Wood fuelled (or biomass) heating systems generally burn wood pellets, chips or logs to power central heating and hot water boilers, or to provide warmth in a single room. There are two main ways of using wood to heat your home:
• A stand alone stove burning logs or pellets to heat a single room. Some can also be fitted with a back boiler to provide hot water as well. These are not eligible for RHI payments.
• A boiler burning pellets, logs or chips connected to a central heating and hot water system.
Log burning stoves and boilers have to be filled with wood by hand. Some pellet and chip burners use automatic fuel feeders which fill them, as required, from fuel storage units called hoppers.
There are many benefits to using a wood fuel system:
• Affordable boilers
• Efficient, reliable and clean
• Cheaper than oil – save money and reduce your oil bill
• Up to 500 kW
• A low carbon option
• Self sufficient
• Generates local employment
• Gets rid of waste – a good way of getting rid of waste wood
Is a wood fuelled system suitable for my home?
• Do you have enough space? You’ll need a large dry area close to the boiler to store your wood or pellet bags. Ideally this should be close to where the wood is delivered to your home to minimise the distance it has to be moved.
• Do you have a suitable flue? You need a vent which is specifically designed for wood fuel appliances, with sufficient air movement for proper operation of the stove. Your existing chimney can be fitted with a lined flue, which is relatively inexpensive.
• Do you need planning permission? You need to talk to your local authority if your flue will extend 1m or more above the height of your roof.
Wood costs often depend on the distance from your home to the wood supplier and whether you can buy and store wood in large quantities. If you have your own supply then this can significantly reduce your costs, but you will need a place to dry the wood properly before use.
Costs for a ‘stand-alone’ pellet stove are around £4,500 including installation. A typical automatically fed pellet boiler for an average home costs about £11,000 including installation, fuel store and VAT at 5%.
Savings in CO2 emissions for wood systems are significant – up to 9.5 tonnes per year when a wood boiler replaces a solid (coal) fired system or electric storage heating.
For further information on Biomass please visit here