Biomass boilers are a wood fuelled heating system that can be installed in homes and buildings in place of conventional gas-fired, LPG and electric heating systems. They are a low carbon heating system that is not only beneficial for the environment but can also save you a considerable amount of money when compared to conventional systems. The cost of installing a biomass boiler varies considerably, and they are generally more expensive than other heating systems. A domestic biomass boiler costs on average £5000, but the price is dependent on the size and type of the boiler and the fuel used.
Boilers can be run on three different types of wood fuel, pellets, woodchip and logs. Each has their own advantages, but the best value for money and the most energy efficient are wood pellets. The trees that are felled to make wood pellets are replaced with new ones within a decade. The replanted trees absorb the CO2 that is produced when the pellets are burnt, making wood pellets carbon neutral. While the price of other fuels such as gas, oil and electricity has risen in recent years, the price of wood pellets has fallen by 4%. The cheapest way to buy wood pellets is to buy in bulk, you can buy a tonne of pellets for less than £300 from Millhouse World of Wood. A small, energy efficient home can be heated for a year off around two tonnes of pellets, while a larger or less efficient home may need to use three to four tonnes per year.
For homeowners who decide to take the leap and invest in a biomass heating system, there are many benefits. In comparison to other fuels, green credentials are high when replacing a solid coal system or electric storage heaters with a biomass boiler. You can expect to save a significant amount of carbon emissions, up to 15.4 tonnes per year. That’s equivalent to the carbon that would be emitted from a car travelling a distance of over 46,000 miles. There are also big financial savings to be had, you could save as much as £880 per year when replacing an electric system.
The government is very keen on people using renewable sources of energy and as a result in 2010 they launched the renewable energy ‘Feed in Tariff’ or FIT. Under FIT you can be paid for the energy you generate whether you use it or not, and you can also sell your surplus energy to your supplier. There are three ways you can benefit financially from FIT, firstly, under the scheme your supplier will send you a payment for all the energy you generate and use in your home. Secondly, if you generate more energy than you can use you can export surplus energy back to your supplier. Finally, you will be generating your own energy so will not need to buy as much from your supplier.
If you are looking to increase your green credentials and reduce the cost of heating your home, a wood pellet fired biomass boiler is one of the most energy and cost efficient ways of heating your home. The reduction of carbon emissions is high on the government’s agenda, as a result, there is a wealth of help, advice and financial assistance available, making it the perfect time to make the switch.