In the first part of our Commercial Features section this issue, Andy Maher – Managing Director of Stafford Fuels – looks at the constantly shifting landscape of fuel providers.
For solid fuel, the heating season just gone has been a significant improvement on the past three or four years. We had a more traditional winter that drove demand and lasted well into April. For the first time in many years, the trade recorded an increase in volumes, although margins were still squeezed as they have been for the last few years.
Beneath the surface however, major change was and is underway
In 2017 we already had the relatively low-key departure from the coal trade of Tedcastles, who also recently announced its departure from the oil distribution trade. In March 2018,
we then had the decision by Bord na Móna to exit the coal side of the solid fuel trade. This was a very significant move for the leading player in the solid fuel market. This was
shortly followed by the liquidation of Galtee Fuels Ltd. All this underlines the challenges facing the solid fuel trade and the scale of change taking place.
Never Ending Change
More change is on the way. In late 2017 – Minister Naughten announced a nationwide ban on bituminous coal to become law in September, 2018 with 12 months to sell existing stock – No bituminous coal can be legally sold or put on the market after 1st September, 2019. He has re-iterated that stance several times in recent months.
There is hope for the future. The consuming public is more acutely aware than ever of environmental issues including air emissions. The half hourly monitoring instigated in recent years, by County Councils and EPA combined, does sharpen the public perception of air emissions being caused by solid fuel.
The solid fuel trade must take the initiative and persuade their customer of the value and quality of smokeless fuel. Every effort should be made to communicate to customers that a) solid fuel can give the same or better heat value over a longer period of time and b) it is much better for the environment (75% less smoke and particulate matter emissions). The trade must make smokeless fuel the fuel of choice for a lower emissions future.
Flogas – Contemporary solutions for all
Retail customers are always seeking cost-effective solutions to help their customers to control their home heating bills, and Flogas Superser heaters are a recognisable and proven bestseller. The new look, contemporary and stylish Flogas Superser Radiant is
also fitted with easy glide castors for trouble-free moving from room to room.
“Flogas Superser heaters are the perfect solution for cost-conscious customers. They are extremely useful as an instant, economic and portable way to ‘spot-heat’ a room
quickly, as many customers find it far cheaper than turning on the central heating for an hour or two,” said Eoin O’Flynn of Flogas Ireland, the exclusive distributor for Superser in Ireland and the UK.
Portable and modern yet extremely functional, the Flogas Gaslight cylinders, launched
have been a great success since their launch and getting an excellent response from
customers because of all the benefits they offer.
Not only are the Flogas Gaslight cylinders about half the weight of the traditional steel
cylinders, the semi-translucent exterior allows customers to see exactly how much gas
they have left.
The Flogas Gaslight cylinders are as safe as steel cylinders and won’t leave rust marks on
patios or decks. They fit all leading brands of LPG appliances, making it ideal for caravans,
campervans, motor homes, barbeques and patio heaters. The cylinders are available in 5kg
and 10kg sizes in selected outlets nationwide.
Arigna warming up for winter
Arigna Fuels manufacture HETAS-approved, Irish-made smokeless, solid fuels for both open fires and closed appliances. Arigna Fuels are based in the scenic valley of Arigna, Co.
Roscommon, on the borders of Leitrim and Sligo, and employ a dedicated team of 55 people.
The two most popular products made by Arigna Fuels are ‘Cosyglo’, a HETAS-approved fuel for open fires/stoves, and ‘Ecobrite’, a HETAS-approved fuel for solid fuel cookers and
stoves. Cosyglo provides higher heat and has a lower ash content than traditional solid fuels. Ecobrite is long-lasting, clean, and especially suited to solid fuel cookers and stoves, as well as providing excellent heat to radiators. It is clean burning, and so will not dirty your glass-fronted stove, unlike other fuels.
Full Range of Smokeless Products
Arigna Fuels will now offer a full range of smokeless fuels for this coming winter season. As well as Cosyglo and Ecobrite – the established HETAS-approved products – they will also offer three new products:
‘Cosyflame’ – a 50-50 mix of Cosyglo Smokeless ovoid’s and Union nuggets, which is an ideal replacement for bituminous coal.
Also introduced this year are 100% ‘Union nuggets’ and ‘Grade A Welsh Anthracite’. All products are available in 20kg and 40kg bags except Grade A Welsh Anthracite which is only available in 40Kg.
HETAS are the official body recognized by Government to approve biomass and solid-fuel domestic heating appliances, fuels and services, including the registration of competent installers and the servicing of businesses. It’s very important to choose the right product for burning in your stove or closed appliance, as using a product that is not recommended – or one that’s not HETAS approved – may affect the guarantee of your stove. It’s
essential to clean your Stove, Chimney, or Flue at least once a year, and burning a low sulphur HETAS-approved fuel like Ecobrite will help maintain your stove for years to come. However, using high sulphur, non-HETAS-approved products could damage your stove
within a year, so it’s important to use the correct HETAS approved fuel for your stove. For more visit www.hetas.co.uk/fuel
Bord Na Móna: Keeping the Country Cosy this Winter
Bord na Móna is the market leader in the Irish residential solid fuel category for over 20 years. While this remains a sizeable market, with almost half of Irish homes purchasing
solid fuel, regulatory and lifestyle changes have seen the market reduce significantly over the last number of years.
As a result, some decisions to restructure the business were taken in order to ensure it is in the best position in the current market conditions. The company will exit the domestic coal market during 2019. This decision was reached in light of the planned introduction of a national ban on the distribution of bituminous coal. Their main focus is on the iconic Bord na Móna peat briquette and their convenience solid fuel products. With over 12 million bales of peat briquettes sold last season, this product retains a significant market share in the solid fuel market. The business will continue to manufacture peat briquettes and to
invest in the development of innovative and convenient solid fuel solutions for Irish Consumers.
Of course, it all started with the Peat Briquette, a traditional part of Irish Heritage. The original smokeless fuel Peat Briquettes have consistently delivered quality performance and a real fire experience for generations. They are easy to light, have a long burn time, and are suitable for both stoves and open fires. This authentic product remains a firm favourite of Irish fireplaces today.
Last season, the business introduced Peat Nuggets in a 20kg convenient size bag. The peat nugget – with all the great benefits of the original, iconic peat briquette – is growing in demand and popularity with consumers. A reliable, consistent, high-quality fuel, no other fuel is needed for the perfect, fast-lighting, warm fire with a bright golden flame and a distinctive Irish Peat smell.
Bord Na Móna’s high-quality, sustainably-sourced Kiln Dried Hardwood logs, kindling, 100% Natural Eco logs and AirDried logs are available in convenient carry-home packs, are easy to stack, easy to display at point of purchase, and suitable for both stove and open-fire use. A full range of fire lighting and fire making solutions including the original Firelog, Stove log and premium Firelighters are readily available to meet the needs of the modern-day household.
The company’s newest edition is the Bord na Móna Quicklog. This is extra fast-lighting so that consumers can achieve their perfect fire conveniently, cleanly and quickly. It is suitable for use in both open fires and closed appliances. As everyone knows, value and quality are key purchase drivers for consumers and the Quicklog has a very competitive RRP flashed price of €1.49.
Bord Na Móna’s customers also avail of a tailored aftersales support service, including product-specific signage and point-of-sale material to support their products and help
consumers make the right choices for their needs. Also available is a range of How to Video’s, particularly helpful for the new novice fire user in how to get started and build
the perfect fi re. For further information contact your local Business Development Executive or call customer support at 1850 744 755.
Partnerships at heart – Calor Gas pay tribute to their retail partners, who they describe as being at the heart of their business.
Over the past 80 years, Calor has become a household name across the island of Ireland, powering communities with a clean, reliable and cost-effective fuel. Calor is the fuel of choice for homes and businesses across the country who are not connected to the national gas network. They owe their success to the retailers who have supported them throughout the years.
All of Calor’s cylinders that they provide to retailers go through mandatory checks before they are delivered to their retail network. Calor know the importance of reputation and they ensure that their retailers can stand over the quality and safety of the Calor products they sell. In addition to their iconic yellow cylinders, Calor now offers an innovative selection of lightweight cylinders, which have proven very popular with customers.
In 2018 Calor introduced Ireland’s very first renewable gas, BioLPG. The company is taking a lead in providing renewable energy options to Irish consumers, and their retail partners are playing a fundamental role in making that happen.
Calor Gas is a leading supplier and distributor of LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) in Ireland, allowing customers who are located off the natural gas grid use LPG gas for
power in their homes and businesses. Calor is an expert in LPG procurement and commissioning, bulk gas storage, cylinder filling and storage, LPG transport and delivery,
installation and maintenance.
They also actively develop and innovate new LPG powered products such as their Calor Mini-BBQ and new lightweight cylinder.
They employ 284 staff in 6 sites located throughout the island of Ireland serving circa 50,000 customers across residential and industrial commercial sectors.