This is quite a difficult one to work out for a number of reasons. The first is that we have only had the log burner installed for 6 months so have not had a full winter with it. The second reason is that we paid extra to enhance the fireplace (oak beam and Lakeland green slate hearth) and bought a good quality stove so the payback will be longer so this has to be factored into the payback but for us this was not that high a priority as we wanted to change the fire and fireplace anyway.
1st gas bill verses log burner.
As I said above we only have had the log burner installed for 6 months and have only started to us this in the autumn. Before I compare the costs of the previous gas bills I will describe how we use and intend to continue to use the log burner. We are not going back to the Stone Age; we have a modern centrally heated house with radiators in every room with the log burner installed in the main living room. We turned off the radiators in this room and the dining room. We still use the gas for heating the water and for cooking (hob) and have the heating come on in the morning to heat the kitchen & the upstairs rooms. What we have found is that if we have the log burner on it heats the rest of the house quite nicely so we don't need the heating on and even on a morning the central heating does not have to come on or if it does it is only for a very short time.
Our gas bill from 2011 period August, September, and October was £120.00 and the weather last year was not that cold. Our gas bill with the log burner for the same period 2012 was £58.00 which is better than half, plus you have to factor in price rises that we are subject to by the gas companies that we cannot do anything about.
Our gas bill from our highest usage from 2011 was nearly £400 so what I am hoping is that our gas bill with the log burner will be better than half at about £150 per quarter which will just be the water heating, the cooking and occasional heating. (UPDATE March 1st 2013 the current bill for this quarter for the gas is now £105 which is great) .
Even with the additional costs for the installation (total cost £3500) I have calculated the payback to be only 5 years and that does not factor in any gas price rises which there will be as the big six this year (2012) all increased their prices some by nearly 10% and I bet they do the same next year as well as the "GREEN TAXES"imposed by the government. With a simpler system (if you don’t need an external flue which adds at least £1000 to the cost) and less money spent on the fireplace and surround I believe the payback could be 2 to 3 years. This only works if you can get free wood which I have managed to do without too much trouble, obviously if you buy your wood the payback will be longer.
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