The EU has set goals for replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy by 2020. They include EU-level goals for the use of wood and pellets. In Finland wood is the main source of renewable energy.
The cost of energy is a major reason for buying a fireplace in Finland and abroad. The prices of oil, gas and electricity have been unusually low due to the recession. This has affected the development of the fireplace market. In addition to economic trends, tax policies affect the price of energy. Additional taxes, such as electricity tax and tighter taxation of oil heating, could increase the price of energy. Real-time pricing and electricity transmission charges could also increase the price consumers have to pay for energy.
Heat-retaining fireplaces are known for their practicality and great heating capacity in conventional houses. A study carried out by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland in 2014 concluded that, in addition to conventional houses, a heat-retaining fireplace is the best choice for modern low-energy houses. In both house types a single heat-retaining fireplace can supply more than 50 per cent of the annual heating energy need. This is because the fireplace releases heat evenly at relatively low output. In low-energy houses room-heating stoves and fireplace inserts generate high momentary heat. Rooms quickly become too hot and ventilation is needed to remove the excess heat.
As of 2018, the annual efficiency of heat-retaining fireplaces can be calculated at 3,000 kWh instead of 2,000 kWh. This will make heat-retaining fireplaces more competitive in comparison to other modes of heating by offering an affordable heating solution also for new houses.
In 2014 the EU determined the allowable emission levels for fireplaces, to be implemented in 2022. Tulikivi’s export models already meet these levels. In Finland, the permitted emission levels are already low and will become substantially lower when the new regulations come into effect.
Fireplaces are an important part of the Finland’s security of supply, which means the country’s ability to maintain its basic functions amid disruptions or emergencies. The same applies to Europe’s security of supply. Fireplaces are the only way to create energy that is independent of other energy sources. They are an important part of society’s crisis readiness when the availability and distribution of energy is affected.