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Does my biomass boiler have to comply with Building Regulations?

Posted by Trish O'Flynn on 13 January 2017 at 3:30 pm

The answer is Yes. Building Regulations apply if you change buildings in certain ways, including installing a biomass boiler. The regulations cover a range of issues, including safety, fire protection, and energy efficiency.

How do I get Building Regulations’ approval for my biomass boiler?

It is best to get this organised before you start work. Building Regulations approval means that the installation meets safety standards and it will show up on a local authority search should you sell your property. There are three ways you can get approval:

  • use an installer who is part of the Competent Person Scheme
  • apply directly to your local council’s Building Control department, or
  • employ a private approved building inspector.

YouGen installer member David Hill of Carbon Legacy says

“Using a qualified installer who is part of the Competent Person Scheme means that you save time and money as the installer does all the paperwork and you don’t have to pay for a separate inspection.”

“The accreditation process installers go through is very rigorous. An inspector comes every year and checks a sample of our jobs, as well as reviewing all the paperwork. Accreditation under the Competent Person Scheme is reassuring for customers as it shows that their installer is a recognised expert who is interested in keeping up quality standards.”  

What are the Building Regulations requirements for biomass boilers?

The Building Regulations cover such things as:

  • fuel stores
  • boiler siting
  • air supply
  • flues and chimneys
  • hearth materials and size
  • notice plates and
  • carbon monoxide alarms.

It may seem like a long list but these are important to make your boiler operate safely and efficiently.

The regulations also include an installation checklist and commissioning certificate form that your installer should complete when the job is finished.

Check out the detailed Building Regulations requirements.

Do I have to fit a carbon monoxide alarm?

Yes, you do. Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas and you will need to fit an audible carbon monoxide alarm in the same room as new or replacement solid fuel appliances installed since 2010.

If you are a private landlord of a property with a solid fuel appliance of any age, since 2015 you must fit and maintain an audible carbon monoxide alarm in any room where there is a solid fuel appliance that is used as living accommodation (including bathrooms).

Alarms can be battery operated and some models are combined with a smoke alarm. They are widely available from hardware shops and cost from about £12. 

What else should I do before I install a biomass boiler?

Here are three things that will make the installation go more smoothly:


Image credit: SuperHomes

More information on:  

1. Competent Person Scheme.

2. Carbon monoxide alarms for landlords of private rented properties.

3. Planning permission and smoke control areas on YouGen.

4. Installing solid fuel stoves (LABC).

5. Chimney cleaning on YouGen

6. How to apply for Building Regulations approval

More about Biomass Boilers and  Energy Saving and Renewable Energy on YouGen.

Find a Biomass Boiler installer


About the author: Trish is a web content writer with the National Energy Foundation.

If you have a question about anything in the above blog, please ask it in the comments section below.

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