What is a Biomass Boiler & How Does It Work?

Biomass boilers:
biomass heating systems

Biomass Heating Systems

What Is Biomass Heating System

Biomass heating systems are a renewable energy source, generated from burning wood, plants and other organic matter, such as manure or household waste. It releases carbon dioxide when burned, but considerably less than fossil fuels.

Biomass heating systems burn wood pellets, chips or logs to provide warmth in a single room or to power central heating and hot water boilers.

A stove burns logs or pellets to heat a single room – and may be fitted with a back boiler to provide water heating as well. A boiler burns logs, pellets or chips, and is connected to a central heating and hot water system. A wood-fuelled biomass boiler could save you up to £1,350 a year compared to an old electric heating system.

Biomass Boiler Installation

Installing a biomass boiler

It is important that you seek professional advice from a MSC accredited installer when designing / installing any sort of renewable energy system. To see if your property is suitable for an Biomass Boiler, please feel free to take our ‘Reality Check’.

Pros of Biomass Boilers

The Benefits of Biomass Heating Systems

heat pump installer west midlands

Biomass is also considered a carbon-neutral form of energy because the same amount of carbon dioxide that is released by the burning process is later re-absorbed by growing plants. Not only it supplies us with energy, but it also helps with the disposal of wood and other materials’ waste

Heat Pump Grants

Replacing a coal or electric heating system with a biomass boiler can help you reduce your carbon dioxide output by up to 9.5 tons, annually

You may be eligible to receive grant funding through The Boiler Upgrade Scheme, which opens in April 2022. This scheme replaces the current RHI (Renewable Heat Incentive) with a £5000 grant to cover some of the costs of a new Air Source Heat Pump installation.

Biomass energy is a great way to dispose of waste wood. That means the system is even more sustainable if you burn your own wood instead of having it delivered

Prices of traditional fuels like oil and gas are steadily increasing, and this tendency is not expected to change anytime soon. Biomass needed for pellet boilers, for example, has much more stable prices, so you won’t see your bills increasing sharply. Moreover, prices for biomass are close to gas prices but much cheaper than electric heating and solid fuel, so a biomass boiler is an ideal replacement for those kinds of systems

Low Carbon Heating

By installing a Biomass boiler, you will be helping to reduce your carbon footprint

Cons of Biomass Boilers

Disadvantages of Biomass Heating Systems

Biomass boilers need more space than gas or oil boilers because the system is larger. You would also need some space to store the fuel itself, such as a hopper or wood store

Biomass boiler prices range between £4,000 - £8,000 making them more expensive than a traditional heating system.

Biomass boilers need to be cleaned regularly and require pellets to be topped up. The cleaning process requires the emptying of ashes formed from burning the pellets. This is often time consuming and requires at least a good clean once a week.

Biomass Heating Systems

How Does A Biomass Boiler Work

Biomass boilers work by burning biological matter and outputting the resulting heat for use in heating systems. Wood pellets, chips, logs or other biological materials are fed – automatically, semi-automatically, or by hand – into a combustion chamber where they are ignited. The hot gas and air produced by this process travel through a flue, and are then passed through a heat exchanger, which transfers the heat to the water used in the property’s central heating system. The excess heat is also stored in a thermal tank (also called a buffer vessel).

What Is The Cost of Biomass Heating System?

The cost of installing a Biomass heating system really does depend on a number of factors including the size of your property, type of system and additional work required.

For biomass boilers, an automatically fed pellet boiler for an average home costs between £9,000 and £15,000, including installation, flue and fuel store.

Pellet costs depend mainly on the size and method of delivery. If you have room for a large fuel store that will accept several tonnes of pellets at a time, delivered in bulk by tanker, you can keep the cost below £300 per tonne in most parts of the UK.

Logs can be cheaper than pellets, but costs depend on the wood suppliers in your local area, as they can be expensive to transport. If you have room to store more than a year’s worth of logs, you can save money by buying unseasoned logs and letting them season for a year.

Biomass Boiler Installation

The video above is a case study of a Biomass heating installation undertaken on behalf of Warwickshire District Council. The new biomass boiler was a replacement for an oil-fired heating system.

Biomass Savings Comparisons

How Much Money Will I Save Installing Biomass?

Savings between £450 – £480 per annum 

-£180 – £210 per annum

Savings between £1250 – £1380 per annum 

Savings between £700 – £750 per annum 

Savings between £420 – £450 per annum 

Between -£220 – £250 per annum 

Saving between £1320 – £1450 per annum 

Saving between £350 – £360 per annum 

Saving between £350 – £390 per annum 

A Reality Check For Biomass Heating

Is A Biomass Heating System Right For My Property?

Two key factors are vital to ensuring they work effectively. Firstly, homeowners need to maximise the amount of insulation in their lofts and cavity walls before investing in heat pump technology. An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is a good way of prioritising your investments to optimise your home’s energy efficiency and there are grants available that can support householders and business. You can search for your properties EPC here

To see if your property is suitable for an Biomass installation, please take our ‘Reality Check’ on the left hand-side of the page. Please answer the questions as accurately as possible.

Reality Check

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Grants and Incentives

From April 2022, homeowners who want to install low-carbon heating measures in their properties in England and Wales could receive a £5000 grant from the Government to help fund some of the costs

So what does this mean for homeowners – When The Clean Heat Grant (Boiler Upgrade Scheme) is launched in April 2022, customers will need to contact an MCS (Micro Generation Certification) accredited organisation to carry out the installation. If you are interested in finding out more information about renewable energy technologies or how Renuvo can support you to ‘go green’, please follow the links.

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions about Biomass Boilers?

Well, this depends on a lot of things include your property type, space and how your home is currently fuelled. We recommend using our reality check or call us on 01827 870 950 for a conversation about your requirements


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