In these turbulent economic times household budgets can be stretched to breaking point. We are constantly hearing news reports in which the average man or woman on the street is having to choose between eating or heating. In this blog piece, Cutting Winter Fuel Bills & Stove Efficiency, we hope to be able to highlight the savings that can be made.
One of the most effective ways that people have found to boost their budget has been to fit a stove. A huge majority of customers that I speak to have been so surprised at the difference that a stove makes to heating their home and the huge impact it has on their fuel bills.
A normal open fire without a back boiler is usually around 20 – 30% efficient. This means that for every €10 you burn in fuel, €7 – €8 is flying straight up and out your chimney! If we take a back boiler into account an open fire might reach efficiencies of around 40 -50%, but that is still losing €5 – €6 in every €10 straight up the chimney, it’s like burning money.
If we look at one of our stoves, for instance the Croi Beag which is a stove without a boiler, it has an efficiency rating of over 83%. So instead of burning €10 worth of fuel and losing €8 up the chimney, you are getting the €8 as heat into your home and less than €2 is lost.
How do Boru Boiler Stoves Match up to Oil Fired Boilers?
The average efficiency of an oil fired boiler is around 67%, the average efficiency of a Boru stove with a boiler is around 76%, the Carraig Mor 20kw being our most efficient boiler stove with an efficiency rating of 77%.
More modern boilers are condensing boilers which are much more efficient than traditional oil fired boilers and are typically around 91% efficient. This seems to be an ideal solution until we take into account the cost of fuel.
It can be very difficult to asses fuel costs because supplies of fuel can vary very dramatically in cost and quality. If we work from the latest figures provided by Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland we can see the delivered energy cost of wood briquettes is 8.02 cent per kWh. The delivered energy cost of oil is 9.49 cent per kWh. If we say that the average home in a mild climate takes on average 17,500 kWh to heat annually. Then you might spend around €1,660 a year on oil, compared to €1,403 spent on wood. That’s a saving of €257 a year on heating bills.
Even if we take into account the extra efficiency of the condensing boiler it still works out at a saving of around €60 a year using wood over oil.
Additional Benefits of Wood Burning:
Along with cutting winter fuel bills, by making the switch to wood there are a host of other benefits to be had:
Reduction of carbon footprint, wood harvested from sustainable sources has much less impact upon the environment. The CO2 that is released when burning wood is much less than fossil fuels such as oil and coal and is considered carbon neutral. The CO2 released from wood is part of a natural carbon cycle that is sustainable, provided that the trees are harvested properly and replaced.
Reduction of over-dependence on fuel imports, because wood is an indigenous resource, by switching to wood we are reducing our need to import fuel from abroad. Ireland currently imports 86% of its fuels, making us the most import dependent country in the EU.
Secure energy supply, as an indigenous and self-sufficient source of energy, there is no risk of cut off in supply.
Improve the local economy and create jobs, sustainable sources of fuel such as wood provide a valuable source of employment, especially in remote rural areas.
Rebuilding & Sustaining natural habitats, a forest is home to countless species of plants and animals. Supporting sustainable forests ensures that these habitats and the plants and animals that make their home there are protected for future generations. These habitats also give us natural protection from erosion and flooding.
There is more than just a financial saving to be had by switching to a wood burning stove, cutting winter fuel bills could have a greater impact than just putting more money in your pocket. All Boru Stoves are available in multi-fuel or wood burning options, all our stoves are 100% made in Ireland and all our stoves come with an extended 5 or 6 year warranty. Contact a local Boru Stove retailer for more information and start cutting your bills and saving the planet today!