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Proven Technology

Biomass Costs & Outputs

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.

The graph below compares the cost of biomass fuel against various fossil fuels.

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.



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.

The table below shows the tariffs paid by the commercial RHI.

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.




More information...

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.

About Biomass energy

Biomass boilers are well suited to commercial enviroments which need to meet high heating demands.

Care homes, schools, leisure centres, hotels, farms, sports clubs and domestic homes are examples of buildings which could benefit



Schools, Colleges and Universities

Care homes and hotels

Commercial, for businesses

Private Sector, Residential, new builds, private dwellings etc.





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WindHager Biocabins

The Renewable Heat Incentive


Empowering UK business to harness the renewable energy solutions

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