£25m Central Heating Fund

A £25m Central Heating Fund can be accessed by local authorities to help those in fuel poverty.

Those in rural areas will be favourably weighted, and the funds are to target those homes without mains gas or current central heating systems.

The solution may contain:

  • renewable heating options – biomass boilers, air source heat pumps, ground source heat pumps (eligible under the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive) and heat networks.
  • Oil fired
  • Gas Fired

The technology must be installed alongside a heating system including:

  • Eligible heat exchanger
  • Distribution pipework
  • Heat emitters (e.g. radiators)
  • Heating controls
  • Circulation pump
  • Expansion vessel
  • Air supply and exhaust

The funding can be blended with the Renewable Heat Incentive, and may well target social housing tenants, those identified as “affordable warmth” or low income.

This is a good opportunity for those without central heating systems to benefit from one. Clearly the Renewable Heat Incentive may help further.

For more information please see


Budget 2015

In the budget 2015 there was very little about the UK progress towards its carbon targets for 2020. DECC (Government Department for Environment and Climate Change) had its annual review at the turn of the year. At this point Ed Davey admitted that progress towards the Renewable Heat target is not doing as well as expected and “they” (who ever gets in in the next general election), will have to do better.

The RHI was delayed in coming out, however in the first year of the Domestic Renewable Incentive there has been reviews and tariff reductions. The next one taking place on the 1 April where the tariff will drop to 8.93p per kWh. The Non Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive for small biomass will also fall to 5.87p per kwh. Other technologies remain the same, apart from Anaerobic Degestion. In some respects this is positive news. The uptake of biomass is on the increase, but “not enough”. The reduction in tariff means that companies will have to review where they are targetting potential installations.

If your a dometic home owner and use 15000 kWhs per annum the domestic RHI is now worth £9376 in payments over 7 years. To install a domestic wood pellet boiler within this budget is possible, but many companies who install Austrian or German boilers will find this difficult. This may be for a 3 bedroom detached, but well insulated home. If you need 55000 kWhrs and require a 40kW boiler you will receive £34,380. This is a far more achievable budget for a much larger home. It may be that this home owner (large home with more than 6 bedrooms) finds the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive much more attractive. They may be able to afford a larger hopper for automatic fuel distribution and get an attractive return for the amount that they have invested. This quick analysis suggests that the very large home owner will benefit significantly more from the Domestic RHI.

With regard to the Non Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive the new tariff means a maximum return of £306,984 over 20 years for a 199kW biomass boiler installation. Many businesses require a 5 year payback as part of their procedures. This suggests that the system cost is a maximum of £76,000. Again this is more difficult to do with more expensive boilers.

Part of the difficulty for both the home owner and the organisation is the cost of fuel. Oil is currently around 40p per litre and in the short term this price will not change (with OPEC prices staying low for perhaps the next 3 years). The latest Energy Savings Trust figures from Feb 2015 suggest that fuel prices are very similar between oil, gas and wood pellets. LPG and Electricity are much more expensive.

Fuel prices Gas Oil  LPG Wood pellet
Average price (pence/kWh) 4.29 5.36 8.32 4.77
Standing charge (£/year) £87.92

There are arguments and counter arguments over what will happen to the prices of each fuel over the next 7 years (domestic) or 20 years (Non domestic). What is true is that the pellet market has more room for new suppliers or substitute products. For instance it is possible to make pellets out of straw, AD husks, biocoal, none of which are approved by the RHI just yet, but they may well be introduced over the next few years. This potentially keeps prices low.

There is an issue with electricity prices over the next 5 years or so. The UK has a legally binding 2020 CO2 target. 2/5 of our CO2 emissions come from coal power stations which are due to close down. In the last 5 years of this government it is not clear whether there has been much progress made on Nuclear Power. Austria, and now Luxemburg are objecting to the “subsidy” beig offered to EDF to build the plant at Hinkley. This may well delay further the construction for possibly another decade. We are facing a shortage of electricity. Choosing electricity for heating only adds to the issues that the grid already faces.

In summary – the fuel market is confusing as it is not behaving according to its supposed long term trend. The governemnt is aware that renewable heat can help meet the CO2 targets for 2020, but the RHI scheme has reduced its tariffs and this will impact on a number of sectors of the renewables industry and hamper the growth that the UK needs.

Wood Pellet Solutions is a division of Renewable Living and imports wood pellet and log boilers for the UK domestic and commercial market. To enquire how to make the most of your opportunity to move away from fossil fuels please contact us on our contact page, or phone 01225 580 401.

What is biomass fuel – wood pellet boilers

Biomass boilers are well recognised, but what do they burn?

In the UK the introduction of the Renewable Heat Incentive has meant that the definition of biomass fuel has become more difficult to understand. The main driver for this are the emissions that the boilers have in addition to CO2 being of acceptable levels.

These limits are 30 grams per gigajoule (g/GJ) net heat input for particulate matter and 150g/GJ for NOx.

Each boiler range has to be tested with the fuel that is going to be used within it. Each fuel has a definition.

Wood Pellets

Pellets are the most straightforward for a homeowner as there is an ENPlus quality standard market on bagged pellets or on the website of the pellet producer.


All accredited wood pellet boilers have been tested to a European Standard EN303-5, met the standards of the UK Microgeneration Certification Scheme, and have a valid emissions certificate. Key to this is that the boilers were tested on ENplus pellets. So these are the only pellets that you can buy and use. To claim your RHI you will have to keep records and be able to show that you are burning ENplus pellets.

Wood Pellet Boiler Product Example

Pelleburn 15kW wood pellet boiler  will burn ENplus pellets only. When it does this it has been tested to show 9g/GJ for Particulate Matter and 81g/MJ for Nox. You can find a copy of the emissions certificate here. http://rhieclist.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/NES_PLB_RHI.pdf

Wood logs

Logs are measured by moisture and by whether they are “virgin” or used. This potentially creates 4 categories.

Virgin timber – Very dry or kiln dried logs or logs with less than 25% moisture

Used timber – waste wood with no contaminants e.g. Pallets, or waste wood with contaminants e.g. MDF, Plywood, Chipboard

Wood Logs product Example

Pyroburn 30kW gasification boiler can burn wood with up to 25% as it was tested on wood with a moisture content of 12.01 percent. Had the wood in testing been much drier, e.g. 6% then there would be a limit of 12 percent dry wood in the boiler. http://rhieclist.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/NES_PB_RHI.pdf

Wood burns much better and cleaner when the wood is dry. The testing process and regulations ensures that if you buy and use a log boiler you take care of what you put in it. For instance the following are attractive, but not allowable

  • Newly cut timber in excess of 25% moisture.  Fuel that you “find” in woods, or offcuts from timber merchants, or branches from a tree surgeon. This fuel will not burn well. You do not get the heat but your neighbours get the smoke.
  • MDF, Chip board or painted wood may burn, but it gives off lots of fumes. Unless there are very specific cleaning processes within the boiler to deal with paints and glues then the fumes produced will be toxic. This category of fuel (B2) cannot be burnt in the majority of boilers, and certainly no domestic or small boilers.

Logs can transformed into wood chip and sawdust and is subject to the same categories as above. Wood chip is generally quite bulky, so produced in local areas rather than pellets at one or two places. It varies in quality and next year (2015) suppliers will need to state that their fuel meets both a moisture standard and has no contaminants. We are excited about our new boiler The CB 160 which will shortly be released into the UK market.

Sawdust does not burn well and can cause back burning (fire can go back through the fuel delivery mechanism) boilers will specifically state whether they can burn sawdust or not. For instance the Catfire range of chip boilers can burn sawdust and has a mechanism to prevent backburning of sawdust.

Sawdust or shavings can also be made into briquettes easily (and pellets, but not so easily) that can burn very well and burn in most boilers.

As part of understanding the moisture content of the wood you would need to have an adequate storage and inspection process. For instance with pellets you need to check that there is not too much sawdust. For wood you will need to store so that the wood can mature. For chip you will need to keep it for a short period to ensure that it does not compost. Other than pellets, you will need to get a moisture meter to make sure that your wood is less than 25%.


If you want to install a biomass boiler you can only burn the fuel or fuels that it has been tested with. You will have to buy these fuels from accredited suppliers of biomass products from http://biomass-suppliers-list.service.gov.uk/find-a-fuel .

If you want to use your own stock of fuel you will have to self-certify and keep more detailed records. Again the fuel must relate exactly to the fuel tested on the boiler.

If you have questions about any of the above then please get in touch as we would be happy to help.

What is Biomass Energy?

Biomass Boilers for Renewable Energy

Biomass Energy

Why Use Biomass Energy?

Biomass is a fancy name for material from plants and animals. Some kinds of biomass can be burned to produce energy (Biomass Energy). The most common examples of Biomass is wood / forests and increasingly “Energy Crops”.

Through out history our homes have been heated with fire, fuelled by wood, all over the world – so one could say Biomass Energy is not really a new concept.

Biomass is a renewable, low carbon fuel and brings additional environmental and social benefits. Biomass boilers do not only power central heating systems but also provide hot water and can operate on a timer, which dispenses fuel into the burner when required. Plus best off all, as explained in my previous blog about RHI, the government offers a grant that pays for the system, installation and pays an incentive for using it while saving on heating bills and help the environment. Can it get any better?

You may ask yourself what kind of materials does my biomass boiler need? Biomass boilers will burn a whole variety of bio-matter such as grains, wood chips, olive kernels, saw dust, wood logs, cocoa pellets and wood pellets. The main categories of material are:

* Forests: from trees, arboricultural activities or from wood processing.
* Energy crops: high yield crops grown specifically for energy applications
* Agricultural residues: residues from agriculture harvesting or processing
* Food and Industrial waste: from food and drink manufacture, preparation and processing, and post-consumer waste

The advantages to use Biomass are endless.

We do not need to worry about being short of materials as with a constant supply of waste – from construction and demolition activities, to wood not used in papermaking, to municipal solid waste – green energy production can continue indefinitely.
Biomass power improves forest health and air quality. The biomass power industry removes millions of tons of forest debris annually, improving forest health and dramatically reducing the risk of forest fires. In addition, the biomass industry diverts millions of tons of waste material from landfills and open burns.

Biomass power is reliable. Because it is not affected by changes in weather or environmental conditions, biomass power is an extremely reliable renewable energy source. Biomass Power Plants can produce a steady and dependable flow of electricity 24 hours a day, and seven days a week.

Biomass power employs a huge amount of people worldwide

Biomass is the natural solution to meeting higher renewable standards. Specifically, biomass power can play a major role in parts of the UK that lack sustainable access to wind or solar power. Biomass power holds the greatest opportunity for achieving a strong national standard for renewable electricity.

What is the difference between biomass and fossil fuels?

In simple terms – we are talking time-scale

Biomass takes carbon out of the atmosphere while it is growing, and returns it as it is burned. Biomass energy crops are managed on a sustainable basis and maintain a closed carbon cycle with no net increase in atmospheric CO2 levels

In the case of Energy Crops, Biomass is harvested as part of a constantly replenished crop. This is either during woodland management or as part of a continuous programme of replanting with the new growth taking up CO2 from the atmosphere at the same time as it is released by combustion of the previous harvest.

For your Free No Obligation Quote for a Biomass Boiler fueled by either Logs, Wood Pellets or Wood Chips Click Here or Phone 01225 580401

Trade Inquiries should visit: Renewable-Living.com

Portable Biomass Electricity – Biolite CampStove

This amazing camping stove will not only cook your food, but produce portable biomass electricity too, by converting the heat from the fire, into energy.

The stove is very small, and will pack into the drinks compartment of any reasonable sized backpack, which means that you can carry a stove with you while you hike.

The most impressive part about this stove though, has to be the USB charging device. They’ve managed to convert the heat produced from the fire, into usable electricity, to charge a phone, or other USB devices.

Unlike portable solar powered devices, this stove will produce portable biomass electricity at any time, because whether it works or not is not dependant on the weather. 

The stoves cook your meals with nothing but the twigs you collect on your journey, eliminating the need for heavy, expensive, polluting petroleum gas. Quick to light, fast to boil and easy to use.

By using renewable resources for fuel instead of petroleum, you’re reducing your carbon footprint. You’ll also keep fuel canisters out of the landfill.

The CampStove isn’t just for camping; it’s great to have on hand when the power goes out in a storm or other natural disasters. You’ll be able to cook and keep electronics charged while power lines are down.

The company is using the same technology inside the CampStove to bring clean, safe energy access to families across the developing world.

Check out the video here.


Like a campfire, you can sit around the CampStove and watch the flames dance as you roast marshmallows and tell stories with friends.

Note: You cannot buy the Biolite Campstove from Wood Pellet Solutions but it is such a cool idea, we thought we would share.

However if this sort of technology interests you, and you would like to know more about how to reduce your carbon footprint in your home using Biomass Wood Pellet Boilers from Wood Pellet Solutions, then we would encourage you to fill in our contact us form, and we will be happy to help you out.

Germany’s Renewable Energy accounts of 25% of total, and 5.7% is Biomass

Germany is one of the world leaders when it comes to renewable energy, and roughly half of the solar panels in the world are in Germany. That’s quite a lot. With such a strong focus on renewable energy, Germany’s Renewable Energy supply are getting rid of nuclear, phasing out coal, and trying to reach 80% renewable energy by 2050. They’re even building a large off-shore wind farm to generate even more energy.

It’s safe to say, that Germany is leading the way for the rest of us. They understand that there’s a time limit on how long we can rely on the likes of coal, gas and nuclear, and are finding a way to move forward.

Germany’s renewable energy output has reached an all-time high, of 25%. One of these ways is by using biomass energy to effectively burn waste products, and then turning that energy into heat and electricity and powering the national grid.

What’s fascinating about this though is percentage of energy which comes from biomass. Currently, it’s 5.7% of Germany’s energy supply, which is just over one fifth of their renewable energy, which might not sound like much, but allow me to put that into context.

We’ve already established that Germany hosts roughly half of the world’s solar panels, but by comparison, they are providing only 5.3% of the national energy. So as it stands, Germany are seeing more power from biomass, than they are solar, which gets you thinking, what makes biomass so special?

If you would like to learn more about Biomass energy, then click here. And if you’d be interested in finding out how you can bring biomass into your home with Wood Pellet Solutions, come and fill in a contact form here, and we’ll happily get back to you.

Training and Development

In between our daily workloads we have been busy developing our know how.

On Friday 4 of us will be training with Solar Focus in Oxfordshire as part of our installer partner relationship.

Next week Mark will be training with EDS to develop his knowledge of solar thermal systems.

Early in Feb Adrian will be trained to install solar pv systems.

Last week I was in Bulgaria with Sunsystem for the second time, and this time being trained on their biomass products.

This has meant that Renewable Living will be developing what it does. We do work closely with Green Phoenix and will now be installing solar thermal and solar pv products for them in this area.

Ecobuild was booked a little while ago and we are helping Sunsystem develop the UK market for their appliances. Solar thermal, Solar PV, accumulator tanks, wood pellet boilers and wood boilers. There will be a separate website that showcases what products will be available in the UK. Again working with Green Phoenix (see new products on their site) to provide the expertise around solar, we are enjoying a very busy period at the moment.

Recent Wood Pellet Boiler News!

Here’s some of the latest Wood Pellet Boiler News.

The Bath and West Showground last weekend

We spent last weekend on the Oxford Renewables stand at the Bath and West Showground. It was good to catch up with James and Francesco (MCZ) and to give the opportunity to show interested parties how pellet and wood gasification heating can work really well.

Recent News From MCZ

Porte Rouge: MCZ’s Toba Eco-Stove Heats Things Up with an Award …

Post tags: eco design, eco stove, Green Appliances, green design, green products, green stove, italian appliances, italian design, mcz, mcz design, mcz eco stove, mcz toba eco-stove, pellet stove, recyclable stove, sustainable design, …
http://portrouge.blogspot.com/ — Wed, 16 Nov 2011 18:01:00 -0800
The winner of the 2009 Best of the Best Red Dot Design Award, this modern wood grill has a minimalist look, and its beauty lies in simplicity. The long fire pit grill pan fire looks a simple stainless steel finish is oxidized, and down to earth in a basalt … Random Posts. Eco Friendly Pellet Stoves – Cube Stove Series by MCZ. Eco Friendly Pellet Stoves – Cube Stove Series by MCZ. When it comes to cool design goes, sometimes it’s good to think inside the box (or cube). …
http://www.interioors.com/ — Fri, 11 Nov 2011 05:21:22 -0800
Toba is an award-winning pellet stove designed in Italy by MCZ Group SpA in collaboration with EMO. The simple, modern … The front of the stove can be customized with red, white, black, and a couple other panels. See the original article …
http://greenhomesla.net/ — Wed, 19 Oct 2011 04:33:15 -0700

Recent News from Oxford Renewables

Jim Dowling of Oxford Renewables, praised the Ngage staff who helped his company to develop a successful proposal through the LEADER programme. These funds enabled them to develop office space and purchase a mobile woodchip blower and a …
http://www.freepr.co.uk/ — Tue, 15 Nov 2011 08:35:53 -0800
… of Energy Studies Tagged with coal, electricity, Energy, energy books, energy business, energy investment, energy journalist, energy lawyer, Energy Markets, energy risk management, energy trading, Gas, Oil, Oxford, renewables …
http://oxfordprospect.wordpress.com/ — Tue, 25 Oct 2011 06:28:31 -0700
… MCA Consulting Engineers · MCS – Microgeneration Certification Scheme · NFU Online · Ofgem RHI pages · Oxford Renewables · Plantlife – Ranscombe Farm Reserve · Renewable Energy Association – guide to heat generating technologies …
http://kentdownswoodfuel.blogspot.com/ — Wed, 07 Sep 2011 09:59:00 -0700
Dear Everyone – The good people at oxford renewables have finished their work and we now have biomass heating ! www.oxfordrenewables.co.uk. The biomass boiler has been lit, and we are in the process of warming up a 2000L tank of hot …
http://crookedendfarm.wordpress.com/ — Tue, 17 May 2011 12:08:11 -0700
Things will back to normal this week, with our markets at Hereford on Wednesday, Hay-on-Wye on Thursday, Leominster on Friday and Skenfrith on Saturday week. Oxford Renewables are doing a great job installing our new biomass boiler …
http://crookedendfarm.wordpress.com/ — Fri, 06 May 2011 12:55:04 -0700
… Scales of Justice · Zoe’s face lights up with paper lantern · Bikers revving up for protest convoy. Sid Phelps, Michael White of Oxford Renewables, Cllr David Williams, Michael Kunov and Jayne Yamamoto get ready for the Green Fair …
http://www.thisisoxfordshire.co.uk/news/ — Fri, 10 Dec 2010 07:40:00 -0800
Bertha and Cyril don’t quite talk to each other properly yet (she ignores his commands) and a marriage guidance counsellor from Oxford Renewables, who installed them, is coming tomorrow. But it all works, and all we need to do now is …
http://hatmandu.livejournal.com/ — Wed, 03 Nov 2010 04:27:16 -0700
Please see the email below from fellow CAG Low Carbon West Oxford. It’s an innovative way of local communities reducing their carbon emissions and funding future projects. Feel free to pass around those you know. …
http://carboncutters.blogspot.com/ — Thu, 17 Sep 2009 15:54:54 -0700