I popped into my 80 year old neighbour yesterday to help her with some problems she was having with draughts in her house. To my surprise, I notice she had taken the exact same strategy we used for heating our home over the last winter. Both of us recently had installed wood stoves, abandoned the oil fired central heating system altogether, and used an electrical radiator to provide small amounts of heat we needed in other rooms. It seems that quite a large proportion of rural Ireland is making this type of switch.
On of the solutions we are currently researching is setting up a low cost housing retrofit package, which will weatherize peoples houses, and make them wood compatible. This will either involve connecting them to a biomass district heating scheme, like the one here in Cloughjordan, or probably for the most part, installing an individual wood stove or log boiler directly in the house. What we would like to see is for the stove to be tied into a hot water storage tank, so heat can be drawn off as it is needed to radiators which are individually controlled by some of the new weekly radiator timers that are coming on to the market