Green square blog featuring current issues and information on renewable energy and its efficiency, reliability and how to make the swap to renewable energy. Information on products biomass boilers, biomass stoves, air source heat pumps, ground source heat pumps, solar PV, solar thermal.

Replacing your boiler with Biomass and a Thermal Heatbank

Although gas boilers have been the traditional option for many homes and business owners, this is now positively changing towards wood chip, pellet or log boilers, and heat pumps. Driven by the new feed in tariffs, that pay you money for doing so, there’s so many reasons to consider replacing your boiler with renewable sources in 2017.

Biomass boilers are eligible appliances for the Renewable Heat Incentive – where the UK Government supports your decision to use renewable energy where you earn payback for every kilowatt hour of heat you generate from your renewable energy appliances. This scheme means that in the long term you can make savings, but in comparison to your average domestic (non renewable) boiler or heating system there will be a bigger initial payment. Biomass boilers start around the £7,000 mark, and a larger biomass boiler with an auto feed hopper can cost closer to £12,000, and up to £25,000.

A domestic-use biomass boiler will typically cost an estimated £15,000 during its first year including installation and fuel costs. These steps should be seen as a long term investment, when comparing finances. For example - an average house would have a heating output of around 20,000kWh, therefore the Renewable Heat Incentive payment would equate to £2,500 per year. This payment is paid for 7 years so your installation costs are quickly covered.

Speaking more in terms of costs, the average prices of wood pellets are around 4.2p p/kWH which is similar to gas, however it is cheaper than oil at 6p/kWh. In the future the price of wood pellets should become the better option as gas prices continue to rise. Something to consider when looking at Biomass – they are not effected by these charges of fuels like oil and gas from importations.

Wood pellets derived from waste wood materials are the most suitable fuel for biomass boilers and typically cost between £150 and £200 per tonne with the average household requiring approximately 11 tonnes of wood pellets per year. Another incentive is the fact that if you are able to source your own wood supplies – you are then able to heat your home for free!

When considering environmental factors – biomass is a clear winner. Biomass fuel is produced from fast growing trees and grasses, the carbon dioxide that is emitted is absorbed by trees as an essential part of photosynthesis. When the trees are burnt for fuel they emit the same level of carbon dioxide that they took in which means biomass is considered a carbon neutral fuel.

In comparison, gas is not sustainable and the break down process takes millions of years, meaning our needs and usage far overrides this. There are huge improvements environmentally with its carbon dioxide emissions being reduced reducing 15.7 tonnes a year. Replacing an older model gas heater system with a wood burning system can save you up to £225, whereas replacing an older electric heating system can save you up to nearly £1000 a year.

As an ever-growing popular alternative to a gas boiler, biomass boilers can be combined with our other Green Square products to provide an all round renewable source and possible zero-carbon option with our Heatbank Thermal Store.

Our Heatbank Thermal Store works with the following heat sources;

Our Xcel Thermal Heatbank works by storing all of the heat you are generating to provide hot water around your house as well as your heating system. When combining this option with biomass boilers, stoves, air source heat pumps, ground source heat pumps and solar PV it promotes a economically friendly no-carbon option.

A possible no-carbon option could be to combine a wood burning stove as your first heating source, which generates hot water and central heating during winter. With Solar Thermal panels for Summer. This combination provides you with a great all year round option that offers free hot water and heating.