One of the great changes that has happened in England in my lifetime is the cleaning up of the urban environment.
I\’m too young (by a decade or more) to have seen the great smogs, but I do vividly remember how houses were all, 20, 30 years ago, streaked black from the century or more of air pollution from coal burning.
My home town of Bath has, or the householders have, spent a fortune over the decades cleaning this shit off the stone of the houses, one by one. As this or that part of a terrace was cleaned those left as history had made them stood out like rotten teeth.
All of which means I\’m rather puzzled by this:
Papers published by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc) on Thursday show that the 14 million householders expected to qualify for a complete energy-saving overhaul in the next 10 years may be able to choose from 23 different technologies, including cavity wall insulation and draught proofing but also covering solar water heating, wood burning stoves and biomass boilers.
I think I\’m right in saying (well, I know I\’m right about low grade coal) that you\’re not allowed to use low grade (ie non-anthracite) coal fires in urban centres in the UK, nor wood fired.
So how are we going to be allowed to have all these wood burners then? And if the rules have changed, then what is going to be the effect on air quality?
What will, say, Nottingham be like when everyone is gaily burning Sherwood Forest to keep warm?
Have I missed something or have the promoters of these plans done so?