Coal Mining in the UK

Coal has an incredibly long history of usage in the UK. The once an essential energy source has been in decline for decades as gas and renewable energy is now king. Here is a brief history of the decline of the coal industry within the UK and where Housefuel fits in within such a fascinating industry.

Between the 1910's & early 1920's, the coal industry in the UK was at its peak. During this time, coal was an essential lifeblood of the entire country as all of our major industries were relied on coal power and over one million people were employed in the coal industry at the time. 

The decline of coal was rapid after WWII. During the 1950's-1960's approximately one hundred coal mines closed and in the 1980's, the government announced controversial plans to close 20 coal pits leading to the famous yearlong miners strike. The strike was ultimately unsuccessful in its goal and so more closures followed, particularly in the late 1990's when the mines became privatised under the new name 'British coal'. Production gradually decreased further as competition from cheaper imported coal arose and more environmentally friendly power initiatives became mainstream sounding the death knell for the coal mining industry in the UK.

According to the National Grid - In April 2017 Britain made history as the entire country went one full day without the use of coal to generate electricity for the first time since the industrial revolution. This record was broken again in April 2018 as the country went 72 hours. This trend will only increase in the future as the country moves toward renewable energy such as solar and wind to keep inline with our bid to help the environment.

Currently all of the UK’s deep pit coal mines have been closed since 2015. Just 9 open-pit mines remain active and so nowadays coal in the UK is primarily imported for private consumers to burn as fuel in the home. At first glance, one may write off even attempting to reach these customers as surely, such a market cannot be very viable for very long, however there is opportunity in this market as these customers would require a lot of work in the home to replace their current appliances and install gas burning or renewable energy ones – therefore the demand although is considerably smaller than in the past still needs to be met and may need to for some considerable time.

This is why Housefuel was created as an e-commerce platform to reach customers in need of high quality solid fuels across the country. Surprisingly to even ourselves, we have significantly increased our tonnage sales year on year for over the past 5 years. We source our products from trusted suppliers and value our relationships with our them as well as our hauliers so we can offer the best solid fuel products at incredible prices.

Are you looking for high quality solid fuels for your home? Check out our products page. We offer a variety of coal depending on your appliance as well as smokeless fuel that is ideal for those living in a smoke control zone.

Sources: 1, 2, 3,

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