February, 2015: Re-Organizing and Improving This Blog

Warmest greetings to all my fellow residential wood-heating enthusiasts!

This quick note will serve to let all know that this blog will be undergoing a complete revision and overhaul.

I intend to re-organize, edit, and re-write major portions of this site; thus improving and expanding upon this very-important blog about an extremely relevant (if somewhat contentious) subject, adding new information, links, research, and personal anecdotes and opinions as well as links to articles and documents I feel are relevant interest to the residential wood-heating community. It's a big job, and one that's long overdue.  Please excuse the inconvenience while I work on my project over the coming months.

With the current date being February 27th, 2015; I think it's safe to assume that residential wood-heating season 2014-2015 is nearing it's closure for this winter.  My goal is to have the blog overhaul completed entirely in time for next fall, so that I can provide relevant, up-to-date information and resources in time for wood-heating season 2015-2016. 

Residential wood-heating is a topic which I believe MUST be addressed in a positive fashion in order to highlight it's benefits. There is a strong need to counter the anti-wood-burning propaganda I see being disseminated in the mainstream media, often as the result of groups or organizations which possess a vested interest in forcing household dependency upon officially-sanctioned methods of residential heating.

We have had at least one solid month of daily temperatures registering below the minus 20 degree celsius mark here where I live, in Southwestern Quebec, Canada.  Yesterday, it was announced that the government-sanctioned hydro-electric company, Hydro-Quebec, would be enjoying record profits for this winter's heating season, whilst simultaneously planning to raise rates in the spring:

UPDATE: Bitter cold means sweet profits for Hydro-Quebec

Last year's cold winter helped push Hydro-Quebec to a $3.38 billion profit in 2014 — an increase of 15 per cent.

The utility released its annual financial statement Thursday.

It also indicated it will be turning over to the Quebec government a dividend of $2.53 billion — up from $2.2 billion in 2013.

Outgoing Hydro Quebec CEO Thierry Vandal says the profitability increase is also mainly due to markets outside Quebec that contributed $814 million to their bottom line, a 30 per cent increase compared to 2013.

The utility also benefited a 4.3 per cent rate increase.

Vandal claims the increase that customers have paid is not a major contributing factor because he says the rate adjustment is a result of their obligation to buy wind power generation.

"We buy this new wind power, its cost is higher and it's putting pressure on our rates, it's not directly linked to our operations, we don't make money on this, we buy it at a price and we reflect it in our rates at that same price," Vandal said.
SOURCE:  Deschamps, Richard. "UPDATE: Bitter cold means sweet profits for Hydro-Quebec." CJAD Montreal Website. www.cjad.com/cjad-news/2015/02/26/ (retrieved February 27, 2015).

Simply infuriating.

Whilst corporate profiteering on the backs of average families who find themselves at the mercy of Mother Nature continues unabated; in the meanwhile, those fortunate or wise enough to have been supplementing their home heating system by making use of a residential wood-heating appliance throughout the cold-weather time period have managed to fuel avoidance of slavery to corporately-set energy costs.  Case in point:  my household's latest, most recent Hydro-electric bill for the two winter months of December and January.  The total  came to less than $400.00, including heating; and this, in the midst of one of the coldest winters in many years with daytime temperatures regularly dipping below the minus 10 or even minus 20 degree celsius mark.  In addition to the cost-savings, we've also been enjoying our more-comfortable-than-average indoor temperature environment, living inside a house much warmer than would be feasibly possible to maintain were we heating exclusively with electricity.  All areas of our home -  including the basement where our residential wood-heating appliance is located - are consistently being kept at room temperatures above 22 degrees celsius which we feel is very comfortable when it's 20 below outdoors.  We truly luxuriate in home wood heating!

Signing off for now, and proceeding with the blog re-organization.  All this will be done in the spirit of creating and maintaining a dynamic repository of facts, information and positivity concerning residential home wood heating.  I look forward with pride to creating an interesting and complete resource here, regarding this very important topic.  It is a subject which is certain to increase in importance in coming years as energy costs continue to rise.

Best wishes!