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Biomass heating installations

Wood Pellet Biomass Boilers

Like us, most people believe that wood pellet boilers will be the heating systems of the future. They were first developed in the 1990s, but are continuing to grow in popularity – especially with introduction of the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive (more on the renewable heat incentive).

Biomass pellets are typically made of wood, often agricultural or forestry waste. Unlike, oil or liquid petroleum gas (LPG), biomass is a carbon-neutral source of energy – although it does release Carbon Dioxide into the atmosphere, it is no more than the tree it came from absorbed during its lifetime.

With ever increasing gas and electricity prices, biomass allows homeowners to reduce their dependence on traditional fuels. For those properties which aren’t connected to the mains gas network, biomass is a great alternative to expensive electric storage heaters or an unsightly LPG storage tank – both of which offer environmentally unfriendly heating solutions. In addition, most homes having a biomass system installed will see a 30% reduction in energy bills when compared with fuels such as oil or LPG.

Commercial pellet systems offer an ideal, cost-effective, carbon neutral heating solution not only for farms, but for offices and many other city centre buildings. Commercial pellet systems can also be entitled to the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive making them an ultra-competitive option to standard heating appliances.

The options:

A biomass stove can be used to heat a single room. But increasingly people are choosing to install them with a back boiler, allowing them to be connected to a whole house heating and hot water system and in commercial situations are capable of running numerous buildings / dwellings.

Most modern biomass boilers have automatic firing and hopper fuel storage, which allows it to run automatically as a gas boiler would. An auger or blower will feed the fuel automatically into the combustion chamber, meaning heat is available whenever it’s needed. Most pellet boilers have a large enough pellet storage area to keep it running for months at a time without the need for constant reloading. Our systems can also incorporate auto cleaning and ash collection making them extremely user efficient.

Installation:

As with all solid fuel appliances, it is vital that biomass stoves and boilers are fitted by a fully qualified HETAS approved installer. Bear in mind your home insurance may be invalidated if you don’t have the approved installation certification, and you could be putting your family’s safety at risk. Burning any fuel brings with it a danger from Carbon Monoxide (CO), so make sure you always have audible smoke and CO alarms.

A biomass stove or boiler system will need a chimney or flue. Don’t worry if you don’t have one, as a purpose built flue can be added and it is likely any existing chimney would need to be lined.

Our biomass boilers can often be installed in smoke control areas and they are suitable for the direct replacement of existing gas, LPG or oil boilers. At BMF we have a fully qualified HETAS-registered installation team who are happy to answer any questions you might have about your own circumstances. We also have a system in operation in our Leeds Showroom which you are welcome to come and take a closer look at [link to contact us/directions page]

Fuel:

Biomass pellets can be bought from a variety of outlets / distributors, including at BMF Creative Interiors showroom in Leeds (link to bulk pellet fuel deliveries). It is cheapest, where possible, to buy in bulk but prices will depend on quantity, the type of pellet and delivery preferences. You should expect to pay around £240.00 per tonne, however, which would last approximately 3 months in an average home.

As with any solid fuel appliance, if you are using wood pellets, bear in mind you will need somewhere to store them. Make sure you have somewhere dry to keep supplies, such as a shed, garage or pellet fuel hopper.

Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI):

Domestic RHI

The Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive is due to be launched domestically in April 2014. This government scheme pays homeowners and businesses to produce heat from green energy sources. It’s the first scheme of its kind in the world and it is hoped it will help meet targets of 12 per cent of energy coming from renewable sources by 2020.

Commercial RHI

The scheme for commercial organisations is already up and running, and more information on that can be found here. We are able to install systems from 4kw to 245kw upwards.

For both domestic and commercial the scheme includes wood & pellet biomass systems, air source heat pumps (ASHP), ground source heat pumps (GSHP) and solar thermal technologies. The domestic scheme will be made available to homeowners, private and social landlords, third party owners of heating systems and people who build their own homes. Homeowners will be paid at a set rate per unit of renewable heat produced (kilowatt hour or kWh), for seven years, and for businesses it will be paid over 20 years.

Householders may be able to get help with the upfront costs of the renewable heating kit under the Government’s Green Deal and money-off vouchers are also available to homes without mains gas under the Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHPP) scheme.

There will be various criteria the biomass system and wider home will need to meet in terms of energy efficiency, which BMF can offer advice on.

Our Pellet boilers:

We recommend and install ÖkoFEN boilers, along with several other leading manufacturers, and we are confident they are the most reliable and efficient systems on the market. The products vary in size to heat anything from a small, energy efficient home to a large commercial unit. The ÖkoFEN wood pellet boiler system is fully automated, independently feeding the fuel at the rate needed to maintain the heat level required and lighting it automatically. It should only need refuelling twice a year and it even self cleans to ensure the system runs at the optimum efficiency. See here for further details of some of the products we can supply and install [link to product pages]

Prices:

Prices range from around £7000 for a biomass utility boiler with an average installation value of around £20,000 for a full biomass boiler and heating system in a large home. But bear in mind that most homes which install a biomass boiler will see their energy bills reduce by 30% against oil or LPG. At BMF we will also be offering finance from 0% APR on all domestic installations which will mean in most cases that the RHI returns could cover the finance payments.

BMF Creative Interiors Philosophy

BMF has a long and enviable reputation for interior renovations, and supplying and installing the very best in bathrooms, kitchens, stoves and fireplaces. We can help you design and achieve the home you’ve always wanted, whilst...

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