Is it time to ditch gas this winter?

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As autumn takes hold, winter is within our sights and many families are wondering whether it’s become that dreaded time of year when its time to put the heating on.

Switching our heating on is never a popular move, not only because it causes a spike in the use of gas, yet another fossil fuel that is contributing to warming the planet, but also due to the added costs of energy during these months when energy companies tend to announce increases in their gas tariffs. The price of gas is already volatile and can fluctuate wildly.

So how can we mitigate these challenges? One obvious answer is of course to make homes more energy-efficient, which is happening but at a very slow rate. In order for this to happen at a more meaningful speed, a change in policies and regulation is needed not only to build more energy-efficient homes but also to make it more affordable for individuals to retrofit their homes to a more energy-efficient standard.

A second step is to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels like natural gas. One way to do this without reengineering your house is to switch to the greener option of a biomass boiler. If enough households do this, it would signal a market shift away from gas, reduce our reliance on Russian gas and weaken the case for fracking – a technology to extract gas trapped in shale formations, which has proven environmentally disastrous and controversial.

Biomass has a bad reputation amongst some environmentalists, mainly due to the way the feed-material is being sourced. The majority of biomass boilers, however, are fed by wood pellets from waste wood which can’t be used for anything else and would be thrown away. Some biomass boilers can even be powered by sawdust.

The key step here is to source waste-pellets from a sustainable source and from a sustainably managed forest local to you so that the pellets are not transported over long distances. If both these boxes are ticked, then opting for a biomass boiler this year is not only an economically sound decision as they’re much more efficient than gas boilers but also an environmentally friendly step in the right direction.

Aat a time where the climate crisis is topping the agenda, any move to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels should be a welcome one.

This article was produced by A greener life, a greener world for COMPTE R, a Renewable energy biomass boiler manufacturer.  

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