Beat The Energy Price Rises!
How A Stove Cooking Range Can Reduce Your Energy Bills
In this article, we will show you how a stove cooking range is a great way to beat the energy price rises. The article is broken down into the following sections:
- The current economic situation – price rises and soaring energy costs.
- The benefits of installing a stove cooking range, and the savings you can gain from heating your home with a small wood burning stove, instead of using gas, oil, or electricity.
- How to use your stove for cooking.
- How to power a hot water system by fitting a side boiler to your stove cooking range.
- Common questions about our boiler option.
- More tips for reducing your energy bills.
The Current Situation – May 2022
The UK inflation rate hit 9% in April, the highest it has been in more than 40 years!1 The cost of food, fuel, and energy has skyrocketed since the Covid-19 pandemic and the war between Russia and Ukraine. UK households have been left out of pocket, and many people feel that they can no longer depend on our government, or the energy companies that we purchase from.
From the 1st October 2022, the current energy price cap is set to rise by 12% a year, increasing by £139 for average gas and electricity customers.3 In April 2022, UK households already faced a 54% rise in their energy bills when the price cap was raised, and there has been a fourfold increase in energy market prices over the last year. 22 million UK households could now end up paying an average bill of just under £2000 for their annual gas and electricity usage. 4
Comparing The Price Of Gas, Electricity, And Wood – What Are The Running Costs Of A Stove Cooking Range?
The cost of running a wood burning cook stove is cheaper than using gas or electric systems to heat your home. Based on statistics from the Energy Saving Trust, a small wood burning stove can actually reduce a home’s heating bill by 10%.⁵
The Stove Industry Alliance (SIA) has provided a more detailed insight into these costs, and the potential savings. The SIA estimates that people will get through approximately 3.5m3 of wood when using their small wood burning stove to stay warm during the evenings and weekends, from October to April. Based on this level of fuel consumption, the amount of wood that’s needed to heat the home would cost £420 to £490 per year, based on the current wood fuel prices from February 2022.⁶
On the other hand, it costs about £1972 to heat your home with gas and electricity for the year! If you’re burning oil to heat your home, then your heating bill will come to about £990 a year. This is based on prices being approximately 55p a litre, with the average household needing about 1,700 to 1,800 litres of oil per year.⁷
This means that you could be saving up to £1550 a year if you use a small wood burning stove to heat your home! The fact that the Hobbit SE was rated as the best value for money stove of 2021 by The Independent, means that you will get even more of your money’s worth.
In order to achieve these energy savings, you will need to be using a modern and efficient small wood burning stove, such as the Hobbit stove, the Hobbit SE, or the Little Range. All of our stoves are Eco Design approved for 2022.
You will also need to be burning dry, good quality wood. Any wood that you decide to use in your stove cooking range should have a moisture content below 20%.
If you are using a small multi-fuel stove, such as the Hobbit stove, the Hobbit SE, or the Little Range, then you will also benefit from the ability to burn compressed briquettes, or eco logs. There are many manufacturers, such as Lekto Wood Fuels and UK Logs Direct, who offer innovative products that actually radiate a lot more heat than standard kiln dried logs.
Your fuel will burn much more efficiently if you avoid shutting the stove down overnight. It’s also a good idea to let each fuel load burn down to a good bed of embers before reloading the firebox.
As another running cost of your stove cooking range, you will need to factor in the cost of getting your chimney swept each year, although this is not very expensive. We recently got one of our chimneys swept, and it cost a mere £55! However, this cost can vary depending on the length of your chimney, and what services you may require.
Beat The Energy Price Rises – The Benefits Of Installing A Stove Cooking Range!
A wood burning cook stove sits at the heart of the home, and it will provide your room with an attractive focal point, as well as helping you save on your energy bills! Not everyone can afford a stove cooking range and the cost of getting one installed, but if you can incorporate a stove cooking range into the design of your home, then this will be a huge help.
Our stove cooking range will provide you with even bigger savings, as the heat from your wood fire can be harnessed to cook your food, power your central heating, or so that you can enjoy a nice hot shower!
This can considerably reduce your energy bills, as you may no longer need to use gas or electricity to power your hob, oven, hot water or your radiators. With heating and hot water accounting for over 50% of our energy bills here in the UK,5 it’s certainly a good idea to get the most out of your stove cooking range!
Burning wood is also much better for the environment than using gas or oil to heat your home. In 2019, even 43% of the UK’s electricity was generated from fossil fuels.⁸ In contrast, wood is a renewable and sustainable source of energy, which can also be sourced locally. This is incredibly important if you’re hit with a power cut, as you will still have a reliable source of heating, and you will still be able to cook meals and generate your own supply of hot water!
By choosing to heat your home with a stove cooking range, you will help save your wallet and our planet! Why not incorporate a stove cooking range into the design of your home and take part in the collective effort to be more conscientious with our energy usage. Of course, we have to plant more trees if we continue to burn wood, which is why we fund the planting of 3 trees for every stove purchased! You can click here to read more about the environmental impact of wood burning stoves.
To summarise, some of the benefits of installing a stove cooking range are:
- Provides an attractive focal point for your room.
- You can save huge amounts on your energy bills, especially if you use a stove for cooking and for supplying your hot water.
- A stove cooking range enables you to be self-sufficient during power cuts.
- Facilitates the shift away from fossil fuels, promoting the use of local, renewable and sustainable sources of energy.
Wood-Fired Food From Your Stove Cooking Range
Our stove cooking range is an incredibly versatile appliance that can be used to cook a wide variety of different food. You can use the top of our wood burning cook stove for boiling, steaming, simmering or frying, and the oven is perfect for roasting and baking. Both the cooktop and the oven are also removable, which makes them very easy to wipe down and clean.
The internal size of the oven measures 220mm in height, 300mm in width and 220mm in depth. This gives you ample space for roasting plenty of vegetables, or for baking a loaf of bread etc.
Tip: Why not take a look through our free online cookbook for lots of recipes that you can make with our stove cooking range!
Getting Started – How To Cook With Your Stove Cooking Range
Before you can boil any water or roast some food with your stove cooking range, you’re going to need to get the stove up to a suitable temperature.
We’ve provided a quick guide below, but please refer to the instruction manual for the full, in-depth set of procedures that you should follow. The guide below assumes that you have lit a fire in the stove before, the appliance has been completely cured, and the flue has been checked for any obstructions.
Before you light a fire inside your stove cooking range, you will need to follow 3 very quick and easy steps:
- First of all, the oven temperature control should be set to zero. This can be done by moving the lever on the stovetop to a near-vertical position. You’ll need to do this before you light a fire in your stove cooking range to ensure there is a good draw to get your fire going.
- Next, make sure that the sliders beneath the footplate of your stove cooking range are flicked to the right-hand side. This will ensure that the tertiary air control, and the air wash control, are both fully open.
- Although it’s not strictly necessary, it’s also worth having the primary air controls slightly open before you light your fire. This can be done by having the bottom door of the stove slightly ajar, or by leaving a small gap just behind the airflow wheel. The drawings below will help you visualise the controls.
You can now go ahead and light a fire! Place a couple firelighters inside the firebox and light them with a taper.
Once the firelighters have caught, you can add a handful of kindling. Leaving the top door ever so slightly open will prevent condensation forming on the glass window, but be careful not to allow excess smoke and fumes to enter the room.
Once the kindling has caught nicely, you can close both of the stove doors, and close the primary air control. You can then place a log or a briquette on top of the kindling to get it burning.
When your fuel is burning steadily, you can adjust the sliders beneath the footplate to achieve the desired burn-rate and flame pattern of your fire. Depending on how hot you want the oven to get, you can move the lever on the stovetop anti-clockwise to begin heating the built-in oven of your stove cooking range.
You can see what the temperature is inside the oven by checking the inset temperature gauge. The coloured sections translate to the following in °C:
Blue – 0-150°C
Yellow – 150-200°C
Orange – 200-250°C
Red – 250°C+
The temperature of the hotplate will vary across its length. The coldest section is on the left-hand side, and the hottest section is above the firebox, just in front of the oven control lever.
Please note: There is no set amount of time it takes for the stove to reach your desired temperature. This is because there are too many variables to consider, such as what type of fuel you are burning, how much fuel you are loading into your stove cooking range, where your stove cooking range is installed, what type of flue system you have in place and how good the draw is, the outside temperature, as well as the strength and direction of the wind etc.
Remember: Cooking on a stove cooking range will take a bit longer than if you were to use a gas or electric hob/oven. You will need to be a little more patient, and it will take some time to get used to how your stove cooking range works before you are completely familiar with how it should be operated.
Here are some muffins that we baked in our stove cooking range!
Powering A Hot Water System With Your Stove Cooking Range
The Little Range has a nominal output of 4.3kW, but it can also be fitted with a side boiler, which sits inside the firebox on the right-hand side. Our side boiler draws 1kW or heat away from the stove, so you’ll have 3.3kW of heat being kicked out into the room, and the rest of the energy can be thermosiphoned to your taps, radiators, or a non-pressurised shower!
You can choose to power a single 1kW radiator or two 0.5kW radiators. This type of setup is perfect for tiny homes, cabins, wagons and houses! If you require more hot water, then you can also heat up a big kettle of water on your stovetop whilst your fire is burning away.
You can see an example of a boiler setup below:
This type of setup can work with the Hobbit stove, the Hobbit SE, or our Little Range, but please make sure you seek the advice of a qualified plumber if you are unsure as to how this type of system can be installed.
The Hobbit stove is a 4.1kW appliance, so you would have 3.1kW of heat being radiated into your room, with 1kW of energy being transferred to the boiler system.
Common Questions About Our Boiler Option
- Compatibility – the new Eco Design version of our Hobbit stove and Little Range are only compatible with our side boiler option, you cannot use a back boiler. The back boiler is only suitable for the older non-Eco Design version of our stoves.
- Retrofitting – we do not recommend retrofitting a side boiler to your stove. Although this is indeed possible, it is very difficult to do this, and you risk permanently damaging your stove. If you think you will need our side boiler option, then it is best to add this option to your order when you go to purchase your stove. That way, the side boiler can be safely fitted to your stove cooking range by our team of experienced engineers.
- What is the boiler made out of? Our side boiler is manufactured from 3mm thick 304 grade stainless steel with a fully welded construction.
- What size are the fittings? Our boiler has two 1 inch BSP stainless steel water connections.
- Can you still use the stove with the boiler option without heating a hot water supply? No. It is recommended that the stove is only fired with the boiler full of water and the distribution system operating and dissipating the heat generated. The boiler cannot run dry – you will need to ensure that it is always heating a supply of water.
More Tips For Reducing Your Energy Bills
Aside from using a stove cooking range to heat your home, there are lots of other ways that you can easily reduce your energy bills.
- Insulate your home – investing in double glazing and draught-proof windows and doors will help prevent heat escaping, and will ensure your home stays warm.
- Unplug your appliances – instead of leaving TV’s and computers etc. on standby, you can save a significant amount of money by fully turning off your appliances and unplugging them.
- Wash on cold – your clothes can still come out sparkling clean if you wash them on a colder temperature! You can save on your energy bills just by turning the temperature down for each cycle.
- Only use your dishwasher or your washing machine when it is full – do you really need to put a wash on for one t-shirt or a few plates?
- Buy efficient appliances – an efficient fridge, freezer, dish washer, TV and washing machine etc. will provide you with great savings in the long-run.
1) The Guardian – Phillip Inman – UK inflation hits 40-year high of 9% as cost of food and energy soars – Wednesday 18th May 2022.
2) Fireplace Specialist – March/April 2022 Issue – Page 12.
3) Fireplace Specialist – March/April 2022 Issue – Page 12.
4) The Guardian – Jillian Ambrose – British households face record 54% energy bill rise as price cap is raised – Thursday 3rd February 2022.
5) The Telegraph – Rachel Mortimer – Why now is the time to install a wood-burning stove and beat the energy crisis – Monday 9th May 2022.
6) NimbleFins – Erin Yurday – How much households could save on energy by switching to log burners – Saturday 26th February 2022.
7) NimbleFins – Erin Yurday – How much households could save on energy by switching to log burners – Saturday 26th February 2022.
8) Energy & Climate Intelligence Unit – Dr Simon Cran-McGreehin – UK energy and emissions – Where does the country get its energy from? And what’s producing its carbon emissions?