Saturday, July 07, 2012

Winter Fuel 2012-13 Oil -Gas - Electricity - Coal?


What Will You Heat
Your Home With
Winter 2012-13?

In Ireland we can expect heating oil prices this winter to be at around €1 per litre - a fill of oil costing close on €1000. Electricity price are set to rise also. So what is the trend for winter fuel?

AFAIK there is no official indicator of the domestic fuel type trends. However, from my quite limited perspective, I see a massive move towards solid fuel boilers, ranges, insets, and stoves.

Why do I think this move to solid fuel might be happening? There are I think two main factors driving the trend:

(1)  Price. The price of oil has generally increased the last couple of years, with a minor, and no doubt - short lived dip recently. On top of the world price, Ireland has 12% VAT and a double whammy in the last two years of Carbon Tax. Personally, I moved away from oil completely last winter because of price but found solid fuel giving better comfort as well as lower costs.

(2) Supply. Those of us who lived through the two oil crisis will be, forever more, wary of the supply chain for oil. Unless you have massive tanks and a big wad of money to store up a full year or more of oil, you are at the mercy of (a) wars, (b) speculators, (c) weather, and other factors which could leave you without deliveries. You are also at the mercy of the oil companies and one cannot trust them to be anything other than profit making giants.

Solid fuels have a distribution system along much less central lines, and therefore better prices and deals are to be had.

With multi-fuel solid fuel systems that can burn just about anything, and you know you can keep some sort of heat going. Additionally, you can stack bags of coal just about anywhere, and the low-life scum that steal oil are much less likely to take the effort, time and trouble to steal coal.

A Winter's Supply in hand

With solid fuel, you are not forced into buying large amounts. You can buy a few bags when you have the cash throughout the summer and stockpile for the winter in easy stages. Those in the countryside can stock up on logs throughout the warm months.


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