How much does it cost to run a log burner? | The Sun

HOUSEHOLDS have been turning to log burners to keep warm – but how much do they really cost to run?

The appeal of a toasty fire is greater than ever this year after the cost of energy bills soared and after the recent cold snap.

Millions have seen their gas and electricity bills shoot up since last October despite the government introducing a discount.

The average households' bills have risen to £2,500 a year from £1,971 after the energy price guarantee came into effect.

The guarantee, which replaced the price cap when it was rolled out on October 1, was originally set to be in place for the following two years.

But after the government's disastrous mini budget and concerns over rising government debt, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said the guarantee will last until just next month.

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Yearly bills are currently due to rise to £3,000 a year from April, however money saving expert Martin Lewis said this week he's 99% sure bills will not rise.

So could a log burner be the answer? 

We’ve previously looked at how you can save energy in every room of your house and the worst appliances to leave on standby. 

But many people are still worried about rising costs.

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If you’re trying to stay warm without turning the heating on, there are some alternatives.

We’ve looked at how much it costs to run an electric blanket and how much it is to run a heated clothes airer. 

Now we take a look at how much it costs to run a log burner. 

How much to run a log burner? 

The Stove Industry Alliance (SIA) estimates that a wood burning stove uses about five logs to heat, compared to an open fire which uses 16.

This saving will further increase as fuel prices continue to rise, it adds. 

Of course, it’s worth pointing out that a log burner won’t heat your entire home so it can’t be considered a direct comparison. 

A log burner will, however, soon heat up the room it's placed in and residual heat will spread to other rooms too. 

When working out costings, you need to look at the price of wood. 

According to the SIA, the cost of burning kiln dried logs is between £150 to £190 per cubic meter (loose fill).

The average modern wood burning stove will use around 3.5 cubic metres (m3) of logs in a typical heating season if you have the burner on at evenings and weekends. 

Therefore, based on annual wood log usage of between 3-4 cubic meters, the total cost would be approximately £600 to 700 a year.

How does that compare to the typical heating bill? 

The current energy price cap is £2,500 a year. 

If you divide that by 12, that’s £208 a month – so over the six months from mid-October to mid-April would be £1,250

However, the figure is actually likely to be higher because households typically use the bulk of their energy in the winter months.

Direct debits spread the cost over the year so you’re technically paying for energy you don’t use in the summer, but you aren’t landed with a shock bill come winter. 

On the face of it then, the log burner seems like the cheaper option. 

But remember, it most likely won’t heat your entire home – you’ll still have to have the heating on in other rooms. 

Andy Hill, chair of the SIA, said: "The SIA is very pleased that the government has confirmed this week in its 25 year Environment Plan, that there will not be any banning of domestic burning.

"This confirmation gives our sector the confidence to continue investing in innovation to improve the efficiency of our stoves and minimise any impact on the environment.

"It also gives consumers confidence that they can use their stoves for the very long term and take back control of heating their homes without the fear of escalating fuel costs or blackouts."

Don’t forget the installation costs

According to Checkatrade, the average cost to install a log burner is around £2,000 and that’s on top of the stove itself, which will set you back around £950. 

Installation typically involves forming a new fireplace and hearth, and costs could be higher if you don’t already have a chimney.

So be sure to factor in those costs if you’re thinking about getting a log burner in the hope of saving money. 

A certification scheme, known as clearSkies, launched in August 2020 and can help you identify the most eco-friendly log burners. 

The SIA adds that any installation should be done by a qualified tradesman, registered with HETAS or OFTEC.

If you have a wood burning stove, your chimney should ideally be swept once a year and the stove itself should be regularly maintained.

If you are concerned about rising costs, you may be able to get extra help.

The cold weather payment could get you £25 when temperatures drop and low income households can get £150 towards their bills through the warm home discount scheme.

Under the winter fuel payment scheme, over 65s can get between £100 and £300 to offset the cost of keeping their homes warm.

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But all three of these schemes close on March 31.

You can also talk to your supplier if you're struggling. Some have charitable trusts that can help, or may offer a payment plan.

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