Clean Air Act, most parts of the UK are under smoke control areas. To abide by these laws, you can’t emit smoke from a chimney unless you are using an approved fuel type, or your appliance is exempt, for example, burners or stoves.

It is the responsibility of the resident to find out if their home falls under the jurisdiction of smoke control areas. And it is recommended that you don’t forget, as burning unauthorised fuels could land you with a hefty fine of up to £1,000.

There is an extensive list of the authorised fuels available online. These can be used in pretty much all appliances. If you want to burn unauthorised fuels such as wood, then you will have to purchase an exempt appliance. Alternately, manufacturers or distributors of appliances, stoves, boilers, pizza ovens and other solid fuel burning appliances can apply to the government to have their appliances classified as exempt for use in smoke control areas.

Appliances that burn only gaseous fuels, liquid fuels, or that act only as a combustion activity are all exempt; anything other than these will have to go through an application process.

How To Apply

Application for appliance exemption is done simply through online application forms, email or post, where you will have to upload all necessary information pertaining the type of fuel and appliance details.

The application fees from February 2016 for new appliance ranges and rebranding of appliances begin at £1,695 for a new appliance and £700 for exempt appliance renaming or rebranding for the first appliance in a range. Any additional appliance will cost £495 and £350 respectively.

To make a valid application you will require a minimum of:

  • Test Report(s)
  • Test house accreditation certificate
  • Operation Manuals for all appliances
  • Technical Drawings of all appliances
  • CE Certificate/Data plates for all appliances

Exemption is a common case for restaurants as well as domestic households that require the need to burn unauthorised fuels instead of smokeless coal.