Wood-fuelled heating systems, also called Biomass Wood Pellet Boiler systems, burn wood pellets, chips or logs extremely efficiently and use the heat produced to provide central heating and hot water.

Benefits of biomass boilers

  • Affordable heating fuel – the wood is cheaper than oil or LPG
  • Claim money back via the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) – provided your biomass boiler is MCS accredited, currently you will be eligible for the a payment of 8.9p per every kilowatt-hour of heat generated for the domestic tariff for 7 years and 5.7 p per kwh for the non-domestic tariff for 20 years
  • A carbon neutral renewable energy
  • Remain completely independent from the fluctuating import prices of gas and oil
  • More efficient than conventional gas boilers.

Burning biomass emits the same amount of carbon dioxide as is absorbed while the plants that feed it are growing, therefore biomass is classed as carbon neutral renewable energy.

Government incentives

The government offer a Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) to encourage uptake of renewable heat technologies amongst householders, communities and businesses in the UK.  Via the RHI the government are hoping to contribute towards the 2020 ambition of 12% of heating supplied by renewable sources.

A domestic RHI provides financial support to those with a renewable heating system for 7 years, so should quickly cover the initial installation cost.

A non-domestic tariff is also available for any business paying business rates for a 20 year tariff period.

Fuel feeds

A biomass boiler requires a fuel feed from time to time, depending on your model, some every 3 – 4 days, some every couple of weeks. In addition, ash builds up as part of the combustion process which needs to be emptied regularly.

The fuel can be fed via a large hopper store or for smaller systems can be bag fed by hand into the boiler fuel store.

Ideally a biomass boiler needs to be situated relatively close to its fuel supply and a decent sized storage facility so that it can be kept dry and contained. It’s also worth noting that fuel lorries need to access within 20 metres of the hopper store, to be able to blow the pellets into the fuel store.