What is biomass?
Wood-fuelled heating systems, also called biomass systems, burn wood pellets, chips or logs to to provide warmth in a single room or to power central heating and hot water boilers.
A stove burns logs or pellets to heat a single room – and may be fitted with a back boiler to provide water heating as well.A boiler burns logs, pellets or chips, and is connected to a central heating and hot water system. A wood-fuelled boiler could save you up to £650 a year compared to old electric heating.
What is the benefit of wood-fuelled heating?
Affordable heating fuel: although the price of wood fuel varies considerably, it is often cheaper than other heating options.
Financial support: wood fuel boiler systems could benefit from the Renewable Heat Premium Payment and the Renewable Heat Incentive.
A low-carbon option: the carbon dioxide emitted when wood is burned is the same amount that was absorbed over the months and years that the plant was growing. The process is sustainable as long as new plants continue to grow in place of those used for fuel. There are some carbon emissions caused by the cultivation, manufacture and transportation of the fuel, but as long as the fuel is sourced locally, these are much lower than the emissions from fossil fuels
What does biomass heating cost?
An individual pellet stove will cost around £4,300 including installation. For boilers, an automatically fed pellet boiler for an average home costs between £14,000 and £19,000 including installation, flue, fuel store and VAT at 5%, and log boilers between £11,000 and £23,000. Pellet costs depend mainly on the size and method of delivery. Buying a few bags at a time makes them expensive. If you have room for a large fuel store that will accept several tonnes of pellets at a time, delivered in bulk by tanker, you can keep the cost down.Logs can be cheaper than pellets, but costs depend on the wood suppliers in your local area, as they cost a lot to transport. If you have room to store more than a year’s worth of logs you can save money by buying unseasoned logs and letting them season for a year.