This is perhaps, the one lesson that should be learned from the war in Ukraine and the additional impact it has had on our energy prices. Energy prices go up all the time but this year the average homeowner can expect to see a staggering increase of £700 added to their £1300 annual bill. In the meantime wholesale, oil and gas prices are still rocketing (check out the graph above of the last 7 weeks).
Then there's the power cuts due to the increasingly regular once-in-a-lifetime events like storm Eunice. This left many people without power, and most importantly without any means of heating their homes. Since around 60% of the domestic energy we use is to keep us warm, its increasing price is making it very easy to be placed in a position where it becomes unaffordable to use heating in the way we have become used to.
Heat pumps are being promoted as the answer to all domestic energy ills. They'll certainly help reduce a home's carbon footprint and they're said to be cheap to run. However, 29% of all the gas we use is to create electricity and heat pumps will still need this expensive electricity to operate. A fat lot of good they'll be in a power cut too. If you haven't got a gas fire, then you really are stuck when the lights go off. This is where a modern low emissions Ecodesign wood burning stove can save the day. They offer a homeowner an abundance of efficient home grown heat with real energy independence and it doesn't need electricity to run. Neither does it rely on the Russians for gas.
Importantly, according to the government's recent Clean Air Strategy they have no intention of banning stoves – and that was written well before the current energy crisis where the economics of stoves have been more than proving their worth to hard hit homeowners. Just last month the overall annual percentage of particulate matter (PM2.5) attributable to domestic indoor wood burning (most of it from open fires) was also officially halved by the government thanks to more accurate reporting of data and this will certainly strengthen the case for maintaining the stove's place in a dynamic low carbon energy mix.
With Ecodesign stoves now becoming mandatory since the beginning of 2022 and the fact that they produce approximately 90% less emissions than open fires and 80% less than old stoves that use a traditional firebox design, then we would expect to see further significant reductions in the PM2.5 which is attributed to wood burners to the point that grounds for a ban on stoves for environmental reasons will be hard to justify.
As The Stove Yard's Showroom Manager Karl Yellop says "We all know that wood fuel is sustainable and virtually carbon neutral and that stoves are tried, tested and much loved by their owners. But let's not forget that stoves also provide real energy independence and at the moment – and certainly for the foreseeable future, that has to make them worth their weight in gold. The time is therefore right to install a wood burning stove. You can't wait for the Government to secure your energy independence, you have to do it for yourself".
Check out the latest low emissions Ecodesign stoves here, in particular our best sellers from Danish stove makers Hwam