Should I install a Biomass Boiler?
Before deciding to install a biomass heating system in your home, business, organisation or community, it is necessary to consider the large range of factors that have been highlighted in the section: Is a Biomass boiler suitable for my property?
The high upfront cost of installing a biomass heating system may mean that if you are looking for an inexpensive way of becoming more energy efficient and saving on energy bills, other ways such as insulation may be more suitable.
What’s more, if you are currently using mains gas to heat your property, you will not be eligible for the RHI payments or the RHPP, which means that the financial rewards will be far lower.
In terms of carbon emission reduction, however, it is un-doubtable that replacing your existing fossil fuel boiler will make a positive difference. As the figures show, switching to biomass can save up to 9 tons of carbon dioxide every year.
Moreover, the per kilowatt saving of wood fuel over certain fossil fuels is sizeable, especially if you are currently using electricity to heat your property. The table below illustrates this:
It is therefore clear that if you are currently using oil, LPG or electricity to heat your property, a biomass boiler would present a sound long-term investment, now with a substantial income from the RHI scheme with the added benefit of being environmentally friendly.
Biomass Boiler Efficiency
Comparisons between various types of biomass boiler
Correctly installed and maintained biomass boilers tend to have an efficiency of around 80%-90%, which is significantly higher than many conventional fossil fuel boilers (especially older models).
The real variable when assessing efficiency is the type of biomass fuel that is used and, as noted here, certain boilers are better suited to specific fuel types. The key factors in assessing the energy efficiency of a specific fuel are its water content and density. The table below gives you a rough idea of the moisture contents and energy yield per tonne of various type of fuel.