People rush to buy firewood for winter in response to high gas prices
As gas prices soar, many people are already stocking up on wood to heat their homes this winter, De Volkskrant reports. However, firewood is also in short supply and becoming more and more expensive.
One firewood supplier, David Wunderink, told De Volkskrant he might be running out of logs in the middle of the summer due to the rush. "You notice that people are getting nervous. Normally our customers only start ordering firewood in September," Wunderink said.
A new sales policy from the Staatsbosbeheer and supply problems because of the war in Ukraine are also hindering firewood suppliers. Staatsbosbeheer, the government's forestry organization, is no longer supplying Dutch trees for firewood because carbon dioxide is released when the logs are burned. Meanwhile, the flow of firewood from Eastern European countries is also tightened this year, because of trade bans and the impact of the war, Joey van Wettum of Gigant told De Volkskrant.
All this translates to a much higher cost for customers than last year, but "they know they have no other choice," Wunderink said. For example, a trailer with a cubic meter of wood is 50 euros more expensive than a year ago. Still, Van Wettum reports that turnover has quadrupled in a year because of high gas prices.
Milieu Centraal pointed out that, although firewood may seem like a cheaper alternative to gas, much of the energy produced is actually lost in an open fireplace compared to a central heating boiler. "It is pleasant, but it brings a lot of problems for the environment and health," spokesperson Paulien van der Geest said of wood-burning stoves.