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As the temperature is dropping, our telephone is hotting up and we have received a lot of questions about house coal recently. To try and explain the situation, we have put together a quick list of the questions that we are asked most regularly. Hopefully this will help to explain the house coal situation. To discuss our range and to identify a suitable product to satisfy your needs, please contact us.


Q. Why can’t I buy house coal anymore?

A. New legislation known as The Air Quality (Domestic Solid Fuels Standards) (England) Regulations 2020 banned the sale of traditional house coal in England from the 1st May 2023.


Q. Why has the sale of house coal been banned?

A. The Government is attempting to reduce air pollution by banning the most polluting fuels. House coal and wet wood are both banned in England under the new legislation which states that wood which will be burned must have a moisture content of less than 20% while solid fuels such as anthracite and manufactured solid fuels must have a sulphur content of less than 2%. 


Q. I have a quantity of house coal purchased before the ban, can I burn it?

A. Yes. The law prohibits the sale of house coal after 1 May 2023. Customers that obtained their house coal prior to the change in legislation may continue to burn this fuel until their stocks are depleted then seek a compliant alternative.


Q. Can I buy house coal at all?

A. It is illegal for any business, be that a registered coal merchant or a third party retailer, to sell house coal to domestic customers in England. Strict penalties are enforced on any businesses found to be operating outside of the law.


Q. Can I purchase house coal from outside of England?

A. Welsh and Scottish merchants are allowed to sell house coal and high sulphur briquettes to their local customers but should not supply customers based in England with these non-compliant products, as their sulphur content exceeds that specified by the Air Quality Regulations.


Q. I am a business, can I buy house coal?

A. Businesses that are VAT-registered can buy house coal but they must pay VAT at the standard rate of 20%. 


Q. Are there any exemptions to this legislation?

A. Only Forest of Dean freeminers are exempt from the legislation. They are allowed to sell house coal extracted from their own mines within the local area.


Q. What alternative products exist?

A. We stock a number of alternative products, all of which are smokeless and fully compliant with the legislation. They are better for your health than traditional house coal and less polluting. Look for the Ready To Burn logo on pre-pack bags or phone us to discuss your requirements.

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