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Can you source or supply your own wood fuel for your biomass boiler and keep your RHI payments?

Posted by Jason Ramsdale on 5 February 2016 at 10:35 am

Working out what you need to do to secure your Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) payments when sourcing your own supply of wood fuel may look daunting. Start with our flow chart below to determine what route is best to take then you can skip to the relevant section for what you need to know.

To skip to our help on registering as a Self Supplier click here.

To skip to our help on registering as a Producer/Trader click here.

To skip to our help on finding a supplier click here.

Forest.

To Register as a Self Supplier you need to know:

1. The size of your biomass installation

2. Quantity of raw materials (tonnes or cubic meters).

3. Distance from source to storage (miles).

4. Checklist for Self Supliers:

  • Source own woody biomass
  • Less than 1 kW installation
  • Legal right to harvest biomass (ownership, renting, or community rights)
  • Not buying ANY raw materials
  • You do not wish to sell any products
  • Source is within 50 miles of boiler
  • You have permission for any waste to you plan to burn

5. Evidence required:

  • Forestry Commission approved Woodland Management Plan
  • Felling licence
  • A map of the woodlands indicating the size (hectares) and where you plan to source and extract from. Any details regarding thinning or extraction plans
  • Waste exemption or environmental permit
  • Evidence that you have contacted the Environment Agency (or Welsh/Scottish equivalent) and can confirm that you are legally able to handle, produce and use waste in your appliance (for example)
  • A statement, or preferably evidence, that you have contacted the Environment Agency (or Welsh/Scottish equivalent) and received a confirmation that you do not require any permit/exemption etc

Waste - Waste wood includes used wood and industry by-products but not primary processing co products. Used wood includes post-consumer/post society wood waste; natural or merely mechanically processed wood, contaminated to an insignificant extent during use by substances that are not normally found in wood in its natural state. By products include joinery workshop off-cuts.
Woody Biomass - This is a collective term which, when used in the context of BSL, refers to virgin or waste-virgin blend briquettes, pellets, firewood or chip. It excludes Waste Wood.

Logs.

To Register as a Producer/Trader you need to know:

1. Quantity of raw materials (tonnes or cubic meters).

2. Distance from source to storage (miles).

3. Your raw materials:

  • Roundwood (soft/hard)
  • Primary Processing Products (sawdust/chip)
  • Arboricultural Arisings
  • Short Rotation Coppice

Arboricultural Arisings - Material that is removed as part of tree surgery, management of municipal parks and verges of roads and railways.
Chip - chip is the curved bark edges that are removed from a piece of roundwood when it is chipped into squared timber.
Hard
wood from hardwood trees such as oak and ash.
Primary Processing Products - These are produced at a sawmill in the conversion of the roundwood from the forest into timber products, for example, sawdust, woodchips, bark chips and slabwood.
Roundwood - Timber which is left as small logs, not sawn into planks or chopped for fuel, typically taken from near the tops of trees and used for furniture.
Sawdust – fine particles produced when sawing wood.
Short Rotation Coppice - Fast growing tree species cut down to a low stump (or stool) when they are dormant in winter to produce many new stems in the following growing season.
Soft
wood from softwood trees such as conifers.

4. Your product:

  • Pellets (Virgin, waste or waste virgin blend)
  • Briquettes (Virgin, waste or waste virgin blend)
  • Chip (Virgin naturally seasoned, virgin force dried, waste, waste virgin blend)
  • Firewood (Virgin naturally seasoned, virgin force dried, waste, waste virgin blend)

Note: If your wood is force dried you will need to state what fuel is used to dry the wood, the starting and ending moisture, and the type of dryer used (Drum, Belt, Kiln or Tray).

Briquettes - A briquette is wood that has been pulverised and compressed into various shapes that is used as fuel to start and maintain a fire.
Chip - Chipped woody biomass in the form of pieces, with a defined particle size produced by mechanical treatment with sharp tools such as knives.
Firewood - Large sized pieces of wood (compared to chip) used for kindling or for sustaining combustion in domestic solid wood fire appliances.
Force Dried - Drying of the timber artificially by hot air. This can be done by a variety of methods: kiln, belt dryer, tray dryer and drum dryer.
Naturally Seasoned - Timber dried by ambient air. Usually done outside in a windy location.
Pellets - Wood that has been pulverised and pelletised under heat and high pressure to product a cylindrical wood derived fuel of consistent size.
Virgin - Virgin wood consists of wood and other products such as bark and sawdust which have had no chemical treatments or finishes applied.
Waste - Waste wood includes used wood and industry by-products but not primary processing co products. Used wood includes post-consumer/post society wood waste; natural or merely mechanically processed wood, contaminated to an insignificant extent during use by substances that are not normally found in wood in its natural state. By products include joinery workshop off-cuts.
Waste Virgin Blend - Intentional mixing of waste wood and virgin wood.

5. Your Evidence:

Timber Standard Category A evidence:

  • FSC Forest Management or Forest Management Unit
  • FSC Chain of Custody >=70% (FSC Mix 70%)
  • PEFC Forest certification or Forest Management Unit
  • PEFC Chain of Custody>=70% (PEFC 70%)

(An FSC certificate cannot be selected to comply unless it is in the applicant’s name. You must hold this certificate yourself or be a listed group member/site on the FSC database.)
OR
Felling licences (or copies of the suppliers’ licences) that cover 100% of your raw materials. AND UK Forestry Standard compliant management plan (or copies of the suppliers’ plans) signed off by the relevant authority that cover 100% of your raw materials?
OR
Confor Risk Based Regional Assessment Form

Wood Pellets

Find a Supplier:

To qualify for RHI payments your supplier needs to be on the BSL (Biomass Suppliers List). To identify local companies on this list you can use this BSL search. However the search will only bring up a limited number and range of companies from your postcode. If these happen to be unsuitable finding an alternative supplier can be tricky. Here are three companies that deliver to a wide area:

  • Woof! (England, Scotland and Wales)
  • LC Energy (England, Scotland and Wales)
  • Forest Fuels (Various locations across England and Wales)

Sources: Information and defintions - BSL.Gov

Images:

Forest by Nicholas A. Tonelli

Logs by Aapo Haapanen

Wood Pellets by Andrew Writer

More information about the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) on YouGen.

More information about Biomass Boilers on YouGen.

Find a Biomass Boiler installer

Need help with any Jargon?

 

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