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Greens want to clean up new wood heaters

By 1 June 2012 49

The Greens are thin end of the wedging wood fired heater standards.

Today they’re putting out a discussion paper on improving standards on new heaters. (for now)

What’s Your opinion?


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Greens want to clean up new wood heaters
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Bloodyjimbo 2:58 pm 01 Jul 12

Whilst I admire the Greens conviction to improve air quality in Tuggeranong, it its misdirected. A public education program that us required to achieve what they desire. Mandating an emission standard of 1g/kg is all well and good, but if I add wood to my fire and close the flue straightaway then my ultra efficient 1g/kg fireplace will produce 10g/kg… Its all in how you use it.

The emission standard of 1g/kg is also questionable. Admittedly a lot of NZ jurisdictions use this as their standard, but in NZ they predominantly use softwood as fuel, which means that you will burn more wood, and therefore emit the same as what we experience in Canberra, with presumably more emissions of other varieties.

As a child I suffered from asthma in winter, which was attributable to the cold air and relative humidity levels. We did not have a fireplace, and the dampness of the house made it worse. When we bought a fireplace for the household my asthma went away. I am interested to hear the testimony of those who suffer asthma which they attribute to wood fireplaces, in relation to their experiences in relation to times of backburning or the summer bushfires. If they don’t suffer during these pros then I would presume that cold and humidity is the trigger not the smoke.

My family has heated our brand new second hand house in Tuggeranong using ducted gas: 18 degrees for a two hour window in the morning and evening, and for this privilege we pay $450 a quarter. Problem is that as soon as the thing gotta off the house feels cold. We also have a 1985 fireplace which we fired up for one day, used ten kilos of wood and were comfortable at 23 degrees all day long. This fireplace needs a new part which I can’t get, but rest assured that we will be today be buying from Melbourne an ultra efficient (70%) 1.5g/kg wood fireplace that will warm the house efficiently and economically from herein.

Regrettably gas and electricity just don’t cut it. Though I appreciate that I do need to be a considerate neighbour, I also have a responsibility to ensure that my wife and children are warm, and are boot exposed to conditions that would trigger asthma for them. A write fireplace is the best way of doing this. I an of the opinion that the vast majority of fireplace users are good citizens in that they are considerate of their neighbors. People who use fireplaces to heat their homes should not be the target of idealistic vitreole.

I hope that autocorrect has not had fun with this post…

GardeningGirl 12:42 am 04 Jun 12

Nightshade said :

Sarni said :

1. Is it really necessary to have legislation on this issue? Is the air so bad that the government can’t just inform and encourage people to install use their heaters wisely?

If people were using their heaters wisely, there would be no need for this. Unfortunately, enough people are not using them wisely to create problems for others in their neighbourhood. If they don’t want legislation, perhaps they should try being more considerate of their own free will.

+1 Exactly! I’ve been waiting quarter of a century for the “education” approach to work.

Sarni said :

6. What will be the cost of these measures to the ratepayers?

Apart from the health and environmental benefits, there might be cost savings in being able to dry washing outside in winter the way I remember doing, with no fear of having to put away clothes stinking like a bushfire if I weren’t vigilant enough to bring them in as soon as it started getting smoky.

Nightshade 11:49 pm 03 Jun 12

Sarni said :

1. Is it really necessary to have legislation on this issue? Is the air so bad that the government can’t just inform and encourage people to install use their heaters wisely?

If people were using their heaters wisely, there would be no need for this. Unfortunately, enough people are not using them wisely to create problems for others in their neighbourhood. If they don’t want legislation, perhaps they should try being more considerate of their own free will.

Sarni 10:46 pm 03 Jun 12

1. Is it really necessary to have legislation on this issue? Is the air so bad that the government can’t just inform and encourage people to install use their heaters wisely?
Do we have to have a perpetual criminal law amendment programme on every effing thing?

2. Why does the prohibition have to be a criminal offence? Is it really necessary for a builder who contravenes this trendy legislation to have a criminal record? Isn’t a
$1100 dollar penalty enough in these troubled economic times?

3. Why are residential premises singled out for these over zealous prohibitions and not business owners’ premises as well? Do the Greens have a particular motive or hidden agenda here?

4. When these amendments are passed a search warrant can be issued to enter a person’s home and examine the person’s wood heater under section 104 of the Environment Protection Act-
do we really want the Gestapo knocking on our doors and entering our homes against our will over such a trivial issue?

5. Watch out – this legislation could be the thin edge of the wedge. The next thing we will see is legislation making it a criminal offence for residents themselves to install the heaters.

6. What will be the cost of these measures to the ratepayers? Are we going to have well paid public servants inspecting Canberra wood heater shops when residents can buy them
in Queanbeyan or other States anyway? ( I assume they are permitted to be sold in NSW but have not researched it)

7. Can’t the Government and the opposition bang their heads together for once to resist this extremism?

Thumper 9:47 pm 03 Jun 12

Skidbladnir said :

I have just noticed this thread…
Seems our CanadaColoradoAlaskaOregonion friends are back to try and troll again.

May I please shoot down your astroturfing in exactly the same way as last time?

Please do. It’s all getting terribly boring.

Skidbladnir 9:09 pm 03 Jun 12

I have just noticed this thread…
Seems our CanadaColoradoAlaskaOregonion friends are back to try and troll again.

May I please shoot down your astroturfing in exactly the same way as last time?

GardeningGirl 7:40 pm 03 Jun 12

steveu said :

Implement a licence system for wood fired heaters. Make sure people have their chimneys cleaned every year. Educate people on the most efficient use of them (and the do nots).
Rnadom inspections of wood stock to ensure licence holders are burning stuff that should be burnt. Have a phone number that neighbours can ring if they believe there is a problem witht he way a person is using their wood fired heater.
Thats a start. Might even give someone a job. If people dont like it, they can change over to something else to heat their house.

+1
I started thinking later perhaps licencing the use of wood heaters could help, interesting to see someone else had the same thought. It makes more sense than television licences (anybody remember those?).

wildturkeycanoe said :

http://www.environmentalhealth.ca/summer01gas.html – shows problems for asthma sufferers due to natural gas for cooking/heating.

That reminded me of reading advice that the window should be left open a crack while cooking with gas, but who would want to let the woodsmoke in?

dpm 6:02 pm 03 Jun 12

Jim Jones said :

HenryBG said :

ra ra ra communists ra ra ra everyone who disagrees with me is crazy ra ra ra

Yes, grandpa. We know, grandpa.

It’s funny that this is your view of HBG, which you think is wrong. Yet, you’ve stated this exact same thing (‘everyone who disagrees with me is crazy’) in another topic and it is fine there – when you say it!?
Hahahaha! Too funny – again! Love your posts Jim!
I think we should arrange to get you and HBG in a room to debate something/anything. I’d pay to see that – and the proceeeds could go to the charity of your choice! 🙂

Mysteryman 5:45 pm 03 Jun 12

HenryBG said :

The Greens on this issue are as out-of-whack with reality as they are with the issue of fuel-efficient cars: cars with whacking great big batteries in them are responsible for far more emissions than cars without. And there are plenty of cars without batteries in them that use less fuel than the battery cars.

Care to provide some evidence of your claims, there? Not the Greens being out of whack – we all know that’s true – but the nonsense about the electric cars.

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