How much does a biomass boiler cost?

Installing an automatic biomass boiler can cost between £5,000 to £25,000.

The Renewable Heat Incentive will pay you money per kWh of renewable heat that you produce.

Until the monthly payments start, you can receive up to £2000 from the Renewable Heat Premium Payment to help with the initial instalation costs



Biomass boilers in the UK

Biomass systems are fuelled by wood and burn pellets, chips or logs which can either provide heating in a single room or power central heating and hot water boilers.

Biomass boilers generally take up more space than a regular gas or oil boiler and are more suitable for people not connected to mains gas who have space for storage.

Recent figures show wood-burning biomass boilers account for only 0.5% of all boiler sales nationwide. This suggests that many homeowners in the UK still choose to have conventional gas and oil boilers despite the environmental benefits and energy bill savings they offer.



How much does a biomass system cost?

Type of biomass boiler
Size of boiler
Average cost
Manually fed log boiler
Small
£4,000 - £7,000
Manually fed log boiler
Large
£7,000 - £10,000
Automatically fed pellet boiler
Small
£9,000 - £16,000
Automatically fed pellet boiler
Large
£15,000 - £21,000

Installing an automatic biomass boiler in a domestic residence can cost between £5,000 to £25,000. A domestic-use biomass boiler will typically cost an estimated £15,000 during its first year including installation and fuel costs.

Prices vary depending on the make, size and level of automation of the boiler. Automatically fed pellet boilers are slightly more expensive than manually fed log boiler systems.

In addition to the equipment and installation costs, the price of fuel will also need to be factored in. 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.

If you have large space for fuel storage and can buy wood fuel in bulk, this will also make a cost saving of around £220 per tonne.

See also:

  • How much does a regular boiler cost?

  • Compare New Boiler Quotes For FREE



    What funding options are available?

    Biomass Boiler

    Homeowners with wood fuelled biomass boilers are now eligible for The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). This is a UK Government scheme designed to encourage an uptake of renewable heat technologies within households.

    RHI cash payments are made quarterly over seven years and the amount is dependent on certain factors such as your system type and current tariffs.

    To comply with the RHI rules, you must source your biomass fuel by suppliers on the Biomass Suppliers List (BSL) and your system must also be on the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive Product Eligibility List.



    Do the savings outweigh the initial costs?

    Installing a biomass boiler is seen as a long-term investment and typically it can take around six or seven years before the systems start to see a return from reduced energy bills.

    The environmental savings in carbon dioxide are significant with the average household reducing emissions by 15.7 tonnes a year.

    The financial savings are variable. Replacing an older gas heating system with a wood-burning system might save you up to £225 a year, and replacing an old electric heating system could save you up to £990 per year.



    What biomass boiler is best?

    If you are considering getting a biomass boiler, there are three main types of fuel to consider which will vary on the size of your household.

    Log boilers

    Log-burning boilers have to be filled with wood by hand and require considerably more manual work. These are more suitable for smaller households. You will need a lot of logs to heat a whole house which will need to be manually loaded at least once daily. Logs can be produced from woodland.

    Pellet boilers

    Pellets are easier to use and much more controllable than logs and are more suited to small to medium operations. Pellet boilers can run automatically in the same way that gas or oil boilers operate. The vast majority of pellet and chip biolers use automatic fuel feeders. Pellets are more expensive than wood chip and logs. It’s important to source a good quality of pellet as some biomass boilers can reject certain types.

    Wood chip boilers

    Chips are used to heat larger buildings or groups of houses and a local supplier is necessary. Extra care should be taken when using recycled wood as their is a high risk of contaminates such as formica, plastics and paint.



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