Got Land? Grow Your Own Fuel
Save Money by Creating Your Own Sustainable Energy
If you’re a landowner, then why not look into creating your own supply of fuel? It’s substantially cheaper and better for the environment too.
The gap between what UK residents can afford to spend on energy, and the actual costs being charged by suppliers is set to increase by 9% this winter according to forecasts from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. The largest six suppliers blame these price hikes on the increasing costs of fuel at wholesale, with German company E.ON stating that these had risen by over 20% since 2017.
But rather than relying on the politics of fuel companies and the larger global situation, there is a much easier and cheaper way for land owners to acquire fuel – by growing it themselves. It’s better for the environment too!
Creating Your Own Sustainable Supply
If you have a small plot of woodland, or alternatively if you’re willing to plant trees as part of a longer-term strategy, then you can grow your own wood to use as fuel. This will save you heaps of money. For example, the Woodland Trust estimates that just two to three hectares of woodland creates enough fuel for a three bedroom house for an entire year.
With climate change regularly in the media, there is increasing concern about the use of natural commodities; therefore, wood is being seen as a much more favourable option than gas or electricity. Planting your own trees provides a habitat for wildlife, produces oxygen for the environment, reduces the risk of pollution and has a positive impact against flooding. If you get planting now, then in less than a decade you could start reaping the benefits of producing your own fuel and you’ll save a serious amount of money going into the future. Let’s face it – who knows what the cost of energy will be in 2028?
Installing Your Own Boiler
Approximately 175,000 households per year are going down the wood fuel route already, and many are opting to install biomass boilers. These work by using an automated feeder to consume either raw wood, wood chips or pellets. They’re much more effective than the alternative manual design which requires someone to deliver the wood to burn. Once the wood reaches the boiler, it is lit by an internal electric probe. The energy that this fuel produces can then set to work warming the central heating system, or your hot water tank – both of which can be automated using a thermostat.
As well as needing to own enough woodland to create an ongoing fuel supply, there are some additional considerations if you’re interested in going down this alternative energy route. It’s important that the wood entering the boiler is dry, as it won’t burn when damp. With this in mind, you’ll need a decent storage area for your wood, such as a secure outhouse or basement that is damp-free. You’ll also need to be prepared for some regular maintenance of your boiler, particularly when it comes to removing the frequent build-up of ash. If you live in an older property, then you might have extra building regulations to satisfy also.
Energy suppliers look unlikely to dip their prices significantly any time soon, so if you’re in the lucky position of being a landowner, then providing yourself with a sustainable source of fuel is a sensible plan that will likely save you thousands in the long term.