What is the clearSkies standard for stoves?

What is the clearSkies standard for stoves?

While the climate change conference in Glasgow last year (COP26) saw the environment front and centre of the media, this is something which has been ongoing for some time. Many people will be aware of the Ecodesign regulations introduced by the European Union, which are law from 1 January 2022, but not so much is known about the clearSkies standard.

Is clearSkies certification important?

The simple answer is yes. We know that the Ecodesign regulations have for the last couple of years been a significant element of production for wood-burning and multifuel stoves. The difference between clearSkies and Ecodesign regulations is that Ecodesign regulations are law. This means that any products which do not incorporate these regulations are unlawful and illegal. The clearSkies certification system is voluntary but it is one which is now recognised as a long-term element of the stove industry.

Before we take a look at the details surrounding clearSkies certification, it is important to consider the mission and the vision associated with this mark of quality.

clearSkies mission

As you will see on the clearSkies website, the mission is simple:-

clearSkies’ mission is to improve air quality by encouraging the industry to move beyond the minimum requirements set by regulations and to help homeowners clearly identify those stoves and fireplaces that meet these exacting standards.”

clearSkies vision

The vision for clearSkies is very similar to that for the Ecodesign regulations. Those supporting clearSkies would like this certification to be part of the purchase and replacement process for the stove industry. Those machines which pass the clearSkies certification test will have the appropriate stamp of approval. While it is still relatively early days, and Ecodesign regulations are more dominant, clearSkies is beginning to gather traction within the industry.

The clearSkies certification system

As we touched on above, Ecodesign regulations came into place on 1 January 2022. As a consequence, all appliances manufactured in the UK must comply with the regulations. It is important to note that clearSkies certification appliances must meet the minimum performance level of Ecodesign regulations.

Different levels of clearSkies certification

While there is a strong connection with Ecodesign regulations, there are four different levels when it comes to clearSkies certification:-

Level II

  • These products are Ecodesign compliant but they are not listed as Defra exempt

Level III

  • These products are Ecodesign compliant and Defra exempt

Level IV

  • Products with a clearSkies level IV certificate have a 15% improvement on Ecodesign regulations and they are Defra exempt

Level V

  • Level V certification confirms a 15% improvement on level IV emission and efficiency performance as well as being Defra exempt

Product emissions

In tandem with the Ecodesign regulations, clearSkies certification covers the maximum allowed level for emissions such as:-

  • Carbon Monoxide
  • Particulate Matter
  • Organic Gaseous Compounds
  • Nitrogen Oxide

The clearSkies certification process also takes into account Defra exempt products. Consequently, all certified appliances at level 3 or above will have been verified as meeting the conditions for Defra exemption. While the final ruling for clearSkies certification will fall on the administrator, Kiwa Ltd, it will take into account any appropriate independent test certificates.

Mineral fuel appliances

While the clearSkies certification process also takes into account mineral fuel appliances, these will not qualify for any of the certification levels listed above. However, they can still apply for the clearSkies Mark if they abide by the Ecodesign regulations regarding energy efficiency and emission levels. The use of fossil fuels is a controversial subject, a fuel which governments around the world appear determined to stamp out.

clearSkies scheme objectives

The Ecodesign regulations offer a type of legal umbrella under which all products must be manufactured. However, the hope is that clearSkies certification will become a recognised stamp of approval amongst consumers. The clearSkies scheme objectives are as follows:-

  • Encourage the development and manufacture of efficient stoves and fireplaces
  • Provide a recognised consumer standard of approval for both emissions and efficiency
  • Confirm that individual products either abide by minimum Ecodesign regulations or go above and beyond
  • To differentiate individual product by emissions and energy efficiency at a glance

While the clearSkies mark of approval has no legal standing, it is well recognised amongst stove manufacturers and retailers. In many ways, industry led quality initiatives tend to be more robust and more flexible than their often cumbersome legal counterparts.


We live in an era where emissions and energy efficiency play an ever-growing role in everyday life. There is constant pressure on governments, businesses and consumers to consider the products they purchase and the way in which they are used. It was only a matter of days ago the Ecodesign regulations came into place yet many manufacturers are now looking at Ecodesign Plus regulations. It is also important to note that the clearSkies certification scheme is gaining significant traction within the industry and is now well respected.

Ecodesign regulations and industry driven clearSkies certification are at different ends of the legal spectrum, but each is respected. The amalgamation of the two will present simple and clear information to consumers when considering a purchase. It will also place ever-growing pressure on manufacturers to produce more efficient products with fewer emissions.