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View blog posts for category: Biomass

5 top tips for choosing a biomass boiler for your home

Posted by Gabriel Wondrausch on 12 August 2013 at 9:23 am

5 top tips for choosing a biomass boiler for your home

Q: I am going nuts about installing a modern biomass boiler. We are committed to renewables for our stable conversion and have planning permission for a boiler house especially built for a biomass pellet boiler. However, I am struggling to find quotes and advice (eg. how the pellets will be deliv…

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Why buyers should take care when investing in renewable heat

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 22 July 2013 at 9:41 am

Why buyers should take care when investing in renewable heat

Let me set my stall out: I'm a fan of renewable heat technologies if they are installed well in suitable buildings. I'm also delighted that details of the domestic renewable heat incentive scheme has finally been announced, and that the rates are higher than expected.  But, and g…

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How to choose your biomass boiler installer

Posted by FairEnergy . on 18 July 2013 at 9:35 am

How to choose your biomass boiler installer

A biomass boiler is unlike any other type of boiler and there some very important considerations that your installer should understand and be able to explain to you. 1. Ask how long the company has been installing biomass boilers. 2. Find out how many installations the company has done an…

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Details of the domestic renewable heat incentive finally announced

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 12 July 2013 at 10:25 am

After several delays, the details of the renewable heat incentive, originally announced in July 2010 have finally been announced. Its aim is to encourage the uptake of renewable heat technologies to cut carbon, help meet the renewables targets and to save money on energy bills. Who can apply …

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Check you are eligible for RHI before installing renewable heat

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 11 July 2013 at 10:10 am

Check you are eligible for RHI before installing renewable heat

The renewable heat premium payments (RHPP) for biomass boilers and heat pumps are only available for properties that are off the mains gas network. Until the announcement on the full domestic renewable heat incentive (RHI) is made this summer we won't know if this will also be the case for th…

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How free biomass boiler deals may lose businesses £23k a year

Posted by Amanda Hobbins on 21 May 2013 at 10:37 am

How free biomass boiler deals may lose businesses £23k a year

Companies offering free biomass boilers to replace your oil- or LPG-fired boiler take the Government’s Non-Domestic RHI tariff payments instead of up-front payment for the installation. This is fine if you really can’t afford to buy your biomass boiler yourself, and you’ll still…

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DECC doubles upfront grants for renewable heat technologies

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 20 May 2013 at 3:32 pm

More help with the upfront cost of installing renewable heat is now available as the Department of Energy and Climate Change announces a doubling of the Renewable Heat Premium Payments. These money off vouchers have been increased to: £2,300 for ground source heat pumps £2,0…

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When will I get renewable heat incentive (RHI) payments?

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 22 April 2013 at 9:17 am

When will I get renewable heat incentive (RHI) payments?

A: As RHI (renewable heat incentive) payments have been delayed again till Spring 2014, do we have to wait till then to get our payment? So there will be no payment in 2013 then? Q: If you are what the government describes as a 'legacy' applicant, which means someone who has installed…

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Miscanthus: a sustainable alternative to wood fuel

Posted by FairEnergy . on 15 April 2013 at 9:27 am

Miscanthus: a sustainable alternative to wood fuel

Concerns that we will eventually run out of biomass wood fuel have been refuted by the Forestry Commission which says it that the wood fuel industry will be sustainable for many years yet. It estimates that the woodfuel industry could generate £1 billion and support more than 15,000 job…

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A bad week for renewable energy

Posted by Stewart Boyle on 3 April 2013 at 3:54 pm

A bad week for renewable energy

Last week was a bad week for renewable heat, and biomass especially. The announcement that there would be a significant further delay to the introduction of the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI-2) scheme finally came. With RHI payments due to start no earlier than Spring 2014, this will mak…

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Renewable technologies work together at Devon vineyard

Posted by NicoleYouGen on 11 March 2013 at 10:50 am

Renewable technologies work together at Devon vineyard

Different renewables technologies can complement each other when used in tandem, as Pebblebed Vineyard’s Clyst St. George Vineyard in Devon shows. A solar thermal system became the farm's newest renewable energy installation in November 2011, adding to solar PV and a…

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Is biomass heating suitable for urban flats?

Posted by FairEnergy . on 1 February 2013 at 12:10 pm

Is biomass heating suitable for urban flats?

Q: Is it possible to install biomass heating systems into blocks of flats? A: The short answer to this is yes.So long as there is suitable space that can be allocated to the scheme, inside or outside, a suitable pellet, wood chip or even log system can be designed to supply heat through a cen…

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Introduction to biomass boilers for heating and hot water

Posted by FairEnergy . on 4 December 2012 at 12:23 pm

Introduction to biomass boilers for heating and hot water

With the price of fossil fuel rising, people of the UK groan as they reluctantly turn up their thermostats, as temperatures plummet for the festive season. I know this as I speak to these folks daily through my role at Fair Energy. There is no hiding from the pain of this rise in energy costs. So…

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Biomass boiler means house is warm for the first time

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 27 November 2012 at 4:10 pm

Biomass boiler means house is warm for the first time

"It's the first time in the history of our house that we've had a warm house. Last year we were scraping ice off the inside of the windows." Anyone who lives in an old, leaky farmhouse and heats it with oil will probably prick up their ears at a quote like that and want to k…

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I'm on mains gas, am I eligible for the domestic RHI?

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 1 November 2012 at 3:06 pm

I'm on mains gas, am I eligible for the domestic RHI?

Q: I am very interested in the RHI (renewable heat incentive) but a little confused! I would love a biomass boiler or air source heat pump but I have read somewhere that if I have gas and disconnect from the gas mains I still can't claim RHI? Is this true? Are biomass and ASHP RHI payments only for …

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If you're not sure about renewables, nothing beats seeing them in situ

Posted by Gordon Glass on 31 August 2012 at 9:35 am

If you're not sure about renewables, nothing beats seeing them in situ

The unfamiliarity of a lot of new technologies such as biomass boilers, solid wall insulation, heat pumps and solar panels puts many people off the idea of installing one. Seeing one working in someone's home, and being able to ask questions about how they find it can make all the difference. …

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Why you should service your biomass boiler

Posted by Gabriel Wondrausch on 29 June 2012 at 9:40 am

Why you should service your biomass boiler

A biomass boiler is classed as a solid fuel appliance and as such produces a waste product, apart from flue emissions, this waste is ash. Ash production is around 3% for wood chips at 30% moisture content and much lower for pellets at around 1%. Ash is a highly insulative material and due…

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Finance is available for businesses to install renewable heat

Posted by Mark Henderson on 28 June 2012 at 10:31 am

Finance is available for businesses to install renewable heat

Finance for the up-front costs of installing renewable heat technologies is now available for businesses and other organisations thanks to a new collaboration between The Carbon Trust and Siemens. The Energy Efficiency Financing (EEF) scheme offers low-cost leases, loans and other financing opti…

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Solar thermal and other renewable technologies: what our readers say

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 26 June 2012 at 12:05 pm

Solar thermal and other renewable technologies: what our readers say

This month the stories from readers that I like best all talk about solar thermal in some way or another. During the feed-in tariff frenzy it somehow became the poor relation to solar PV, whereas before FiTs it was the better seller. What comes over loud and clear below is that once you've got solar…

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Eco guest house is first business in Wales to benefit from RHI

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 20 June 2012 at 10:17 am

Eco guest house is first business in Wales to benefit from RHI

A biomass boiler, solar PV and solar thermal are all the result of a Welsh guest house's belief that you should be able to enjoy a holiday without damaging the environment. Installation of the boiler means the guest house has become the first business in Wales to benefit from the Renewable Heat Ince…

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Financial help is available for wood burning boilers

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 15 June 2012 at 10:04 am

Financial help is available for wood burning boilers

Q: Could you point us in the right direction in regards to having an external wood burning boiler installed (for heat and hot water), and would it be covered under a FIT scheme like our solar PV system? A:  Interest in wood burning boilers - also known as biomass boilers - is on the increase…

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What to look for when buying a woodburning stove

Posted by Laurence Jones on 4 April 2012 at 9:20 am

What to look for when buying a woodburning stove

It is often hard to distinguish between one woodburning stove and another at face value.  But behind the stylish façade of a modern appliance there are a few key factors to consider before making your decision.  Output This calculator should give you a very rough ide…

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Renewable Heat Premium Payments scheme is extended; RHI delayed

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 27 March 2012 at 10:35 am

Renewable Heat Premium Payments scheme is extended; RHI delayed

The domestic renewable heat incentive (RHI) remains elusive, as the government announced a second phase of the renewable heat premium payments (RHPP) scheme yesterday. The domestic RHI, which will reward people who switch to renewable sources of heat with regular payments for and anticipated …

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Readers tips of the month: biomass and air source heat pump

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 20 March 2012 at 9:02 am

Readers tips of the month: biomass and air source heat pump

When people register on YouGen we ask them about their renewable energy, and any tips they have for others. Here are our favourites this month: Drumrossie is retired, and lives in a large, old and difficult to heat house. He has installed a log burning boiler with a 60kW output and with 4,000 lit…

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Installing a biomass boiler: what it's really like

Posted by Harvey Jones on 14 March 2012 at 8:01 am

Installing a biomass boiler: what it's really like

We’re off the mains gas grid so I chose biomass (wood chip) to replace our old oil-fired boiler as I wanted to be as CO2 neutral as possible. It also meant there was no possibility of a catastrophic heating-oil spill. Our old, cold house already had central heating with radiators and we wer…

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Readers tips of the month - biomass and solar

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 20 February 2012 at 12:39 pm

Readers tips of the month - biomass and solar

This month's first tip comes from Lewis, a retired university lecturer who is still active as a runner, orienteer, and log collector. He has installed a wood burning stove for hot water and three radiators (gravity circulation). He self-installed solar hot water in 2010 (which means he won't be e…

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Make sure your biomass stove or boiler is not poisoning you

Posted by Laurence Jones on 6 February 2012 at 9:08 am

Make sure your biomass stove or boiler is not poisoning you

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a poisonous gas. It is produced by incomplete burning of carbon-based fuels. CO has no taste, smell or colour and can be present in the fumes (combustion products) of gas, oil, solid mineral fuel or biomass burning appliances. If a biomass stove or boiler is correctly inst…

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Using range cookers and wood burning stoves with a back boiler to heat your home

Posted by Laurence Jones on 4 January 2012 at 11:29 am

Using range cookers and wood burning stoves with a back boiler to heat your home

There are several ways of using biomass to heat the home. I recently blogged about independent biomass boilers that run on pellets, wood chip and logs. However, there are two other noteworthy ways of using a biomass fuel source in conjunction with a central heating system. Although these appli…

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How wood pellets are made

Posted by David Fields on 2 December 2011 at 9:40 am

How wood pellets are made

Wood pellets are essentially biomass materials that have been shredded into sawdust and then compressed through a die cast to create the pellet shape. The materials are then held in place by a binding agent, such as naturally forming lignin, and produced into their 6mm size. To go into more detail,…

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Five top tips for choosing the right wood pellets

Posted by David Fields on 31 October 2011 at 5:30 am

Five top tips for choosing the right wood pellets

Since the announcement of the Renewable Heat Incentive an increasing number of homeowners and businesses are looking to new and innovative ways to power and heat their property. Alongside solar panels and heat pumps, wood pellet boilers are emerging as one of the most efficient ways to generate …

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How SAP ratings are used to measure the annual efficiency of a biomass boiler

Posted by Laurence Jones on 23 September 2011 at 10:15 am

How SAP ratings are used to measure the annual efficiency of a biomass boiler

Q: I understand that biomass boilers come with SAP ratings to measure annual efficiency. Please can you explain what an SAP rating is and how effective it is as a measure of efficiency. A: What is SAP? Standard Assessment Procedure (more commonly known as SAP), is a home energy rating that i…

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What to expect from your biomass boiler

Posted by Laurence Jones on 19 August 2011 at 9:27 am

What to expect from your biomass boiler

Biomass has an important role to play in the generation of heat for domestic users, according to the Microgeneration Strategy published by the department for energy and climate change (DECC) in June. It also highlighted the universal requirement for a greater understanding of the ‘durability of m…

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Wood co-ops offer access to woods, free logs and friendship

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 9 August 2011 at 10:20 am

Wood co-ops offer access to woods, free logs and friendship

Where the wood will come from is one of the issues to consider when investing in a wood burning stove or biomass boiler. The provision of wood pellet and wood chip are growing industries with measurable standards. Log supply, however, generally remains local, with variable quality, and difficulty co…

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Renewable Heat Premium Payment rates confirmed - but are they enough to kickstart renewable heat?

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 21 July 2011 at 11:22 am

Renewable Heat Premium Payment rates confirmed - but are they enough to kickstart renewable heat?

Capital grants to help with the cost of installing renewable heat technologies will be available from 1 August. Any householder in England, Scotland or Wales can apply for the £300 renewable heat premium payment for solar thermal panels. However, payments for biomass boilers (£950), air sou…

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Choosing a Wood Pellet Stove: Five things to look for

Posted by Laurence Jones on 5 July 2011 at 9:28 am

Choosing a Wood Pellet Stove: Five things to look for

For many, fireplaces are the embodiment of the British household, with the hearth taking pride of place in the home. With the advent of climate change awareness, people are looking to reinstate period features such as these, whilst using an appliance that is efficient, economical and environmental.&…

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Renewable energy may be included in the Green Deal

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 7 June 2011 at 9:08 am

Renewable energy may be included in the Green Deal

The Government's announcement last week on measures being considered for inclusion in the Green Deal, and its thinking on consumer protection, went some way to allay criticisms of the scheme. The Green Deal is expected to offer loans of up to £10,000 over a period of up to 25 years. To qualify f…

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The pros and cons of wood chip for biomass boilers

Posted by Laurence Jones on 23 May 2011 at 9:20 am

The pros and cons of wood chip for biomass boilers

Renewable energy enthusiasts looking at biomass boilers have one big decision: wood chip or wood pellet? This first of a two part series concentrates on the former fuel type. What is wood chip? Wood chips come from three sources; roundwood (virgin timber cut to length), slab wood (off cut…

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6 tips for finding the best log supplier

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 12 April 2011 at 10:10 am

6 tips for finding the best log supplier

There are a number of things to think about when buying logs. While price is always going to be important, it's not always easy to compare - as you may not be comparing like with like. Here are five great questions that the Biomass Energy Centre suggests you ask suppliers before you buy: 1. Ar…

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How to choose logs for a wood burning stove

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 31 March 2011 at 10:12 am

How to choose logs for a wood burning stove

Moisture content and the density of the wood are the two main things to bear in mind when choosing logs for a wood burning stove. Not only will they affect the amount of heat you get per kilo of fuel, but they will also make a difference to how well the wood burns - whether you get nice flames or ta…

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6 things to consider before buying a wood burning stove

Posted by Laurence Jones on 17 March 2011 at 9:06 am

6 things to consider before buying a wood burning stove

More and more people are turning to stoves to heat their homes. Biomass fuels such as firewood have been growing in popularity as a carbon-lean heating solutions as consumers aim for a more ecocentric outlook for their homes. However, the importance of buying a suitable appliance for th…

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Wood pellet boiler or stove: which would suit you best?

Posted by Jon Edge on 31 January 2011 at 9:57 am

Wood pellet boiler or stove: which would suit you best?

Wood pellet is a low carbon and cost-effective alternative to fossil fuels and works very well in urban properties. There are two types of pellet heating system: a boiler which replaces your existing central heating system for space heat and hot water; or a pellet stove which has a window to show …

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14 things to ask your biomass boiler installer

Posted by Jon Edge on 3 November 2010 at 9:20 am

14 things to ask your biomass boiler installer

Biomass is still pretty new to a lot of people in the UK. However, it is a tried and tested technology, used successfully for many years in other countries. Biomass boilers are a modern and very low carbon alternative to fossil fuels, especially oil or LPG and will give you as much heat and hot w…

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Is there enough wood in the UK for biomass?

Posted by Jon Edge on 24 August 2010 at 5:02 pm

Is there enough wood in the UK for biomass?

As the market for biomass boilers grows in the UK, there is concern that the wood supply will not be able to meet this demand, now and in the future. There are many factors that affect the answer to this question, but the short answer is yes, there is enough wood for a local UK biomass industry. …

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Renewable Heat Incentive: yes please, but with changes

Posted by John Barker-Brown on 9 July 2010 at 11:16 am

Renewable Heat Incentive: yes please, but with changes

First let's get something straight. I think the renewable heat incentive (RHI) is a good idea. Rewarding people for their contribution to reducing carbon emissions is great and will stimulate the market. However, in its current form the RHI may not reduce emissions, and due to lack of Government cla…

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Renewable Heat Incentive: 'deeming' explained

Posted by Linn Rafferty on 22 June 2010 at 10:53 am

Renewable Heat Incentive: 'deeming' explained

In the proposed Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), the calculation of how much will be paid for renewable heat production depends on the installation type, as follows: Small scale installation, such as in a home: each installation's entitlement is calculated by multiplying the payment per kW…

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Renewable heat incentive: important, but with dangers

Posted by Gabriel Wondrausch on 17 June 2010 at 1:03 pm

Renewable heat incentive: important, but with dangers

The uptake of renewable heat technologies has really dropped off with the renewable heat incentive (RHI) still looming, but no confirmation of the final tariffs or criteria, and the recent removal of the LCBP grants. No doubt things will pick up once the RHI details have been announced there.…

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Ask your MP for clarity about the Renewable Heat Incentive

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 14 June 2010 at 9:44 am

Ask your MP for clarity about the Renewable Heat Incentive

No one can confidently say that renewable heat is a good investment right now, as we don't know whether or not the promised renewable heat incentive will be introduced in April 2011 as laid out by the former Labour government. Making a significant investment when you can't confidently calculate the …

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Uncertainty ahead as Low Carbon Building Programme is cut

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 26 May 2010 at 12:31 pm

Uncertainty ahead as Low Carbon Building Programme is cut

The Low Carbon Building Programme (LCBP) grants scheme closed to new applications on Monday. We're calling on the Government to act quickly to eliminate the state of uncertainty facing  consumers and the renewable heat industry as a result. The cut came as part of the Department of Energ…

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MCS explained, plus quick guide for wannabe installers

Posted by John Martin on 14 May 2010 at 9:58 am

MCS explained, plus quick guide for wannabe installers

The Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) appears to be suffering in a similar way as the Gas accreditation scheme did  when it was introduced. It is shrouded in mystery, with rumour-mongers spreading the word that 'none shall pass' and that 'its only for large companies'. This situatio…

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Renewable Heat Incentive consultation: YouGen's response

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 26 April 2010 at 10:29 am

Renewable Heat Incentive consultation: YouGen's response

The Renewable Heat Incentive consultation closes today. Here is YouGen's response. If you want to respond yourself, you can email DECC's renewable financial incentives team. Key Issues We strongly ask you to reconsider your policy of excluding those who had systems installed prior to July …

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