Talking from the heart of Scotland

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.


Although, perhaps much more than this…

Owning a stove actually promotes an involved relationship with how you heat your home or business. You will become more conscious of ways that you can save money on your heating bill.

They also help to connect you with the local community and make you feel like you are part of something bigger than yourself.

Or maybe we are just hard wired to get lost in the glow and flicker of the flames produced from your stove, providing a deep comforting heat that cannot be compared to any other type of central heating.

Whatever it is, you can be confident that owning a stove will enhance the quality of your life in many, many ways.

The success of a travelling salesman

As promised I am back, all be it later than anticipated as it has been a very ‘lively’ week, from a hospital visit with my son for suspected meningitis to a two hour detour back from County Durham making it a very late 9 hour round trip. Just another week on the road and all part of the juggling required between family, business and relationships experienced by many of you.

I said at the end of my last post that I would focus on the key areas of ‘success’, and last weeks’ events bring that concept into sharper focus. When you are rushing to hospital to be with your son who has a rising temperature of 39.7 degrees and a blinding aversion to light, the concept of success can be somewhat different. We all experience family illnesses and there are many other areas of your life that demand your attention, care and time.

So how do we determine ‘success’?

Is it a ‘fixed’ thing?

Is your ‘success’ the same as mine?

My concept of ‘success’ will invariably be different to yours but I’m certain that there will be some shared core values that pertain to that success.

Unless you are deeply narcissistic, I’m sure that the large majority of us want a more meaningful relationship with our partner, children and friends. To accumulate a ‘reasonable’ amount of wealth so that you are able to do the things that you want to and to provide well without the worry of money. You, like me, would probably relish the chance to do more for those that are less fortunate than yourself and contribute to the world in some way.

We really don’t have to wait until we are ‘successful’ before we have that balance and are able to contribute more to others. Really and truly, we have to be doing these things whilst on our journey to ‘success’, regardless of what that means to you.

“No one suddenly becomes a better person with wealth and you can accumulate great wealth without being successful”.

My personal area of expertise is renewable energy, I love the industry as I am able to genuinely help people save money, reduce their carbon footprint and solve real issues that pertain to heating their home or business. I am reasonably successful as a Renewable Energy Consultant, but there are many other areas of my life that require me to be successful too.

“The starting point of all achievement is desire”. Napoleon Hill

Desire is the first step towards success regardless of your end goal, life can be tough but your time on this mortal coil is limited… So reach in deep and set out what you want from your life. Aspire to get the most from yourself and set some goals.

Make sure that you write your goals down otherwise they remain a fanciful notion with no real prospect of happening. Your goals should be SMART:


Clearly define what it is that you want to achieve, think big but break that journey into smaller steps and celebrate every little victory.


You have to be able to quantify whether you have achieved your goal, otherwise it is pointless.


I struggle with this one slightly as goals should stretch you by their very nature but you must possess the necessary knowledge and ability to achieve your goals. Or at least enough sheer grit and determination to learn them in a short time.


Your goal has to be relevant to what you want to achieve and must be results focussed and measure outcomes not activities.

Time bound

You must have a timeframe that relates to achieving your goal, this should apply a sense of urgency to the goal and gives you a finish line to work towards.

Now comes the time to learn, become a student again and try to gain as much knowledge as possible that relates to you achieving your dreams. We have busy lives but you must make some time on a daily basis to learn. If you are building a business read business books; if you want to become a doctor you read medical books. Why would success in business be any different from any other profession?

I was invited to a business seminar in late October to see Brad Sugars in Edinburgh, he regaled a story of selling his bike as a 16 year old, to go to see the late great Jim Rohn whom he met afterwards. He asked Mr Rohn to sign his notes and it just so happened that when I met Mr Sugars, I also asked him to sign my notes. He wrote “ROSS, TIME IS NOW” and signed and dated below.

It wasn’t until I drove home and re-read these notes that I realised the very last thing that I wrote on the previous page was NOW circled several times. My only ‘faux pas’ was that I said “Hi Brad I’m Ross” when we met, so apologies Mr Sugars. Brad Sugars on Jim Rohn.

My point is quite simply to ACT, I decided that I was going to start my own business that evening and my own journey to ‘success’ began.

I hope you enjoyed this post and I look forward to giving another update in a few days. You deserve to commit to yourself and your dreams, so if you enjoyed this post please share with as many people as possible.

About the author


Ross Murray Poole is the founder of Murray and McGregor Stoves and Fireplaces who has a deep passion for conservation and sustainable ways of living. He resides in Bridge of Allan with his young family and now considers the Stirling area to be his home although born and brought up in Glasgow. Deeply committed to providing simple execution of quality and service to his clients, this blog will serve as a platform to educate and engage the wider community. 

Murray and McGregor Stoves and Fireplces are a proud family run company supplying a wide range of wood burning stoves, multi fuel stoves, gas fires and fireplaces across Scotland and the UK. Based in Stirling, Dundee, Perth and Glasgow we bring the showroom to your home anywhere in Scotland  - You can visit us at our showroom in Dunblane, Perthshire where we have a selection of stoves and fireplaces. Call us on 0800 316 9800 to chat about our wood burning stoves including Newman Stoves  Burley Stoves  Broseley Stoves  Dunsley Stoves  Aarrow Stoves  Pevex Stoves Henley Stoves  Carron Stoves  Jetmaster Stoves  Trianco Stoves  Aduro Stoves  Firestorm Stoves  Varde Ovne Stoves  Nordpeis Stoves  Franco Belge Stoves  Nestor Martin Stoves  Rika Stoves  Wiking Stoves  Hwam Stoves Riva Studio Stoves  Riva Cassette Stoves  Yeoman Stoves  Yeoman Gas and Electric Stoves  Dovre Stoves  Stovax Stoves  Jydepejsen Stoves and AGA Stoves and many more. We supply and fit our wood burning stoves and gas fires to a wide range of areas including Stirling, Glasgow, Dundee, Perth, Edinburgh, Arbroath, Aberdeen, Fort William, Kilmarnock, Paisley, Livingston, Dunblane, Bridge of Allan, Callander, Falkirk, Inverkip, Bearsden, Milngavie, Strathblane, Croftamie, Old Kilpatrick, Lenzie, Helensburgh, Balfron, Drymen, Beith, Kilbirnie, Barrhead, Johnstone, Bridge of Weir, Kilmacolm, Paisley, Renfrew, Neilston, Newton Mearns, Giffnock, Newlands, Clarkston, Kinross, Auchterarder, Bridge of Earn, Crieff, Comrie and many other locations throughout Scotland. We can also provide Morso, Jotul, Scan, Charnwood and Contura in our Dunblane Showroom. 

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