Installation of biomass
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:
- 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:
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.
- Can you burn straw as biomass for heating?
- Yes, you can burn straw pellets in some models.
- Can you burn plastic for heating?
- Yes, this is possible, but you will NOT be allowed to due to Environmental Agency policies.
- 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.
- 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.
- We are going to fit our biomass system ourselves. Would the RHPP grant still apply?
- You are only eligible for a Renewable Heat Premium Payment grant if your biomass system is installed by a registered installer.
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