Costs for a standalone stove are around £5,800 including installation. A typical automatically fed boiler for an average home costs around £11,500 including installation and installing a suitable flue, and VAT at 5%. Manually fed log systems are slightly cheaper.
Savings in CO2 emissions are significant - up to 9.5 tonnes per year when a wood boiler replaces a solid (coal) fired system or electric storage heating.
Fuel savings are less significant, and if you replace a gas heating system with a wood burning system you may end up paying more for your fuel. But if you replace solid fuel or electric heating you could save between £170 and £390 per year.
Wood costs often depend on the distance from your home to a wood supplier and whether you can buy and store wood in large quantities. If you have your own supply of wood fuel then this can significantly reduce your costs. Typically, heating and hot water costs for a year will be around £1,000 in a detached property.
To reduce your home's CO2 emissions further, consider installing solar electricity or some other form of renewable electricity generating system.
The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) have announced that the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is expected to be launched in June 2011. It is designed to provide financial support to encourage the uptake of renewable and low carbon heat technologies like heat pumps. It is currently in a planning stage and no final decisions have yet been made by DECC.