When we describe our products, or ourselves as a company, often we use industry terms. Unless you have been using solid fuels for a number of years, you may not know what we mean by certain terms.

We have therefore pulled together the most common terms that we use and added a description for each.

For our glossary of popular terms, please keep reading…

Approved smokeless fuel

Approved smokeless fuels comply with The Clean Air Acts of 1956 and 1968. The clean air acts were introduced to combat smoke pollution from the widespread usage of ordinary house coal.

An approved smokeless fuel, with the exception of Anthracite, is a manufactured solid fuel. Through the manufacturing process, the fuel is tweaked to ensure a lower smoke output when burning. Once a fuel has passed the tests to confirm that they can burn without producing a lot of smoke, they are added to the approved smokeless fuel list. You can find this on the DEFRA website, or by following the link below:


We offer a range of approved smokeless fuels, long burning smokeless fuels are capable of burning overnight. High heat smokeless fuels such as Excel, are easy to light and do not leave a lot of ash to clean up after the burn cycle.

HETAS Approved

HETAS stands for; Heating Equipment Testing and Approvals Scheme.

It is the only specialist organisation approving biomass and solid fuel heating appliances, fuels, and services. This also includes the registration of competent installers and servicing businesses.

HETAS has the responsibility of ensuring the safe installation, operation, and maintenance of safe and efficient wood burning and multi fuel stoves and boiler stoves. Although the HETAS stamp of approval is mainly on appliances, we refer to our solid fuels being HETAS approved. HETAS test solid fuels on behalf of DEFRA before being added to the smokeless fuel list.

House Coal

House coal is a natural product that has been mined from all over the world. As coal is a natural product, there is a variation in the performance. Our best selling house coal is Columbian House Coal Doubles, this type of coal tends to burn very hot and is considered to be the best quality coal available on the market.

Anthracite is a naturally occurring smokeless coal, however, all other types of house coal are not authorised for use in smoke control areas.

Low ash residue/ Little Ash

If we state that a fuel leaves “low ash residue” or “little ash” we mean that once the solid fuel has come to the end of the burn cycle, there is not a lot of ash (mess) to clean away from the fire. Typically, hotter and faster-burning fuels such as Excel, do not leave a lot of ash. As where as longer burning fuels like Supertherm tend to leave more ash to clean out after the burn cycle. A low ash fuel means that you won’t need to clean out your burning appliance as often.

Approved Coal Merchant

The Approved Coal Merchant’s Scheme is a Code of Practice for Retail Coal Merchants. The Code of Practice lays down certain standards designed to ensure that retail solid fuel customers get a good service from their coal merchant.

Smoke Control Area

Smoke control areas refer to parts of the UK that aren’t allowed to burn non-smokeless fuels unless they are being burnt on an exempt appliance. This is in line with The Clean Air Acts of 1956 and 1968.

Most areas of the UK are smoke control areas, you can find out if you live in a smoke control area on the DEFRA website. Burning a non-smokeless fuel in a smoke control area can result in a fine.

Non-coking Coal

We currently sell two types of house coal, Economy House Coal and Colombian House Coal. When we describe Colombian House Coal, we say that it is a “non-coking coal”. This means that when burning this fuel, the coal pieces don’t cling to each other, unlike economy house coal. When using economy house coal, you will need a poker to use on the coals to make the burn time last longer.

Washed Coal

Again, when referring to house coal, we state that the coal is washed. When coal is mined, there is a large mixture of materials that are mixed with the coal. This includes sand, rock, and soil. Once mined from the ground, the coal goes to a preparation plant to be washed free from the impurities. Washed coal burns for longer and provides more energy.

DEFRA Approved

A Defra Approved stove, or a Defra Smoke Exempt Appliance, is a wood burning stove which has been tested and passed the UK Government’s Department of Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs (Defra) criteria for emission levels and the amount of smoke that it will be allowed to produce during all stages of normal operation.

BSL/ Biomass Suppliers List

The Biomass Suppliers List (BSL) is a list of wood fuel that has proven it meets the eligibility requirements for the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme. Each product registered on the BSL has it’s own unique BSL code number. This allows participants of the RHI scheme to show Ofgem the fuel they are using, and that it meets the RHI sustainability criteria required to claim their RHI payments.

Our Premium Wood Pellets are registered on the BSL list.