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Guest blog by William Lloyd, owner of The Fire Engine and Joint Chair of the SIA Retail Group Executive committee.

We live in complex times, we are just seeing the easing of a UK wide lockdown during the Global pandemic, that for the first time in our history saw the everyday rights of citizens curtailed as we were confined by law to our homes. Luckily for most of the time we bathed in an early spring summer heatwave.

Why is a wood burner more relevant than ever in our modern times?

It might have been a very different picture had lock down occurred in Winter and what many fear will happen with a return of the Covid – 19 virus this winter in a so called second wave. Despite the rush for all things Electric by the Government the UK has very little spare generating capacity after many of the old coal powers stations were shut down before new nuclear power stations are ready. It is highly unlikely we could cope if everyone were at home during a cold winter without some form of power rationing. Much of our imported gas is supplied at the whim of foreign powers who could choose for political reasons to withhold supply, Britain is far from self-sufficient in energy. Whether gas or oil-fired central heating still requires electrical supply to pump hot water around a typical radiator system. (Will GBs lights stay on and will the gas keep flowing?)

Has there ever been a better time to heat with firewood?

A modern wood burning stove is probably one of the most efficient heaters you will ever own and is certainly the last domestic appliance in your home that has no micro chip and will run without the aid of electricity, Alexa or Siri. Wood burning stoves are a great source of low carbon heat and they use an entirely sustainable, renewable source of energy for fuel. An Eco Design 2022 stove will be the cleanest burning and most efficient stove to date. The benefits of using this form of low carbon heating to supplement and lower other forms of fossil fuel use in domestic properties has been somewhat confused latterly with an air quality debate surrounding particulate matter (PM) and this has turned some people away from domestic firewood to ironically; installing Gas fired stoves. This unintended consequence is increasing the use of green house gas emitting fossil fuels.

Has a stack of Logs and a Wood burning stove ever been more essential?

It has been proven that replacing an open fire or a ten-year-old stove with a new Eco Design 2022 stove will be up to 90 % more effective than an open fire. The important ingredient to achieve this saving is dry logs at under 20% moisture content.

I have worked with Certainly Wood for over 12 years now, and I know their commitment to the quality of the fuel they produce. Using Locally sourced British sustainably managed logs, drying with energy produced from biomass heating and drying as naturally as possible. Their pioneering and ethical approach to providing the nation with essential dry logs at under 20 % moisture content will have saved thousands of tonnes of carbon over the last decade.”

This was at a time when there was very little debate about the quality of the fuel and attention was only on appliances themselves.

We now know you can have the best stove in the world but without dry logs it will not work as intended. Laws finally come into place to only burn dry logs this winter and this is in part thanks to the dedication of Nic and George Snell at Certainly Wood, with their invention of a high-speed firewood drying process which has evolved after many years of hard work and dedicated research to refine the process.

Stay safe, it could be a long hard winter.

Many scientists are predicting a second wave of the covid-19 virus this winter, we are already seeing local lockdowns in Spain and Portugal and Leicester.

“I feel we could be in for a very tough winter if the virus returns and if exceptionally cold a bit of good old fashioned self-sufficiency would not go amiss, I am certainly filling my wood shed this summer and getting as prepared as possible for this winter (did I mention a hard Brexit yet?) and I simply ask:  If someone offered, you the chance to keep you family warm this winter with a fool proof way to heat your home would you take it? – I Certainly Wood.”


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