Hawke's Bay Regional Council's Good Wood scheme is good news for both homeowners wanting to keep warm this winter and for merchants selling a reliable, low-pollution product.
The regional council has called for registrations from wood merchants throughout the region to join a new scheme aimed at ensuring locals can source good quality dry firewood.
“We’ve made good progress in reducing winter air pollution in Hastings and Napier with the woodburner upgrade scheme, and the next step is to ensure people with modern woodburners can reliably buy good, low-pollution wood to help reduce pollution even further,” says Mark Heaney, HBRC’s Sustainable Homes manager.
The ‘Good Wood Scheme’ enables wood merchants to voluntarily sign up and commit to providing wood with less than 25% moisture content. They will be supported by Hawke’s Bay Regional Council displaying their contact details on the council’s website on the Good Wood page, with seasonal promotions.
There will be ongoing assurances that the approved merchants are meeting the requirements by selling good wood with less than 25% moisture content, as Hawke’s Bay Regional Council staff will regularly randomly test the wood at the point of delivery.
“Dry wood is an efficient heat source and can reduce fuel costs for residents by up to 40% compared to using unseasoned green wood,” says Mark Heaney.
“This scheme aims to get you more for your firewood dollar. The other advantage of burning dry wood is that it keeps emissions from fires to a minimum.”
Mark Heaney says the scheme will help those looking for good firewood, from the best wood merchants in the region. Wood that is ‘green’ and unseasoned has a high moisture content and may not be ready to burn in time for next winter.
The Regional Council is concerned that there are no standards applied to the sale of firewood. This can result in people being sold wood that, under the Consumer Guarantees Act, could be described as ‘not fit for purpose’.
“Hopefully less people will be caught out this year by false economy - buying on the basis of price not quality! They end up spending more for less heat than if they buy correctly seasoned wood. You have been warned - you can’t burn water and green wood is 50% water.”