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Solid boom: Manufacturers and installers ride demand

Solid fuel appliance manufacturers are reporting full order books while installers rush to respond to demand as fuel-hit customers opt to reopen blocked up chimneys and buy up stoves.
Solid fuel appliance makers and retailers have witnessed a positive side to the story of rising oil and gas prices which have hit the UK since May 2007. They report rising demand from customers keen to have wood-burning stoves and dual fuel wood burners, which heat water and fuel central heating.

Manufacturers are seeing a 40% rise in the sale of wood-burning stoves in the UK in the last year, while energy prices have risen by 38% in the same period.

According to the UK Office for National Statistics, between August 2007 and August 2008, gas prices rose by 28%, heating oils by 58% and coal and smokeless fuels by only 17%. As a result coal and wood consumption has risen by 3%.

Jim Lambeth of the Solid Fuel Association said 'Manufacturers are telling us their order book is full and they have long waiting lists, with back orders of up to 8-12 weeks'.

He added 'It started when price of oil rocketed in May 2007 and gas went up. Since then the phones have never died down. We've had calls from people concerned about security of supply and the cost of home heating, and calls from installers'.

While customers show interest in converting their gas fires back to solid fuel again, installers are going back to school to give the customers what they want.

The solid fuel association's advice line for heating installers has seen a surge in calls from installers asking about the HETAS approved registration scheme for heating engineers with skills in the installation and maintenance of solid fuel heating systems.

HETAS operates a certification scheme for solid fuel, wood and biomass installers and engineers and also operates a test and approvals scheme for domestic solid fuels and appliances. A spokesman for HETAS said 'Wood fuels and biomass in particular are currently enjoying a resurgence, and becoming more popular not just with householders, but also commercial users'.
27 October 2008


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Industry bodies react to Heat and Buildings Strategy

There has been mixed reaction to the Government's long-awaited Heat and Buildings Strategy from heating industry bodies.

The Strategy has unveiled phased out dates for the installation of fossil fuel heating, increased funding support for households purchasing heat pumps, and the rebalancing of environmental levies on electricity.  


Service growth at Condair

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