Domestic Heating Alternatives: Biomass
Biomass is a ‘catch all’ term, that can be used to describe many heating systems, such as wood pellet boilers, wood chip and log burners to name a few. Robert Owen Community Bank has provided more loans for Biomass installations than any other renewable heating alternative, and there is good reason for this.
As this system uses wood, an affordable fuel, to create heat, it tends to be cheaper than other heating options. The cost of fuel depends on your area, but tends to be around £220.00 per tonne in most parts of the UK.
The government renewable heat incentive scheme helps to justify the cost of the installation and provides financial rewards for the carbon emissions reduced. At the time of writing, these rewards stand at somewhere between £860 and £1,330 per year.
The carbon dioxide emitted when wood is burned is equal to that which it absorbed during the plants lifetime. This process is highly sustainable as long as this fuel is sourced locally and from a supplier that replants the trees.
Biomass systems are very easy to maintain. All that’s required is the occasional clean and removal of ash. However, this should be uncommon with ash quantities usually only amounting to 1% of the fuel volume.
The cost of a Biomass heating system depends on the version you decide to install. An automatically fed pellet boiler installation, including flue, and fuel store can cost as much as £20,000, but is more often between £10-15,000.This number reduces again when installing manually fed log burner systems.
However, the financial savings on fuel bills almost always outweigh the costs of adopting these systems (not to mention the carbon savings). When a wood fuelled boiler or burner replaces a gas or electric heating system the savings can be £300 to £1000 per year.
Mrs Rose, a former customer of Robert Owen who recently installed this system said, ‘with biomass you know you are always totally in charge. There is no reliance on oil or gas, and so you know the cost of warming your home isn’t determined by any external political or economic factors, which is great for cost containment. Wood is always available to us around the property, and it’s a great way of making use of old scrap wood that cant be used for anything else’.
For more information, visit: http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/renewable-energy/heat/biomass