The benefits of wood fuelled heating
By switching to a biomass heating system, you could save between £280 and £580 per year on your heating bills. There are also grants of £950 available to contribute to the installation from the RHPP scheme.
And, almost more impressively, biomass systems can save you up to 9.5 tonnes of CO2 per year when replacing a conventional heating system.
There are some additional benefits:
- Carbon foot print: Biomass is known as an environmentally friendly source of energy because although it produces carbon dioxide when it’s burnt, it releases the same amount it absorbs while growing. Some carbon emissions are produced by the cultivation, manufacture and transportation of the fuel, but if you source the wood locally, these are still much lower than the emissions from fossil fuels.
- Reduced waste: The wood pellets burnt in biomass systems are made using waste that would otherwise have ended up in a landfill site. Waste material other than wood can also be used in certain circumstances. Be aware that burning waste currently doesn’t attract any government subsidies such as the Renewable Heat Incentive and RHPP.
- Diversification of fuel sources: Using biomass will reduce your dependence on traditional fuels such as oil, so if oil prices spike your heating bills will be largely unaffected.
- RHI: Once launched, the Renewable Heat Incentive and RHPP will pay you to produce heat using your wood fuelled heating system.
- Is municipal solid waste (MSW) considered biomass?
- No. Although MSW is burned by local governments in the U.S., Europe, and elsewhere to generate electric power and heat, it contains inorganic materials such as plastics and metals and therefore cannot properly be considered biomass.
- What moisture content should the pellets be in order for them to burn?
- Again, this depend on the manufacturer, but in general, wood pellets should be around a maximum of 10 - 12 % water and cereals 14 - 16 % to burn. But the lower the moisture content the better.
- Can fuel storage units for the biomass system be installed underground?
- Yes they can. For details check with your chosen manufacturer.
- How often do biomass systems need filling?
- This would depend on how often the boiler is used and the heat demand. The hopper may need filling anywhere between every couple of days if the demand is high to once a week if it is just ticking over. Attaching the boiler to a fuel store means filling less often, and you can buy automatic (self-filling) systems with a hopper.
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