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.


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.


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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What is the annual maintenance cost of a biomass system?
Typically the annual servicing for a biomass system starts at around £150.00 but this will depend on the make and model.
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 wood pellet systems be automatically fed?
Some biomass systems can be automatically fed and most systems with this facility will have a range of hoppers and fuel stores that can either auger or vacuum feed the fuel into the system.
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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