Installation of biomass

Your system should be fitted by a HETAS accredited installer, and if you want to benefit from the Renewable Heat Incentive and RHPP the installer must also be MCS accredited.

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You will need to discuss the specifications with your installer to ensure that you get a system that meets your needs, such as heating only or hot water, as well as the capacity and the type of fuel that suits you best.

Requirements:

You will need to consider the following:

  • Fuel storage space – Wood is bulky and heavy, so you need a large dry space near to where your supplier can deliver it to ensure you don’t have to carry it too far.
  • A flue or vent – The smoke will need to escape, so you need a flue or vent. An existing chimney can be fitted with a lined flue fairly cheaply.
  • Building Regulations– You must conform to safety and building regulations, which is checked for you if you use a HETAS accredited installer. Typically the regulations will only prove a problem in more unusual homes. More information can be found at the following sites:
    1. Part L of the Building Regulations, England
    2. Northern Ireland
    3. Section 3 of the Technical Handbooks, Scotland
  • Smokeless Zones – If you live in a smokeless zone then wood can only be burnt in certain exempted appliances. Find out if you live in a smokeless zone
  • Planning Permission–If your flue will extend 1m or more above the height of your roof, or your home is in a Conservation Area or World Heritage Site and you plan to install a flue on the principal or side elevation, which will then be visible from a road, or your building is listed, you will need to speak to your local authority to get planning permission  for your installation. You can find more information on our Planning Permission page. Find your local authority:
    1. England
    2. Scotland
    3. Wales
    4. Northern Ireland

Installation time

This will be very variable and dependent on the size and specifications of the system. If you already have a central heating system, a wood fuelled system should be compatible.

Installer

We will only put you in touch with installers that are MCS accredited: Always use an MCS accredited installer for your biomass fuelled heating system. Only MCS accredited installers are able to sign off installations that will comply with the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive and RHPP scheme.

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FAQs

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.
Can you burn plastic for heating?
Yes, this is possible, but you will NOT be allowed to due to Environmental Agency policies.
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 you burn logs in a biomass boiler?
Yes, many designs allow the burning of logs and in some models the burning of both logs and pellets.
Can biomass be burnt in a smoke controlled area?
Biomass can be burnt in a smokeless zone, but it would need to be approved by the DTI and the environmental agency.
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