Government guidance for for domestic coal use

Government guidance for for domestic coal use in England has changed recently. The new rules apply for coal merchants and retailers selling traditional house coal for use in domestic appliances in England.

To sell traditional house coal (also known as bituminous coal) you must be registered as a member of the Approved Coal Merchants scheme.

All sales of traditional house coal will be banned in England from 1 May 2023. In the meantime, we will continue delivering traditional house coal loose or in open bags directly to a consumer, as under the new rules, coal must not sold in a sealed bag.

Retail outlets in England including supermarkets and garage forecourts are no longer allowed to sell traditional house coal.

Low smoke (‘smokeless’) fuels
Coal merchants and retailers can continue to sell:

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

Smoke control areas
The new rules also apply to the sale of traditional house coal in smoke control areas across England.

Only approved coal merchants can sell it, it must be sold directly to a consumer loose or in open bags and it can only be used in an appropriate exempt appliance.

Read more on the rules for coal merchants and retailers selling traditional house coal for use in domestic appliances in England by Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs.

Last updated: May 2021