Owing to the gas crisis, Germans are increasingly looking around for alternative sources of heat. This is also noticeable in the DIY stores. Hornbach, for example, has seen a significant increase in demand for fuels of all kinds, for stoves and other heating options since mid-November 2021. With the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, there has been a further increase, the company says.
Bauhaus also reports a seasonally atypical increase in demand for alternative heat sources. These include, for example, wood and pellet stoves with the corresponding fuels, briquettes and all kinds of electric heaters (mobile and stationary). Water-saving sanitary equipment is also high on the list.
At Hornbach, demand is particularly strong for oil and heating radiators, convectors and fan heaters from the lower- and medium-price segments, but also for higher-priced electric heaters with built-in stone bodies for better heat storage.
In March and April, pellets and firewood were even sold out for days in some Hornbach stores. With the proclamation of the second stage of the gas emergency plan by the German government, there has again been a veritable rush to many stores. Fuels were sold out at some locations within two to three days. For pellets, demand has been 100 per cent higher than last year since January. Firewood, lignite and wood briquettes are also much more in demand (up by 35 to 55 per cent).
At times, emergency generators have also experienced high demand, according to Hornbach. Demand for electric heaters, convectors, radiators and fan heaters has also doubled compared with the previous year. Insulation materials have also been in high demand since the beginning of the year.