Friday, February 24, 2012

Huge Growth in Solid Fuel Stoves


Tens of 1000's of Irish Turn
to Solid Fuel
Old Fashioned Reliable Stoves

In my last posting I discussed that I had been given a figure of 40,000 stoves sold in Ireland in a 12 month period, and how I had tried to get some official verification of this figure.

The nearest I have come towards a verification is taken from a press release from Stanley Stoves. The statement says that demand in Ireland has grown by three to four times in the last few years. And specifically states that Waterford Stanley has a record increase of 40% in sales in 2011.

The statement goes on to speculate on the reasons for this large growth figure. My feelings on the matter are that the factors driving this growth are:

1. The HUGE Government taxes on heating oil making it 25% dearer than in Northern Ireland.
2. The realisation that open fires are both wasteful and dangerous.
3. The unreliability of Electricity supply in extreme weather making most modern heating systems useless without the electrical power.
4. The perceived public need for a fuel-type independent, flexible, inexpensive, and efficient heating method, that additionally offers some basic cooking facilities, if needed, in extreme weather.

Government Need to Promote Wood Fuels for Stoves

It is high time for the Government and SEAI to set about promoting wood based fuels for use in those hundreds of thousands of stoves already installed in Ireland. A good start would be to remove the 13.50% VAT on wood fuels. Another move would be to streamline the importation and distribution of these fuels so as to minimise all the added costs involved in a system with  1. Importer, 2. Distributor, 3 Wholesaler, 4. Retailer.

An Alternative System to Distribute Wood Based Fuels.

(a) A central purchase scheme to buy in vast bulk -
(b) a single step distribution and semi-direct sale to the public at a small fixed profit.
(c) VAT free.

These simple to execute steps could knock 30% to 40% off the current price of wood fuels making them really competitive with coal. The carbon credits savings to be made alone would justify the effort.


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