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Table 7.1: Cost effects of various scenarios for domestic heating

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Scenario option


Annual impact GHG (CO2 and CH4 only)

Annual impact air pollution (PM10 only)1


1 Wood burners

25% increase in the number of wood burners (with current models) and associated reduction in electricity usage












2 Low-emissions wood burners (eg, pellet burners)

25% of electricity users and 25% of gas users switch to low-emissions wood burners










3 Electricity

25% of existing wood burner users switch to electricity (heat pumps)












  1. This impact is due to PM10 alone, which dominates the health effect. A more in-depth analysis would include changes in emissions of other pollutants, but these are either essentially neutral (eg, CO), or not enough is known about the effects (eg, acetaldehyde and NOx – see text).
  2. If wood assumed ‘carbon neutral’ for carbon dioxide, but not for methane.
  3. This is due to the methane emissions, which are considered as the same for all wood burner types. In practice they are not and depend on usage efficiency, fuel type and operating method.
  4. This is the estimated change (±) in CO2 from thermal electricity generation.
  5. This is the saving in CO2 from wood burners, but not counted