With biomass heating there is a wide range of boilers, fuel feed mechanisms, heat delivery methods and other specifications. As such, it is not possible to say exactly how much a generic system would cost. However, there are some rules of thumb which can be used as a rough guideline.
Biomass boilers are undoubtedly more expensive than fossil fuel boilers.
Biomass boilers are undoubtedly more expensive than fossil fuel boilers. This is due to the need for tougher engineering, their larger size, the need for a fuel store, and smaller economies of scale. However, biomass fuel is cheaper than electricity or fossil fuel, and the Renewable Heat Incentive is designed to give biomass systems the same overall costs as fossil fuel heating. In many cases the RHI actually makes biomass heating significantly cheaper than using fossil fuel, which is why we are currently seeing such a high uptake.
Logs are the cheapest form of biomass, but their cost varies dramatically depending on your supplier, so it is difficult to say exactly how much you will pay per kWh. Wood chips are the next cheapest, followed by pellets. In some areas the cost of having pellets delivered will result in a price per kWh similar to gas. In these situations the RHI makes a crucial difference and still makes changing to biomass viable. Biomass heating is particularly attractive where mains gas is not available, being significantly cheaper than heating oil, LPG or electricity.
|Size and Application||Cost||£/kW|
|250kW, Country Estate, wood chip||£250,000||1000|
|130kW DHN, wood chip||£132,000||1015|
|200kW, 70 bed hotel, wood chip||£148,000||740|
|30kW Farmhouse and cottages, wood pellets||£27,000||900|
|20kW, visitor centre, logs||£6540||327|
The RHI is open to commercial properties, and is due to open in spring 2014 for domestic properties. Once accredited for the commercial RHI, payments are index linked and guaranteed for 20 years. The scheme will be open until at least 2020, with the domestic payments to be @ 12.2p per kW/hr. Tariff levels for new applicants may reduce in time though, so it is a good idea to install biomass sooner rather than later.
|Tariff Name||Eligible Technology||Eligible Sizes||Tariff Rate (p/kWh)|
|Small biomass||Solid biomass:
Municipal Solid Waste (incl. CHP)
|Less then 200kWth||Tier 1: 8.6|
|Tier 2: 2.2|
|Medium biomass||200 kWth and above: less than 1000 kWth||Tier 1: 5.5|
|Tier 2: 2.2|
|Large biomass||1000 kWth and above||1.0|
There are 2 tiers of payments for biomass heat systems. The higher tier is paid for the first 1314 hours of peak operation (or equivalent), and the lower tier for all operation thereafter. The figure of 1314 hours has been calculated by DECC, and is supposed to enable the RHI to place biomass heating costs on a par with fossil fuel heating.
By way of example, a 100kW boiler generating 2000kWh of heat per annum would receive 100 x 1314 kWh at tier 1, and the remaining generation (68,600kWh) at tier 2; total income of (131,400 x 0.086) + (68,600 x 0.022) = £12,809.60.
For more information on this or any other Enviko services or products please call Enviko on (England & Wales) +44 (0)20 8611 2741 or by email.
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