Strong demand for logs, sales of stoves are on the rise … Wood is back in fashion?

“I’m gone, sorry. “There, in terms of delivery, we are in four to five months…” These are the types of answers that can be heard today by a customer looking for fuel. Especially in Bas-Rhin “because the Germans are very afraid of not having enough gas to finish the winter”, confirms Christophe Glad.

“In twenty-three years of career”, the president of the trade union group of fuel traders from Alsace has never seen such a request. “Here more than elsewhere, but the trend is national. People are returning to the woods now,” he reaffirmed. A feeling supported by the numbers.

In 2021, almost 400,000 pieces intended for heating with this energy will be sold in France. “Including 200,000 devices for pellets, which since represent the majority of the market”, determined Axel Richard. The head of the sector within the Renewable Energies Syndicate (Ser) confirmed this: “There is an economic return on wood”.

“The cheapest energy for heating”

For some reason. First and foremost in economics. “This is the cheapest energy for heating. For one kW/H, it comes to about 4 cents including tax in March 2022 when logs are used to be delivered in bulk and 7 cents for pellets. Against 20 cents for electricity, 17 cents for propane, 16 cents for gasoline or even 10 cents for natural gas. And since then, fossil fuel prices have increased dramatically since then. In greater proportion than pellets, that is.

Timber has also not escaped inflation. The stere (1 m3) cut, in 33 or 50 cm, can be found for 60 € in 2020. Today, it still flirts with 80 €. “On average, the stere took between 10 and 15 euros”, nuance Christophe Glad, justifying all this through the usual reasons such as the increase in production costs. For example, he was forced to go through industrial dryers, “otherwise I could not follow natural drying”.

Another argument in favor of wood is its accessibility. “There are many people who have their own piece of forest, make it for themselves and sell it again in the parallel circuit. If we add all the professionals, it will not be difficult to find them,” says Axel Richard . The market, even the tension in some regions today, has little chance of becoming a deficit. This is not the case with some competing fossil fuels…

Finally, wood is also seen as an additional and comfortable way of heating. We are back to the famous 400,000 parts sold in 2020, of which only 20,000 are boilers. Almost all of them are supported by state aid schemes, says “Maprimerenov”.

“We observed the excitement of stoves and inserts when they came out of confinement,” recalls Marc Labattu, president of the French manufacturer Turbo Fonte. “Customers are coming out of confinement and looking to improve their home with a user-friendly device. With teleworking becoming more and more frequent, it’s even faster. Then from September 2021, we have new flow of buyers, linked to tensions in energy prices. They are looking to reduce their bills and a mix of energy”

Marc Labattu, president of the manufacturer of fireplaces, stoves and inserts “Turbo Fonte”. – Fonte pipe

His company, located in Pessac (Gironde) should “increase its turnover by 50% this year”. “The challenge now, for us, is to follow this strong demand”, blew the manager, happy to see a dynamic market when he was “at a cruising speed a few years ago”. Will the trend last? “We don’t know yet, it will also depend on price changes for other heating methods”, answered Axel Richard, remembering that wood is a renewable energy.

As part of the ecological transition, France has set itself the goal of having 9.5 million homes heated by wood with efficient appliances by 2023. In 2022, there will be 7 million according to the figures of the label “Green Flame “.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *