Alternative heat and power sources

Domestic solid fuel appliances

Alternative heat and power sources suitable for homes include solid wood burning stoves, open fires and small scale wood chip and wood pellet appliances. There may be planning implications depending on where you want to put the flue or chimney. Before installing an appliance for burning solid fuel in your home you should also consider the following:

Nuisance from smoke 

Burning solid fuel in your home could cause nuisance to your neighbours from any smoke or smell produced. You will need to consider where you live, the type of fuel you want to burn and the design and position of flues and chimneys.

It is an offence to cause smoke or odour nuisance under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. We may consider taking enforcement action if we witness nuisance from a domestic appliance on a regular basis.

Air quality 

Burning of solid fuels releases small particulate matter (PM10) that can increase pollution levels and have an impact on health. While air quality in most of Aberdeen is good, there are areas where pollution is raised, particularly in the city centre and close to major roads such as Anderson Drive/Haudigan roundabout corridor and Wellington Road. An increase in domestic solid fuel burning in these areas may result in increase pollution in areas where air quality is already poor.

If you choose to heat your home with a solid fuel appliance, you must ensure that both the appliance and chimney are correctly installed and safe to use. HETAS is the official body recognised by Government to approve biomass and solid fuel heating appliances, who provide a list of accredited suppliers on their website. Both the appliance and the chimney must be regularly maintained to keep your household safe.

Contact our Environmental Protection Team for advice on domestic solid fuel appliances. We will discuss the proposed location and design with you to ensure air quality impacts are effectively controlled and the risk of nuisance to neighbours is minimised.

Biomass boilers

Like other types of combustion appliances, biomass boilers are a potentially a source of air pollution. Pollutants associated with biomass combustion include particulate matter (PM10/PM2.5) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions. These pollution emissions can have an impact on local air quality and affect human health.

Any new biomass boilers installed in Aberdeen must meet emission control requirements in order to protect local air quality.

Aberdeen City Centre, the Anderson Drive/Haudagain roundabout corridor and Wellington Road (Queen Elizabeth II Bridge to Balnagask Road) have been declared Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs) due to breaches of national air quality standards for PM10 and NO2. 

Commercial biomass and CHP installations

Concerns have arisen in recent years over the potential impacts from particulate emissions (PM10) associated with the increased uptake of biomass and combined heat and power (CHP) plants. We strongly advise you to contact the Environmental Health service if you are planning to install a biomass or CHP facility.

We will discuss the proposed location and design with you to ensure any impacts on air quality are effectively controlled, that there is no impact on health, conflict with the Council's ability to meet our air quality objectives and no nuisance to local neighbours.

Biomass installations in or near Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs) will general not be supported unless it can be demonstrated that the change in annual mean nitrogen dioxide (NO2) or particulate (PM10) concentrations will be negligible.


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