Woodchip co-op cuts heating bills

EAST Anglian woodland owners are being urged to join a new co-operative so that they can benefit from a “significantly cheaper” way to heat homes and other places, such as business centres, holiday cottages and swimming pools.

EAST Anglian woodland owners are being urged to join a new co-operative so that they can benefit from a “significantly cheaper” way to heat homes and other places, such as business centres, holiday cottages and swimming pools.

Anglia Woodfuels has secured funding from DEFRA's Bio-Energy Infrastructure Scheme, and support from Norfolk and Suffolk County Councils and the Anglia Woodland Project.

The co-operative says that with the ever-increasing costs of domestic heating oil, woodchip is being promoted as a “highly viable” alternative, and wood heating in Europe becoming the norm. With 21st century technology, wood fuel boilers are proving “extremely efficient”, and woodchip is half the price of domestic heating oil, it adds.

It has just bought a Heizohack HM 10-400-k wood chipper, which can produce a yearly supply of woodchip in one day. Specialist contractor Bill Hannant of King Timber has been appointed to operate it for members.


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“Our aim is to establish a supply chain to make wood heating viable in private homes and public buildings throughout East Anglia,” said Anglia Woodfuels chairman John Austen.

“The region has a huge woodland resource. At the outset, we want woodland owners to realise that by joining us, installing a boiler and using our chipper, they can heat their homes at a significantly lower cost. In fact, a number of our directors are already doing this.

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“We will raise awareness and as demand grows, our woodland members will also be able to supply others with woodchip. It's a good way of earning something out of low-grade timber.

“Membership is open to anyone who might be active within the wood fuel supply chain from woodland owners, woodland contractors and farming co-operatives to local authorities, wood fuel heating engineers, existing users of woodchip heating systems and those seeking to use wood fuel.”

Full membership costs £100 and there is an annual subscription of £75.

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