At Bertie’s we often get asked if you can save money by switching to wood fuel from other forms of heating. The answer is yes you could, but how much will depend on what fuel you are currently using for heating, how often you use your stove instead of other forms of heating and the quality of the wood fuel you use.
The latest figures from the Nottingham Energy Partnership, an independent body that monitors and compares energy prices, shows that the cost per kilowatt for seasoned logs is currently around 5.3p when the efficiency of the stove is taken into account. Given that Bertie’s logs are kiln dried to an average moisture content of 20% we would like to think that Bertie’s kiln dried logs should work out cheaper than ordinary seasoned logs. Here’s a list of common fuels with the price per kilowatt after the efficiency of the appliance is taken into account, prices relate to December 2014.
Electricity – 16.0p
Mains gas – 4.2p
Oil – 6.5p
LGP – 6.6p
Smokeless fuel – 9.2p
Seasoned logs – 5.3p
At Bertie’s we try and keep our environmental impact as low as possible, we only use locally sourced coppiced timber for firewood production and use the waste wood from our log processing line to fire our log drying kilns. We use software to map the most efficient route for our delivery trucks to take each day and all the timber hauled into the yard is brought on the largest possible vehicles, thus reducing lorry miles. All our packaging is returnable and reusable or recyclable.
Coppicing Chestnut by Hand
When you are out driving or walking around the Kent countryside you might come across a bit of woodland that looks like a Hurricane has just ripped through it. Don’t worry about that though, as it’s probably just a bit of coppicing, a centuries old wood land management technique that helps our local woodlands and wildlife thrive.
The Romans originally brought Chestnut over from Spain to provide fuel for the iron industry in the Weald and the woodlands they planted have been used by generations in Kent to supply everything from hop poles to fence posts, pit props, the raw material for paper production and of course firewood. Bertie’s helps carry on this tradition by using locally coppiced timber for all our firewood production.
When a wood is coppiced the trees are cut down to about a foot of so from the ground and this allows them to regrow (think of pruning roses on a giant scale). Coppicing usually takes place every 12 – 15 years in blocks around the wood and this allows many types of flora and fauna to flourish during the coppicing cycle. If the trees are not cut back regularly they tend to grow too large and can ‘topple’ over and die, so coppicing is a very important practice that helps keep our Kent woodlands healthy.
He’s at Hadlow College Farm Shop, don’t forget they sell Bertie’s logs and kindling.
Like all good employers we are keen on offering all our employees a full package of benefits, especially anything that can keep them fit and healthy.
That’s why we are pleased to announce that Bertie’s have embraced the Governments Ride to Work scheme and have just taken delivery of our 1st company bike. This beautiful machine is hand made from wood and will be a useful addition to the Bertie’s fleet!
Bertie’s Wooden Bike
There’s been a lot in the news lately about the possibility of Fracking for gas and oil in Kent & Sussex. The Governments been trying to tell us that this will have no adverse affects on the environment and we can all look forward to cheaper energy prices.
At Bertie’s though we are wondering why no ones noticed that we have a vast and under exploited source of energy growing all around us – trees! In fact the South East is the most wooded part of the UK and the Forestry Commission estimates that there is around 500,00 tonnes of timber a year available that could be used to provide enough energy to heat 45,000 homes. Wood fuel is of course far more sustainable than exploiting further fossil fuel resources like shale gas and the correct management of woodland through coppicing helps to maintains the classic look of the countryside and improves bio-diversity.
So instead of drilling holes all over the South East, why don’t we bring the 1000’s of acres of derelict woodland in the South East back into management, just a thought.