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Biomass Boiler Costs 2022

Looking for alternative ways to heat your home after the government announced its gas boiler ban? You’re certainly not alone.

If you’re considering buying a biomass boiler to keep your home warm, you’ll be looking at an average cost of £16,000, including installation.

But the overall price tag comes down to the size and type of biomass boiler that you go for, as well as the manufacturer that you choose.

If you find biomass boilers aren’t for you, there are still plenty of boiler options available. To find the best boiler deals out there, simply fill out this short form and let us do the hard work. We’ll pass your details onto our trusted suppliers, who’ll then get in touch with their best prices.

Log boiler

What is a biomass boiler?

Similar to conventional gas boilers, biomass boilers provide space heating for an entire property.

However, unlike gas boilers, biomass boilers don’t need fossil fuels to generate heat. Instead, they burn wood pellets, chips, or logs, which are all made from either sustainably sourced wood pellets, plants, or other organic matter.

A stove burns these logs, chips, or pellets to heat a single room – and also may be fitted with a back boiler to provide water heating.

You can either get a biomass boiler that you have to top up manually, or a version with an automated feed hopper, which will supply the machine with additional wood at regular intervals.

Want to learn more? Check out our complete guide on biomass boilers.

How much does a biomass boiler cost?

You can expect the average biomass boiler to cost roughly £16,000 – but this will fluctuate, depending on a few factors.

Cheaper models can cost around £12,000, but won’t provide as much warmth as a larger model. On the other hand, you could splash out and pay about £22,000 for a boiler that can heat an extremely large home.

How much you’ll pay for a biomass boiler will depend on several factors, including the size, make and level of automation of the boiler you choose. Manually fed log boiler systems, for example, will be cheaper than automatically fed pellet boilers.

Below, you can see just how much size and automation impacts the overall price of biomass boilers:

Type of biomass boilerAverage price range
Small manually fed log boiler£10,000–£13,000
Large manually fed log boiler£13,000–£16,000
Small automatically fed pellet boiler£15,000–£21,000
Large automatically fed pellet boiler£22,000–£31,000

Of course, if you’re swapping your current boiler for a greener alternative, biomass boilers aren’t your only option.

So, how do they compare to other heating systems?

Heating systemAverage price range
LPG boiler£600–£2,500
Gas boiler£3,800–£4,200
Electric combi boiler£3,000–£3,700
Solar thermal£3,000–£5,000
Air source heat pump£7,000–£13,000
Biomass boiler£12,000–£20,000
Ground source heat pump£24,000–£49,000

How much does it cost to run a biomass boiler?

Unlike electric and gas boilers, which run on a tariff, biomass boilers have to be refilled with fuel. There are three types of fuel you can choose from, which all range in price:

Type of biomass boiler fuelEstimated price per tonne
Chips£95
Logs£140
Pellets£190

A small house in the UK should only need two to three tonnes of pellets per year, but a larger home could need closer to four or five.

That means a large house could end up costing £950 a year to run – which sounds like a lot, but is pretty low compared to the current price cap on owners of gas boilers.

These fuel types all have their pros and cons, and will suit different properties. Want to learn more about the advantages of chips, logs, and pellets? Head to the bottom of the page, where we discuss this in more detail.

Again, before investing in a biomass boiler, you might want to consider how these prices compare to other types of fuel. To help you with this, we’ve outlined different energy costs for various power sources.

FuelAverage cost in England, Scotland, and Wales (pence/kilowatt-hour)
Electricity (standard rate)28.3
Electricity (off-peak economy 7)16.7
Electricity (on-peak economy 7)34.1
Gas7.4
LPG15.5
Oil11.8
Wood pellets9.9

Data from Energy Saving Trust, August 2022

It’s these cheap costs that make biomass boilers more affordable than other alternatives, despite the hefty upfront costs.

However, the amount you’ll save will depend on what you’re swapping it for. For example, the Energy Savings Trust suggests that people replacing an LPG heating system with a wood-burning system will typically save £700 per year, while anyone replacing an electric heating system with a biomass boiler will save £1,000 per year.

To compare how much you could save with a biomass boiler, check out the chart below:

Data from the Energy Savings Trust, 2022

Are there any government grants available?

Some homeowners can get a discount on a biomass boiler through the Boiler Upgrade Scheme.

Unfortunately, the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) ended in March 2022, though you can still access RHI payments if you signed up in time.

The Boiler Upgrade Scheme

Originally named the Clean Heat Grant, the Boiler Upgrade Scheme is a government scheme that's set to run until March 2025.

Aiming to help households transition from gas boilers to low-carbon alternatives, this initiative will offer a voucher to cover the upfront cost of renewable technologies, such as air source heat pumps, ground source heat pumps, and biomass boilers.

Participants could receive up to £5,000 towards a biomass boiler – but only if they live in a rural area. So, unfortunately, if you live in a built-up town or city, this option might be off the table.

The Renewable Heat Incentive

The Renewable Heat Incentive was a government initiative that subsidised the running costs of biomass boilers, heat pumps, and solar water heating.

Anyone able to get access to the RHI before the scheme ended in March 2022 will receive quarterly payments for seven years, based on the amount of electricity your system is estimated to produce.

Biomass pellets for boiler

What’s the carbon footprint of a biomass boiler?

Let’s get one thing straight: biomass boilers, whilst greener than some options, still emit large amounts of CO2.

Biomass boilers fuelled by wood pellets – the most common kind in the UK – emit 0.052 kg of greenhouse gases per kWh. We worked out that since the average home requires 13,600 kWh per year for heating, that means biomass boilers could emit 707 kg of greenhouse gases per year.

Despite this, biomass boilers still release significantly less emissions than their fossil fuel counterparts. In fact, the Energy Savings Trust suggests that people who swap their old coal-fired system for a biomass boiler can save up to 11.6 tonnes of CO2 per year.

See how much CO2 you could save by switching to a biomass boiler in the graph below:

Data from the Energy Savings Trust, 2022

The different types of biomass boiler

Wood chip boilers

Chips come from wood that is too small to be used in industry. This type of fuel has a lower energy density than pellets, but is slightly better than logs.

Generally, you’ll find that these chips are used to heat larger buildings or groups of houses.

Bear in mind that extra care should be taken when using recycled wood, as there is a high risk of contaminants such as formica, plastics, and paint.

Log boilers

Logs are more suitable for smaller households. Unlike some other biomass boilers, log boilers have to be filled with wood by hand and require considerably more manual work.

You’ll also need a lot of logs to heat a whole house, which will need to be manually loaded at least once a day.

Pellet boilers

Pellets are also better suited to small- to medium-sized properties. These are much easier to use and control than logs, since they can run automatically in the same way as gas or oil boilers.

However, you’ll generally find that pellets are much more expensive than wood chips and logs. It’s also important to source good quality pellets, as some biomass boilers can reject certain types.

These pellets are often made from either wood chips, bark and sawdust, grass, peanut shells, or rice and wheat straw.

Next steps

If your current boiler is coming to the end of its life, it’s time to start thinking about whether a biomass boiler could be a good new addition to your home.

If you find that biomass boilers aren’t for you, there are still plenty of boiler options available. To find the best boiler deals out there, simply fill out this short form and let us do the hard work. We’ll pass your details onto our trusted suppliers, who’ll then get in touch with their best prices.

Beth Howell Writer

Beth has a real passion for green living. She’s been absorbed in eco research for over three years, and has become quite the expert. Whether you’re after a new set of solar panels, a home energy improvement, or you want to catch the latest eco news, she’s got your back.

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