Apply to get fuel authorised for use in smoke control areas

If you’re a fuel manufacturer, importer or distributor, you can apply to get your fuel authorised so your customers can use it in smoke control areas.

You could be fined up to £1,000 if you sell unauthorised fuel to customers using ‘non-exempt appliances’ in smoke control areas.

When you don’t need to apply

You don’t need to apply if the fuel is already on the list of authorised fuels or is any of the following ‘smokeless’ fuels:

  • anthracite
  • semi-anthracite
  • gas
  • low volatile steam coal

Unauthorised fuels can be used in some ‘exempt appliances’, for example some stoves, fireplaces and boilers.

Fuels that can be authorised

To be authorised, fuel must:

  • have an average smoke emission of less than 5 grams per hour when tested to the standard (BS3841)
  • contain less than 2% sulphur (by dry weight with a 95% confidence limit)

How to apply

Contact Ricardo Energy & Environment with the following details about your fuel:

  • what it’s made of
  • how it’s manufactured
  • any testing that’s already been carried out

Ricardo Energy & Environment will give you feedback about your application and what testing is needed - you may need further testing even if some has already been done.

Ricardo Energy & Environment

Smoke Control Areas Team 
Ricardo Energy & Environment 
The Gemini Building 
Fermi Avenue 
OX11 0QR

After you apply

You’ll be given an estimated timescale - this will vary depending on when you apply.

If your fuel meets the requirements it will be authorised and added to the authorised fuels list.

How much it costs

It costs £1,000 (excluding VAT) to get a fuel authorised.

You’ll also have to arrange and pay for any testing that’s required.

Help and advice

You can contact Ricardo Energy and Environment with any technical questions about fuel authorisation and the application process, for example about testing methods. The first hour of advice is free.

Ricardo Energy and Environment

Contact Defra if you have any general questions about your application.

Telephone: 08459 335 577
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
Find out about call charges

Customer Contact Unit
7th Floor
Nobel House
17 Smith Square