Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland
Energy can be generated on site using gas, oil or by-products and waste as fuel. This page covers the environmental authorisations and permits you may require from your environmental regulator or from your local council if you produce energy or steam on your site.
If you produce energy or steam on your site and you have a generator, furnace or boiler with a rated thermal input above the threshold levels, you will require a permit from your environmental regulator.
If you have a permit it will have conditions that control emissions from your boiler or furnace. Your permit may contain conditions for levels of noise, vibration, odour, dust and smoke emissions, and also on monitoring and reporting. You must comply with all of the conditions in your permit. See NetRegs information on PPC Permits.
You need a Part A pollution prevention and control (PPC) permit for appliances with a rated thermal input of 50 megawatts (MW) or more, burning fuels (including those that have passed the NIEA's end-of-waste test).
You need a Part C PPC permit for:
This includes those fuels that have passed the NIEA's end-of-waste test.
In Northern Ireland, Part A is regulated by the NIEA and Part C by your district council.
You need a Part A pollution prevention and control (PPC) permit for:
You need a Part B PPC permit or registration for:
For appliances with a rated thermal input of between 1 and 20 megawatts, put into operation before 20 December 2018, you will have to register them or obtain a PPC Part B permit for them by:
In Scotland, PPC Permits are regulated by SEPA.
Most waste burning activities are covered by the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED). If you burn solid or liquid waste in your furnace or boiler you will usually require a IED-compliant Part A PPC permit. See the NetRegs guideline: Waste incineration
Your district council or local authority must approve your plans and specifications before you can use a new furnace (except a domestic furnace) in a building, fixed boiler or industrial plant, or if you make changes to an existing furnace.
Talk to your local council about grit and dust arrestment if you do not have a PPC permit and your furnace is going to be used to burn:
If you install a new furnace, it must be able to operate continuously without emitting smoke when burning the type of fuel it has been designed to use. Planning permission or a building warrant from your local council is not sufficient for you to construct a chimney or plant.
If you wish to install a combustion appliance that burns biomass (most commonly wood and including wood pellets), including from domestic wood burning stoves to bigger combined heat and power plants, you need to take a number of issues into consideration.
Contact your local council, to find out legal requirements enforced by the council:
You must not use gas oils with a sulphur content higher than 0.1 per cent by weight.
You must not use heavy fuel oils with a sulphur content higher than 1 per cent by weight.
You must meet any chimney and emission requirements that your local council applies to your furnace or boiler. See the page in this guideline: Boilers and furnaces: chimney and emission limits.
If your business is located in an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) you may need to comply with a number of local legal requirements. See the page in this guide on Air Quality Management Areas and Smoke Control Areas.
If you are in a Smoke Control Area, the emission of any smoke at any time from a chimney is an offence, with only a few exceptions: you can only use authorised fuels or exempted furnaces or boilers. See the Air Quality Management Areas and Smoke Control Areas page in this guidance.
Boilers and furnaces: environmental authorisations
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