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Are you concerned about how you will pay for your energy bills?

Do you tolerate an “unacceptably cold” home?

More than a third of the UK’s population are concerned about how they will afford their heating bills, according to a BBC Radio 5 Live survey.

The survey of 1,035 adults found that 38% were worried about paying energy bills, with that figure even higher in the North West, West Midlands, East Midlands, Yorkshire and Humberside, and Northern Ireland.

And a quarter of those surveyed said they had put up with “unacceptably cold” homes in the previous year because of concerns about the cost of heating.

A huge 63% said they were now using less energy because of price rises.

Using a wood-burning stove to cut heating bills

A great way to ensure your heating costs are affordable is to switch to a wood-burning stove.

If you’re among the 38% of people who think they might struggle to keep up with rising heating costs during the cold weather, now is the perfect time to switch to a wood-burning stove.

Here’s why:
– The Energy Saving Trust says installing a stove will save you 10% on your bills (more if you install a boiler stove).
– That 10% is going to rise significantly over the coming years as heating bills continue to rise and show no signs of stopping.
– A wood-burning stove puts you in control of your heating costs. You only pay for the fuel you use.
– You can source free wood to cut your stove running costs to zero.
– Only heat the rooms you use, and cut your reliance on central heating.
– The longer you leave it, the more you’ll spend on heating bills and the more difficult it will become to budget for installing a stove.

In terms of energy savings wood burners are also pretty eco-friendly. Obviously produces CO2 when it is burnt, however the CO2 released was actually captured by the tree as it grew – so it can be viewed as a carbon neutral process provided the trees that get burnt are replaced with new trees. Compare this with gas and coal, which have taken millions of years to form – the CO2 released when these burn is added to the air.

So act now – See our full range of great value wood-burning stoves.

What fuels can be used in a wood burner?

In theory there are several kinds of fuels that can be burned to a stove such as chips, logs, pellets and smokeless fuels. Some areas in the UK are known as smoke control areas – these are places where you aren’t allow to emit smoke from a chimney unless you are burning authorised fuel or using exempt appliances. The authorised fuel includes any of the following smokeless fuels:

    •  Anthracite
    •  Semi-anthracite
    •  Gas
    •  Low volatile steam coal

So if you are based in London for example (a smoke control area) and want to burn ordinary logs, you will have to buy an exempt appliance – this is namely a wood burner that is DEFRA approved. If you are therefore looking to buy a new wood burner and want the ability to be able to burn any wood in it, we would always recommend buying a DEFRA approved wood burner for smokeless zones.

How much does wood burner fuel cost?

If you are looking to buy the wood or anthracite for your wood burner you should expect to pay £5-7 for a 25kg net of Ash kiln dried logs. If you are buying in bulk then this price will come down considerably and also if you can pick up the logs directly from the distributor then again that will be far cheaper as palette delivery is expensive. A 25kg should last a few days if you are just lighting the stove fan in the evenings. Obviously if you are shoveling in the wood and keeping the stove on all day then the wood will be used much quicker.

If you decide to opt for the anthracite then you should expect to pay twice the price of the wood, so £10 – 15 per 25kg bag. This will last longer than the wood though, so comparing the two in terms of cost and heat produced from a 25kg bag they are about even.

The running costs of a wood burning stove are therefore pretty good especially if you spend lots of time in the room with the heater as hopefully it means you can avoid putting your central heating on altogether. The cost of installing the stove might be prohibitively expensive for some and unfortunately there is no Government help currently available to help cover some of the install cost – having said that, if you can source the wood for free (from a local farm for instance) then you can heat much of your home for free. We really do recommend getting the DEFRA approved stove though since this means you can burn whatever fuel you can get your hands on!

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