Consumers Turn to Sustainable Fuels in Record Numbers as Energy Bills Rise

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Spiralling consumer energy bills and a desire to be more eco-friendly have helped increase sales of multifuel and wood burning stoves to a record high, reports Northern Irish electrical retailer, Dalzells of Markethill.

Not only is wood renewable but it's carbon neutral, two benefits which resonate with today's consumer.

With energy regulator, Ofgem, recently announcing that the average duel gas and electricity bill is now £1,345 a year, the benefits of renewable energy sources have been recognised by many Irish consumers, with retailers such as Dalzells of Markethill seeing sales of multifuel stoves (http://www.armaghelectrical.com/acatalog/Multi_Fuel_Stoves.html), mainly burning wood and coal, growing dramatically in recent years.

This is partly due to the trend of new-build properties coming with a gas fire as standard being dealt a blow thanks to recent government regulations that demand increased efficiency.

Sales figures show that more and more UK homeowners are removing gas fires and replacing them with newly-installed fireplaces; over 250,000 homes in Ireland alone now own a Stanley Stove (http://www.armaghelectrical.com/acatalog/stanley_stoves.html). Insert stoves such as the Stanley Cara Multi-Fuel Stove, are not only more efficient, but they can improve a house’s re-sale value through an improved Home Energy Rating (UK) or BER in the Republic of Ireland.

“Not only is wood renewable but it's carbon neutral, two benefits which resonate with today's consumers,” says Dalzells' Head of Marketing, Chris Dalzell. “The price of entry level wood burning stoves (http://www.armaghelectrical.com/acatalog/Wood-Burning-Stoves.html) has also fallen in recent years, with the range of designs increasing so that there's something for all tastes.”

Wood logs and pellets are the cheapest source of energy available, with the cost per kW of energy around 4 pence compared to 7 pence for gas and 12 pence for electricity. Sourcing wood from sustainably managed woodland is recommended, with logs that have been stored for more than two years both burning for longer. Wood pellets (http://www.armaghelectrical.com/acatalog/Stanley_Fusion_Pellet_Stove.html) also have the advantage of being smokeless, allowing their use in inner city homes.

Though many flats in residential areas may be without a chimney, insulated stovepipes can be fitted as an alternative and are a perfect way to heat multiple rooms in small or large homes. Back burner stoves (http://www.armaghelectrical.com/acatalog/Multi_Fuel_Stoves_With_Back_Boiler.html) meanwhile will not only heat a room but service a homes entire central heating system and hot water requirements.

Design-wise, traditional cast iron casings take longer to heat up but continue to keep rooms warm even when the flames have died, while more modern stoves offer a variety of colours and shapes to suit homes of every size and style.

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Chris Dalzell
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