My area of expertise has been in commercial and domestic renewable heating systems from Geothermal and Air Source Heat Pumps to Biomass boilers, giving technical advice and taking a project from concept to completion.
The industry has been good to me and I am blessed to have developed a reputation for knowledge and fairness with my clients as well as being used by Scotland’s many install partners for advice on a variety of renewable projects.
Whilst I love renewable energy, there are many issues that are just not talked about within the industry. This has led me to turn my attentions to the more tried and tested method of heating using wood burning or multi-fuel stoves.
The very best and most economical set ups that I have seen have been a combination of renewables and a stove or two to subsidise the main heating.
The reality is, not every home is suitable for renewable heating technologies such as Geothermal or Biomass.
I have witnessed too many people being sold heating technologies that simply do not adequately deal with their very individual heating requirements. Unfortunately the renewable energy industry has been heavily propped up with tariffs in the form of the Renewable Heat Incentive and people have bought heating systems for financial gain.
Expertise within the industry is very thin on the ground and unfortunately many of the companies that have been selling and installing renewable heating systems, have limited expertise and have neglected to educate their clients properly.
Let me be clear by saying...
I advocate the use of renewable heating technologies where they are suited and have always educated my clients with regards to the complexities involved. I would never recommend a system that isn’t right for the client or property.
Unfortunately this isn’t the ‘norm’ within the industry and the majority have pushed whatever technology showed the best financial results in the form of RHI payments. This will ultimately come back to bite many on the backside and the recent announcements from DECC only confirm this.
The carbon benefits purported are often misrepresented as they are not supported by local supply. The carbon involved in the transportation of Biomass pellet and chip from North America and Scandinavia are conveniently negated from the equation.
Likewise, the faceless corporations that provide the main supply of electricity to the UK benefit directly from Heat Pumps and Geothermal technologies. There is real insecurity regarding fossil fuel supply despite our attempts to produce greener grid energy.
The same cannot be said for a good quality stove installed well. There are no maintenance contracts or computer boards that display endless faults requiring costly call out charges. They are built to last and provide very little in the way of ongoing maintenance other than having the chimney swept and cleaning the stove.
Scotland is rich in local well managed forests that can supply the fuel necessary for a wood burning stove. This supports the local economy and helps safeguard you from the insecurity of supply associated with electricity, gas and oil.
Locally sourced wood is ‘carbon neutral’ and much better for the environment than fossil fuels, whilst also helping to sustain the local economy and promoting local employment.
Modern stoves have such high efficiencies that they have secondary and sometimes tertiary burning which means that the wood is burned efficiently to give as much heat as possible. This produces little to no smoke, so much so that many stoves are eligible for install within smokeless areas
Stoves have been heating homes for hundreds of years and will continue to do so for hundreds more, regardless of technological developments and innovations.
There are many reasons for this, some of which have already been explored. Perhaps this is because...
They look fantastic and there is a style to suit each home.
Good quality stoves are relatively inexpensive and are built to last
Stoves are suitable to nearly every type of home with the exception of high rise flats.