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Last updated: 03 December 2018

How Much Does A Biomass Boiler Cost?

Wondering About the Real Price of a Biomass Boiler?

As for 2018, biomass boilers prices vary considerably, but they are still a cheaper option than other heating systems. In fact, when comparing a biomass boiler to oil-fired and gas-fired boilers, the biomass boiler is better in terms of funding options, fuel costs and environmental impact. The final price of a boiler then depends mainly on the type of boiler, fuel and storage size.

To get an idea, an automatically-fed pellet boiler costs between £10,000 and £19,000 including the boiler installation cost and delivery. While a smaller domestic biomass boiler starts at £5,000; and an ordinary commercial installation aimed to heat two or more buildings can cost around £20,000. There are also various prices for different biomass types of fuel as well as other heating types.

One essential thing to do before making the final purchase is to request quotes from different suppliers and compare biomass boiler prices. To know how much does a biomass boiler costs, fill in the form on top of the page. The service is free of charge and without obligation.

What You Will Learn About Biomass Boilers

Biomass Boiler Price Factors
Types of Biomass Fuel
Biomass Fuel Prices
Biomass Boiler Funding Options

Biomass Boiler Price Factors

There are several factors that greatly influence the final price of biomass boilers:

  • Output size
  • Installation costs
  • Need for syncing new boiler with an already existing system
  • Biomass storage capacity
  • Other additional features

When compared to different types of boilers, biomass boilers (wood-pellet) require higher initial costs, but also have an option of governmental funding unlike the other two.

Boilers Cost Comparison
Type of Boiler Average Initial Cost of Boiler (£) Cost of Fuel (p) RHI Funding (p)
Wood Pellet £15,000 4.11p/kWh 2.85p/kWh*
Oil Fired £2,000 6.5p/kWh n/a.
Gas Fired £4,000 3.9p/kWh n/a.

*The amount of RHI funding depends on many factors and has to be calculated based on individual needs.

With rapidly increasing prices of oil, the demand for alternative options is growing. Even though the price of wood fuel is not very constant and is influenced by many external factors, it still is one of the cheaper options when fueling your boiler. However, new oil-fired boilers account for an extremely high efficiency of around 97% which makes them also a convenient option.

Prices change mainly depending on the size and the level of automation of chosen boiler. Boilers that feed themselves automatically are logically a more costly version than those that require manual feeding.

An average house needs approximately 7.3 tons of wood pellets or 6.5 cords of wood logs during winter season.

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Biomass Boiler Installation Cost

When it comes to the costs of installing a biomass boiler, they are highly dependent on the type of fuel the particular boiler is going to use to generate heat. Which means that a biomass boiler is designed to use only a few types of fuel (pellets, chips, logs, straw, briquettes).

Another crucial influencer of final price is how much work is required in order to integrate a new boiler into an already existing system.

As with most heating products, the final price always depends on many other factors other than the price of the boiler itself. Such as the amount of heat needed to heat the entire house will depend on the overall size of the house itself.

Types of Biomass Fuel

Biomass boilers run on various types of wood fuel such as wood pellets, logs and wood chips. The fuel choice is often made by taking into account availability of the fuel source, storage space and individual needs.

The high quality of biomass fuel is fundamental for long functioning and efficiency of your boiler. It has to be seasoned before chipping, it should have the right size and contain a minimal amount of moisture.

Three Main Types of Wood Fuel:

  • Wood pellets
  • Wood chips
  • Logs

Woodfuel

Wood Pellets Biomass Fuel

Wood pellets are the most common type of domestic biomass fuel and can be packed and delivered in bags or bulks. Buying larger quantities at once is often cheaper than otherwise. You can expect to save money on your bills by switching to wood pellet heating, but how much you save depends on the type of replaced fuel and the cost of pellets from a particular supplier.

Wood Chips Biomass Fuel

Most of the wood chips used for heating in UK homes are UK-sourced. Wood chips are more expensive when it comes to transportation as they are less dense comparing to pellets. In addition, they are only appropriate for homes that have space to store them.

Both pellets and wood chip boilers are often automated and it is not necessary to fill them manually. Another advantage of wood chips is less ash and smoke residue.

Logs Biomass Fuel

Log wood is a source of energy relatively stable in price. Logs and other types of wood fuel are the first choice for those who are conscientious of their impact on the environment.

It is possible to minimise your emissions by burning dry, split wood. In addition, burning logs with high moisture content will reduce boiler’s heat output and waste more energy, so you will have to use more in order to warm up the space.

Biomass boilers can work on either a manual or automatic based system. Manual biomass boilers are cheaper, but you have to take into consideration potential labour costs. Wood chips and pellets can be fed into a boiler automatically from a larger hopper situated nearby.

On the other hand, logs require manual feeding and they are often more suitable for people with access to an abundant supply of wood.

Biomass Fuel Prices

For biomass fuel pricing, have a look at the table below. However, it is important to remember that these are only estimations and prices can vary greatly depending on the supplier and delivery costs. Installation costs are not taken into account in the table.

Prices of Biomass Fuel for Boilers
Type of Biomass Fuel Price per Tonne (£) Price for a Boiler
Wood Pellets £245 From £13,000 (Automated)
Logs £100 From £8,000 (Manual)
Wood Chips £60 From £7,000 (Automated)

Some boilers can be designed for wood pellets, straw pellets and also wood chips, however, log boilers are usually designed only for that type of wood fuel.

Using renewable energy as a heating source is not just environmentally friendly but can also significantly reduce your electricity bills when you replace your old heating system:

Wood Fuel Compared to Other Heating Types
Type of Fuel Coal Oil Natural Gas Electricity LPG Wood Pellet Wood Chips
Approximate Running Costs (£/year) £1,500 £1,770 £1,000 £2,690 £1,920 £870 £895
CO2 Emissions (kg/year) 13,541kg 9,219kg 6,406kg 10,184kg* 7,663kg 766kg 550kg

*When sourced from fossil fuels

As shown in the table, choosing boilers fueled with wood pellets or chips can bring a lot of savings. A further explanation is displayed below with percentages of your potential savings if a particular type of heating fuel is replaced with a biomass heating system. For example, if you are currently using coal to heat up your home, when replaced with biomass, you may be able to save up to 15% off your heating bill.

Savings on Fuel in Case of Replacement for Biomass
Type of Fuel Natural Gas Coal Oil LPG Electricity
Potential Heating Bills Savings (%) 3% 15% 20% 23% 40%
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Biomass Boiler Funding Options

The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) can provide financial help for those interested in becoming more environmentally friendly. This financial scheme is funded by the UK government and aimed at encouraging domestic consumers to invest in renewable heating sources such as a biomass heating system.

Before applying for the RHI your home should be assessed under the Green Deal Assessment scheme to ensure that it meets all requirements for installing a renewable heating system. However, if you have already installed biomass boilers you can still apply for the RHI funding by proving that you meet the requested criteria.

The RHI helps the UK in reducing greenhouse gas emission and reduces the effects of ongoing climate change by investing in renewable energy sources. You could save up to 14.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions a year when replacing a traditional solid fuel boiler with biomass boilers.

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If you are thinking about purchasing a biomass boiler don’t hesitate. Request now and receive up to 4 quotes to compare local boiler suppliers. It is very simple and obligation free.

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