Jason Scarlett, one of the last registered solid fuel and chimneys engineers in Essex, has spent 15 years supplying, installing and servicing real coal fires in homes across the area. But he is passionate about environmental issues, and was determined to find a greener method of providing attractive and efficient heating options, that would still allow him to offer the bespoke design service many of his clients require.
After extensive research, Jason discovered that wood-burning stoves are one of the most environmentally-friendly and efficient forms of heating available. In fact, by connecting efficient wood-burning stoves or cookers with boilers to hot water and central heating systems, a whole house can be heated by logs alone. In turn, this can help cut carbon emissions by up to 100% and will also save money on heating bills.
Jason now sells, installs and services woodburning stoves, chimneys and bespoke fireplaces. He also supplies locally sourced wood to his customers that has been coppiced to help the biodiversity specific to our woodlands. Jason explains: “The idea of coppicing is that the trees get cut back every ten to twenty years. “It’s good for the land as it promotes new growth. The trees are cut from the base and then lots of new shoots grow out from the trunk. In turn this means the trees will live longer. Coppicing is an ancient process, so it is great that we are still using it today*. I want people to realise the potential of using locally sourced bio-fuel – its cost-effectiveness and its benefits to the environment”.
But Jason’s role as an eco-warrior has not stopped there. He has visited many local woodland areas and is determined to help pioneer projects that can benefit the environment even further. Since realising that wood from coppiced trees is not always used efficiently, he has been in discussion with the appropriate authorities and organisations. By working with them to develop a more commercial focus on coppicing a much higher degree of sustainability can be achieved: a continual supply of logs will be guaranteed, and an income from this essential practice will be generated, which in turn can be used to maintain our woodlands and help protect our wildlife.
Jason feels his customers are drawn to the idea of woodburning stoves by the benefits to the environment, as well as the warm, secure feelings of a real fire that is cost efficient. “People have started to realise that coal is a fossil fuel and burning it unlocks carbon, which is bad for the environment,” explained Jason, “But wood is cheaper and it’s also green to burn – it is totally carbon neutral.”
He adds “We’re also trying to convert all our vehicles so they can run on bio-diesel. That will mean we can take the wood direct from the woodland to your home, which will make the entire process carbon neutral.”
Jason Scarlett has pioneered an environmentally-friendly way to heat homes and he hopes his business can be a shining example of how being green doesn’t have to mean compromising comfort and design.
To find out more about the government grants available for installation contact the Low Carbon Buildings Programme on 0800 915 0990.
*See Simon Stock's article on Coppicing