Thursday, April 05, 2012

Irish Taxes Make Coal an Economic Option


Taxation is 
Pushing People 
to use Eco Unfriendly Coal

Take exceedingly high oil prices, add a Double-Dose of Carbon Tax, on top of that place a 13.50% Irish VAT rate, and you have succeeded in making heating oil an unrealistic domestic option

Most Eco Friendly Systems are only for the rich

Now, SEAI and the Government would hope that the taxes would drive people to use eco friendly heating like Geo-Thermal and Wood-Pellet systems. However, there is a BIG problem in that these systems are only for the relatively rich, costing on average €6,000 to €12,000. So where does that leave perhaps 80% of the population?

The practical answer for much of the rest of us has been multi-fuel stoves, that can use coal, wood etc. with some 40,000 having been sold in one year AFAIK.

Standard stoves that come in 3 basic configurations. (1). The basic free-standing stove. (2). The free standing stove with a boiler to heat water and radiators, and (3). An Inset or insert stove to fit into an existing fireplace.

Rip-Off Price of Oil - Use Coal instead

I personally have totally gone away from heating oil - it is simply a rip-off and I detest being ripped off. Last winter I used 100% solid fuel, mostly coal, for all heating and hot water. I have a free-standing 6Kw stove in the kitchen - dining room, and I have my experimental closed fireplace.

I really would have liked to have used carbon neutral fuel like extruded wood briquettes, the ones that don't swell up and crumble to bits in the fire, but these are just too expensive due to 13.50% VAT and the fancy little bale packaging they come in. Cop on there Government and drop the VAT!

I used instead a fantastic coal mix called Calco which is a blend of lignite nuggets and pet-coke. I used this in my experimental modified fireplace. The fireplace is now essentially a solid fuel central heating boiler.

The fire has an 18" Firebird back boiler and a Baxi underfloor ventilation and ash system. I fitted a fire front door and made efforts to tightly seal and control all the air intakes to the fire. That single fire has heated  our 4 bedroom home and kept the average temperature of 22C almost rock steady 24/7 for months on end. Additionally it provided all the hot water. Currently in the milder weather about €18 worth of coal does the whole week of heat and hot water!

Multi-Fuel Boilers are a Realistic Alternative

I have been doing some looking into the alternatives to crazy oil prices topped by crazy tax levels, and to crazily priced wood pellet and geo-thermal heating systems.

Much of Eastern Europe commonly use solid fuel boilers. These come in many configurations. (a) Ones that specialise in coal, (b) Log burning boilers, (c) Wood gasification boilers, (d) Multi-fuel boilers. etc. etc.

Multi-fuel central heating boilers that can burn just about anything are becoming a real option in these crazy times. I will be looking at some of the option out there, and a close look at an up to date and highly efficient boiler I examined recently. This type of boiler could become a viable alternative for many.

Keep an eye out for the posting - coming soon.


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