Compared to gas and electricity, wood is still the most cost-effective heating source if the household is equipped for it. In addition, compared to last year, the price of wood fell by about 30 percent. Anyone who decides to stock up for the winter right now is not fooling around. From the beginning of next year, prices are set to increase, mainly due to the planned increase in the value-added tax on firewood and pellets from 15 to 21 percent, which may make heating more expensive for some households by several thousand crowns.
A cubic meter of hard and dry wood, which is most suitable for heating, now costs around 2,443 crowns on average, according to the price comparator. It is the most heating wood from deciduous trees. Most often oak, beech, acacia or hornbeam. Raw is a bit cheaper. Its price is currently around 2015 crowns per meter.
At some merchants, the price of a cubic meter (cubic meter) of hardwood fell by more than 500 crowns since the beginning of the year. A little more for a soft one like spruce, pine or birch. On average, it now costs 1,425 crowns. For both softwood and hardwood, the price is currently the lowest in the last year.
Wood has been at this level since the summer, when its prices fell significantly due to lower demand. During the last heating season, people pre-stocked in large quantities due to concerns about the astronomical prices of electricity, but especially gas, and now they have no shortage of wood. According to the merchants interviewed, during the period of rising energy prices, in the autumn and winter of last year, customers ordered supplies for two to three years in advance. At the time of rising energy prices, even those who had not previously used wood for heating began to order wood for heating. This drove the price up for several months.
At this time last year, it was not even an exception when sellers told customers that they would deliver wood in two months. But that is definitely not the case today. If you order wood now, it will most likely be delivered to you within one or two weeks, depending on the capacity of the supplier. “I don’t have a problem this year, last year we underestimated the situation a bit,” says one of the wood sellers.
The price drop also applies to wood pellets. This year they are sold for an average of 8 to 9 crowns per kilogram, while last year their average price was 12 to 13 crowns per kilogram. According to Vladimír Stupavský, the chairman of Česká Peleta, a cluster of producers of wood fuels and ecological combustion sources, the price has fallen despite the cooling of the construction market, which is why sawmills are cutting less wood and there is also less sawdust, which is the basis for the production of pellets.
According to Stupavský, around 50,000 households in our country are heated with pellets. Their number increased significantly after the fuel market changed. energy crisis. “Gas turned out to be an unreliable source of energy, and Czechs visibly turned to domestic fuel – wood and wood fuels, such as pellets and briquettes in particular,” said the chairman of the pellet cluster Stupavský. In the coming months, he expects a further increase in interest in wood-fired boilers, as from September 2024 the heating of boilers of the first and second emission class will be prohibited, which applies especially to the oldest coal boilers.
Currently, wood, pellets, briquettes and other wood fuel raw materials are subject to a VAT rate of 15 percent. If the government’s tax (consolidation) package is approved, which is most likely to happen, firewood will be moved to the 21 percent VAT rate from January, as well as some services, beverages or, for example, cut flowers. And sellers are already confirming that they will have to reflect the increase in the VAT rate in their prices. Wood will thus be cheaper for those who order before the end of the year for stock.