A few years back 'energy independence' or 'energy security' was something not a lot of us paid too much attention to. However, here's the opening paragraph from the Electricity Capacity Assessment Report delivered to the Secretary of State by Ofgem, in June 2013, which should be the wake-up call that we all need. It states...
"Based on advice from National Grid, our assessment suggests that the risks to electricity security of supply over the next six winters have increased since our last report in October 2012. This is due in particular to deterioration in the supply-side outlook. There is also uncertainty over projected reductions in demand. We continue to expect that margins will decrease to potentially historically low levels in the middle of the decade and that the risk of electricity customer disconnections will appreciably increase..."
Oil and gas are finite resources and their global supply is controlled by monopolies. Whether we like it or not, Russia, The Middle East and China all have a big part to play in the price we eventually pay for our energy and whether supplies to us are maintained. With the world economy now moving out of recession the demand for energy will increase even further – and with it the price. In the UK we have our own 'big six' energy supply monopoly and every Winter they warn us of potential power cuts and in 2010 this actually happened for some customers. In Austria the Russians simply turned their gas supply off.
In the villages that surround our Cheshire showroom The Stove Yard's customers tell us that the odd power cut is not unusual and for them the attraction of a wood burning stove as a reliable heat source in the dead of Winter, which doesn't rely on electricity, is obvious. The use of a woodburning stove or DEFRA smoke exempt woodburning stove (also known as a Defra Approved stove) allows you to shift your dependency away from carbon producing fossil fuels for your heating, even in built-up Smoke Control Areas (www.smokecontrol.defra.gov.uk).
With the energy regulator Ofgem recently telling us that our bills have actually risen by a staggering 28% in the last three years (well beyond the inflation rate) and Centrica, who own British Gas, recently forecasting that our energy bills could go up again this Winter (2013 / 2014) this makes the economics of owning a wood burning stove even clearer and more attractive than ever.
To sum up, a wood burner will not only provide cheaper heat and a cosy focal point to your room, but will also gives you the option to boil a kettle or heat up food. You can keep warm and secure in the knowledge that you don’t have to worry about potential power cuts and that your fuel supplies will not be affected by a volatile world market and the regular price hikes from the electricity, oil and gas suppliers.
As members of The stove Industry Alliance (SIA) whose mission is 'to promote and explain the benefits and environmental advantages of woodburning stoves as heating appliances' we admit that we might seem a bit biased, but don't just take The Stove Yard's word for it, ask any wood burning stove owner about the benefits of owning a wood burner – they're the industry's best salesmen!