Amidst the rampant cost of living concerns, homeowners nationwide have been searching far and wide on how to save energy at home to cut costs, and as a result, many have opted to turn toward wood burners as opposed to using central heating to stave away the cold.
However, the price of firewood has recently soared due to global supply issues as UK retailers are struggling to meet the demand as the supply of wood coming in is being limited due to the war in Ukraine.
With no other choice, prices are at an all-time high of up to 50% more in the past year alone. This may lead to even more uncertainty for consumers wishing to stock up on firewood for fireplaces or wood burners – here’s what you need to know.
Log prices increase as demand for firewood grows
Kiln-dried logs have previously been available to buy in most supermarkets at a reasonable price, being utilised in wood burners and fireplaces to help cut the cost of energy bills. However, those of you who were considering bringing your wood burner ideas to life this winter season might want to be aware of what exactly you’re getting into.
Data from price intelligence company, Skuuudle (opens in new tab) has revealed that the price of kiln-dried logs has shot up by up to 50 per cent in the last year to September 2022. The data they gathered revealed that the price of kiln-dried logs has upscaled at a ‘significantly greater rate than the overall rate of inflation which currently sits at 8.8 per cent for the 12 months up to September 2022.’
Skuuudle’s data also revealed that energy bills have (unsurprisingly) been one of the main catalysts of overall inflation, showing a ’54 per cent increase in the price of electricity and a 99% increase in the price of gas over the same period.’
Why is there an increased demand for firewood?
Liam Walsh, an expert at Log Delivery (opens in new tab) says, ‘As log suppliers for the home, we have found that there’s been a great increase in the number of people using wood burners to keep their homes warm. This isn’t surprising, as the cost of living crisis makes it more and more expensive to fully heat our homes with the likes of gas and electricity.’
As we complete a lot of our sales online, we have found that there’s been a large increase in Google searches for various terms relating to wood burners. Although our data runs a few months behind the current date, we can already see that this March saw 53,720 monthly Google searches in the UK for “log burner”, a massive increase from 20,423 for the same term back in March 2019, pre-pandemic.’
How much should firewood cost on average?
Matthew Jenkins, heating expert at Myjobquote (opens in new tab) says, ‘If you are planning on heating your home with firewood every night for the winter season, you can expect to pay around £5.34 per day, £37.36 per week, and £149.46 per month for firewood.’
‘Of course, this will depend on the type of firewood or logs that you choose as they can vary in price. Briquettes are the cheapest type of firewood. Briquettes will tend to cost £1.98 per day, £13.87 per week, and £55.51 per week.’
Vicky Naylor, general manager at ACR Stoves (opens in new tab) says, ‘Kiln-dried hardwood logs will cost around £125 per cubic meter and can be obtained locally or online.’ She recommends buying in bulk, as most online suppliers will provide the delivery in a crate which can also be used to store the logs in too.
It’s not surprising that more and more people are looking to invest in a wood burner to heat their homes as well as taking a bit of time to look at and consider the possibility of a wood-burning stove, especially when people realise the economical benefits from them.
Phil Wood at Contura (opens in new tab) says, ‘Contrary to popular opinion, when used and maintained correctly, a wood burner can provide an efficient, cost-effective and sustainable domestic heating solution. Likewise, firewood is a highly efficient and low-carbon energy source. By understanding and following best practices and making the right choices regarding wood burners and fuel, stove owners can ensure the best possible performance from their appliances.’
‘Just two logs per hour are required to keep a wood burner going, whilst eight logs are needed to burn for an hour in an open fire. Similarly, a wood-burning stove is 60% more efficient at heating the home as heat transfer is convected into the room rather than being lost up the chimney in the case of conventional open fireplaces.’
So, the decision lies with you on whether you choose wood burners vs central heating to keep you warm during these especially cold, winter nights. At the end of the day, it’s all about finding which one is right for you – but just know that we’re all going to have to get a bit nifty with how we choose to cut costs this winter.