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The Government should ban planet-wrecking patio heaters, Friends of the Earth said today. The call comes as a new survey by British gas warned of an upturn in the use of patio heaters following the introduction of the smoking ban later this year.

In April Friends of the Earth revealed that leading garden chain Wyevale is to stop selling patio heaters following concerns about the impact that these products have on climate change [1]. Subsequently garden centre chain Notcutts told the environmental campaign group that they will follow suit and "have now elected to sell through current stocks of Gas and Electric Patio heaters and not to stock in the future".

Friends of the Earth Director Tony Juniper said:

"Patio heaters waste energy and inflict unnecessary damage on the environment. This is why some garden centres are banning their sale. UK carbon dioxide emissions are rising, despite Government promises of substantial cuts. Ministers must do more to get their climate strategy back on track. It's time to ban the sale of these metal monstrosities. Getting tough on planet wrecking products will send a powerful message on the urgent need to save energy and cut pollution."

"The Government must also strengthen its plans for a new climate change law by ensuring that UK carbon dioxide emissions are cut by at least three per cent every year."

Estimates of the impact that patio heaters have on climate change vary. The Energy Saving Trust has estimated that a propane patio heater with a heat output of 12.5kW will produce around 34.8kg of CO2 before the fuel runs out (after approximately 13 hours). This is equivalent to the energy required to produce approximately 5,200 cups of tea (or 400 cups for every hour of operation) [2].

Notes

1. Top garden centre to ban patio heaters

2. www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/housingbuildings/localauthorities/ ¬
information/faqs/index.cfm?ty=1&category_id=8

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Published by Friends of the Earth Trust