Heating costs

Von • Apr 23rd, 2010 • Thema: Heating costs

The special warmth – ecological and economical

Fossil fuels are on a roller-coaster ride where price is concerned, whereas the cost of wood has for many years been rising only very slightly. Most tiled stoves are fuelled by good old-fashioned logs. Another alternative, however, – particularly for whole-house heating systems – is pellets. In the most recent study (September 2012), the cost and impact of these two renewable energy sources were compared with fuel oil, natural gas and electricity. This study not only showed that heating with wood is better because it is cheaper. The price differences are truly dramatic.

Wood users are champion savers

At present, people using oil for heating pay € 1.407 more per year for their fuel than those using firewood. The picture is not much better for natural gas: the costs here are around 60 percent higher than for logs. Anyone using wood for heating thus saves well over a third of their annual fuel costs. A detached house with a living area of 200 m2 and a calculated energy consumption of 100 kWh/m2 was incidentally taken as the basis for this comparison of annual fuel costs for different heating systems. The heating costs for a whole year were compared for fuel oil (extra light), natural gas, electricity, wood pellets and firewood. The graph shows the result in Euros, with the taxes payable in each case having been included in the total costs.

Unlike some other reports, in this study the Austrian Association of Tiled Stove Producers did not just balance the costs of the units of energy against each other. As the following graph shows, the number of kilowatt hours (kWh) each unit provides and the level of efficiency were also taken into account. This is because it is only when these parameters are also included that the costs of a specific energy output – i.e. the actual heat generated in the house – can be given right down to the last cent.

The development of the cost factors in the last few years is of course also interesting. It is possible to identify strong fluctuations, particularly in fuel oil. There was also a period during which pellets were expensive. However, this was due to the fact that the demand was too high and too few resources were put into production. The situation has currently been resolved once more. The development of the different energy sources over the past four years therefore looks as follows:

Aside from the savings it brings, a tiled stove also makes an important contribution to the ability to survive a fuel crisis, independently of the supply with fossil fuels, electricity or district heating. It may become quite unpleasant to have to do without an individual heating unit in the event of a power cut, a supply shortage or a failure in the local district heating network.

In the interim, a tiled stove can usually generally replace an existing central heating system. During this time – approximately three to five months in the year – a significantly lower heat output is sufficient to heat fewer rooms. Here, too, the tiled stove therefore helps to save money due to its high level of efficiency (the heat is generated where it is to be emitted) and therefore represents an ideal alternative or supplement.

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