Explore our comprehensive review of Homefire Group Ltd (previously known as Logs2U and Coals2U). Homefire is by far the UK’s largest mass-market brand of heating fuels, being the main brand of coal and logs you can find in supermarkets and at petrol stations.
In this article, we will tell you everything you need to know about Homefire’s product quality, customer reviews, Ready to Burn certification, corporate history, company information, prices, and customer support.
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Who is Homefire?
Homefire Group Ltd. is a UK-based company that positions itself as the UK’s largest supplier of smokeless coal and kiln-dried firewood. The company traces its roots to 1731, when one of its predecessor companies, Charringtons, was founded. Homefire’s products are sourced predominantly from Europe and can be found in many petrol stations and supermarkets.
What Does Homefire Offer?
Homefire offers a wide variety of coal and wood fuel products, all of which are Ready to Burn certified, ensuring quality and compliance with Defra-set industry standards.
Their current product selection consists of:
- Kiln-dried firewood in Handy Bags, Bulk Bags, and Wood Crates.
- Smokeless coal through their Ecoal, Brazier, Wildfire, and Smokeless brands.
- Shimada Heat Logs, which are essentially their version of Lekto Pini Kay Eco Logs.
- Instant Light Fire Logs.
- Warm Glow Heat Logs.
- BBQ Charcoal.
- And a variety of fire-starting products.
Why Do People Use Homefire?
So why is Homefire so large and successful? Here are just a few reasons:
- Size and Economies of Scale. Being by far the largest wood fuel supplier in the UK, Homefire can utilize economies of scale to source its products at very low prices.
- Mainstream Availability. These low purchase prices make Homefire’s products lucrative to supermarkets and petrol stations as they leave a lot of room for healthy markups.
- Television & Radio Ads. Being large in size, Homefire can afford to buy expensive TV and radio ad space, something unheard of for speciality wood fuel suppliers.
- Wide Range of Products. Homefire has an extensive product range, especially in the kiln-dried log and smokeless coal industry. This being said, they struggle with briquettes and currently cannot hold a candle to Lekto’s briquette selection.
- Nationwide Distribution Network. Convenience is king. There are still people who aren’t comfortable with ordering their wood fuels online. For those people, buying their wood fuel at a supermarket or petrol station is extremely convenient.
Lekto Woodfuels: A Higher Quality Alternative?
While Homefire presents strong competition and we respect its size, choosing a speciality supplier like Lekto Woodfuels has its own set of advantages:
- Product Quality. Being the UK’s leading supplier of premium wood fuel products, Lekto is proud to have one of the world’s highest quality assurance standards in the wood fuel industry.
- Product Innovation. Lekto has a long-established reputation as an industry innovator. Our flagship product, Night Briquettes, can burn for as long as 8 hours, which makes it by far the longest-burning and most economical wood fuel on the UK market.
- Superlative Product Packaging. From easy-to-handle 100% plastic-free kiln-dried log packaging with in-built handles to our signature stackable Mini Packs, Lekto packaging is purpose-built for ultimate storage and handling convenience.
- Stellar Customer Service. At Lekto, we treat every customer like a VIP. So if you have a question, need guidance, or have an issue with your order, our friendly and professional customer support staff will be happy to help you.
- The UK’s Best-Reviewed Supplier. With over 17,000 positive customer reviews on our Trustpilot page and an average rating of 4.6 stars, Lekto is by far the highest-rated wood fuel supplier in the UK.
Homefire Customer Reviews
According to Homefire’s Official Trustpilot Page, the company has an average rating of 3.4 out of 5 stars based on customer 153. The two most popular ratings are 5 stars and 1 star, which is typically a sign of a company with quality assurance problems. An in-depth look at the reviews confirms this suspicion.
When it comes to positive reviews, we’ve found several that praise the company’s service quality and the fact that you can purchase all the fuel you need in one place. If the latter is important to you, then check out Lekto, the UK’s best-rated speciality wood fuel supplier.
Negative reviews highlight poor product quality, poor delivery service, and wood fuels that arrive wet and damaged (see picture below)
Homefire Product Quality
Homefire receives mixed reviews on its product quality. Some people swear by them and consider them to be of high quality, while others have had a horrible experience with them (see pictures below). This is not surprising as Homefire is predominantly a reseller that sources its products from a wide variety of suppliers and then sells them under its private label brand. Put simply, there is a lot of variance in the quality of products from bag to bag.
Are Homefire Products Ready to Burn Certified?
Yes, all Homefire wood and coal fuels are certified according to Defra’s Ready to Burn wood fuel and coal quality assurance schemes. The company does not show the certificate numbers of its products on its official website but this information is available on the product packaging.
Homefire Customer Support
Customers’ experience with Homefire customer support is varied. Some Trustpilot reviewers mentioned their problems being resolved eventually, but many others reported a negative experience. Lack of communication seems to be a common issue.
Homefire Company Information
An In-Depth History of Homefire Group Ltd
Homefire traces its origins to 1731 when Charringtons was established.
The business was slow during the first few decades of the company’s history, but sales picked up greatly in the early nineteenth when the coal market experienced a significant boom as a result of the Industrial Revolution.
Homefire introduced motorized delivery vehicles in the 1920s, indicating a shift towards modern logistics and distribution methods.
Shortly thereafter, in 1923, Charringtons established a head office to centralize its operations.
The coal industry experienced a severe blow in 1956 when The Clean Air Act of 1956 was passed. The act was aimed at reducing smoke emissions and lowering air pollution.
While some companies never recovered from this, Homefire quickly adapted to these new environmental regulations and saw continued growth through the rest of the century.
In 1995, the company bought Coal Products Ltd. from the British Coal Corporation, further cementing Charringtons as a powerful industry player. The company ended its existence in 1997 when it was acquired alongside British Fuels Ltd. to form CPL Distribution Limited (which was later renamed to Homefire Group Ltd.).
History of British Fuels Ltd.
The second part of the company that would eventually form Homefire Group, British Fuels Limited, was first incorporated on February 19, 1955. Up until 1985, the company was first known as T.E. Jones & Co. (London) Limited. It was then renamed Cawoods Coal Limited in 1985. In 1987 Cawoods was renamed British Fuel Company Limited. Six years later, in 1993, the word company was dropped and the company became known as British Fuels Limited.
Homefire (CPL Distribution Limited) in the Twenty-First Century
The turn of the millennium brought diversification to the group. It was during this time that garden products were introduced into Homefire's range. In 2005, Homefire re-branded its delivery fleet, attempting to reflect a more modern corporate image.
Four years later, in 2009, the company saw several key developments. Homefire produced the UK's first "eco" smokeless fuel, Ecoal. It also entered the kiln-dried firewood market by starting to sell kiln-drying logs. That same year, the company installed a new packing plant and distribution hub to enhance productivity and support the supply chain.
In 2018, CPL announced its plans to build the UK's first commercial-scale Hydrothermal Carbonisation Unit at Immingham. The plant was to be constructed in partnership with the University of Nottingham and The Energy Research Accelerator using technology developed by Spanish firm Ingelia.
In 2022, CPL Distribution Limited officially changed its name to Homefire Group Limited.
Are Homefire Firewood and Briquette Products Made in the UK?
No, they are not. According to publicly available information, a large portion of Homefire’s wood fuel products are imported from EU countries, chiefly from Latvia.
Homefire Previous Company Names
During its long history, Homefire was known under a variety of names. From 1731 to 1997, one part of the company operated as Charringtons. The other part of the company was established in 1955 as T.E. Jones & Co. (London) Limited. It was then renamed to Cawood Coal Limited in 1985. Another renaming occurred in 1987, when it became British Fuel Company Limited. The name was then changed to British Fuels Limited in 1993. It was then known as CPL Distribution Limited from April 6, 1998 to September 29, 2022. On September 30, 2022, the company acquired its present name, Homefire Group Limited. Up until recently, the company used the Logs2U brand for the online side of its business.
List of Homefire’s Previous Company Names
During its long history, the companies that would later form Homefire Group had been known under a variety of names, including:
- Coal Products Ltd.
- T.E. Jones & Co. (London) Limited
- Cawoods Coal Limited
- British Fuel Company Limited, British Fuels Limited
- Logs2U and Coals2U
- CPL Distribution Ltd.
When Was Homefire Established?
According to their official website, Homefire was established in 1731 as Charringtons.