Lochbroom Woodfuels

sustainable woodfuels ~ creating opportunities

Lochbroom Woodfuels Ltd is a community-owned social enterprise based in Ullapool, in the Highlands of Scotland. We're committed to creating a reliable and sustainable firewood supply chain in our area and providing supported training and work placements for young people.

Carbon emissions

Most of the firewood sold by Lochbroom Woodfuels is felled locally in sustainably managed forests. By switching how you heat your home from electricity, burning oil, LPG or natural gas to woodfuel products can significantly reduce the greenhouse gasses produced by your household. 

The chart below shows the amount of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) released by using different fuel options to heat your home. The extraction and processing of raw materials into a usable fuel is shown in red, while actual use of the fuel is shown in blue (electricity is only in blue as it is generated and transmitted straight to your home). They are stacked on top of each other to show the total amount of CO2e emissions for the energy you get in kilowatt hours (kWh). Kilowatt hours is the standard unit of energy used on your electricity and gas bills to show your energy usage.

(Data from http://www.ukconversionfactorscarbonsmart.co.uk/ using 2015 conversion factors) 

(Data from http://www.ukconversionfactorscarbonsmart.co.uk/ using 2015 conversion factors) 

You can see that woodfuel products (wood pellets, wood chips and wood logs) have very low CO2e emissions. That’s because most of the CO2 released on burning the wood is reabsorbed by the growth of newly planted trees. So, with sustainable woodfuel products most of the CO2 comes from processing the wood into usable fuel. Logs have the lowest emissions associated with extraction and processing of all the fuel types shown here.

Switching from electricity, coal, oil or gas to burning a wood fuel is your best bet for reducing your own CO2 emissions the most from your heating. Natural gas, the cleanest fossil fuel, still releases 8 times the amount of CO2 as wood logs.

To make sure you are saving as much CO2 (and money) as possible with your heating the Forestry Commission have provided information on choosing and drying logs for fuel.