• Heating From A Single Wood Burner Or Open Fire

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    There is possibly no more middle-class activity in the drab weeks after Twelfth Night than the menfolk of Islington, north London scouring the streets, foraging for fuel for their wood-burning stoves. I should know: I am one of them. Over the last month my neighbourhood, like pavements across Britain, has been strewn with abandoned Christmas trees. And at the bottom of them is often attached a wooden block – a pre-cut, log-sized piece of fuel, perfect to pop into your sleek, matt-black stove. Ready to burn bright your status as a member of the smug Scandi-chic chatterati.

    Yesterday I wrote an article that touched on my late grandparents. They lived in Devon, in a chocolate box cottage, thatched roof and stable doors that was built some 700 years before I was born. There was no electricity, no domestic gas or running water, by modern standards it was rudimentary at best.

    One thing it was though was always warm.

    I know the three-foot thick wattle and daub walls helped, but there was no double glazing and the only heating was from a range, and a small one at that. Even upstairs was always nice and warm, even when the thick wooden doors that separated the stairwell from the living room were closed. Writing the article yesterday brought the memories of the old place flooding back, and one of the strongest memories was about how warm the place was even in deepest winter.

    A quick call to one of my elderly uncles provided …

    Making the trendy firebox even more attractive was this month's announcement from the Department of Energy and Climate Change, which claimed that a wood-burning stove owner who generated his own electricity could earn 6.5p per kilowatt hour.

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