The greenest budget ever

Listening to the “emergency” budget today was fairly tedious. We were waiting for mention of some forward thinking on carbon reduction, energy, renewables, perhaps the greenest budget ever. We heard nothing. The Renewable Heat Incentive funding is set to close to new applications in April of 2016, and we, like most people in the industry, would like to know the governments thinking moving forward.

Amongst the welfare cuts, increase in the minimum wage, freezing fuel duty at the pump, the Chancellor has produced a package of measures worth £1.3bn to support the North Sea Oil based companies and help to expand production. He has removed the Climate Change Levy exemption on renewable energy produced electricity and confirmed the ending of subsidies for on shore wind. He channeling all vehicle excise duty into the building of new roads, perhaps this will help reduce miles travelled.

This does seem to be at odds with the Climate Change Comittee report that was published at the end of June 2015. This clearly states that whilst the delivery of bioenergy seems to be delivering to target, with the halt in funding the industry needs to “urgently” know what comes next. The Renewable Heat Incentive has not delivered the amount of heat pump installations as expected. The committee recommended in their 2014 report that the awareness of the RHI needs to be improved (at 21%) and this needs to be complimented with additional training as support for installers.

On the face of things there has been an unprecidented 8% fall in carbon emissions in the last year. They can largely be counted for by the following:

  • A very mild winter (and perhaps more mild winters on the way)
  • Closure of coal power production
  • A change in accounting measures
  • A reduction in the public sector estate, with many local councils selling off their building stock (and therefore not heating them.
  • Some good progress in renewable electricity generation

The main issue from the report is that for the targets to be met in the future you can only close so many power stations. There is significant CO2 being produced from heating. Low carbon heat makes up between 1.6 and 2.1% of the heating total in 2014 with an ambition to get to 12% by 2020. Buildings make up 16% of all CO2 emissions. If you add in the falling away of the retrofit of insulation or the lack of input into the development of standards for new homes or new social homes, then this area becomes a budget that may not be reached.

The Telegraph suggested that the Chancellor would review the Levy Control Framework this morning, as this was spiralling out of control. There was no mention of this in his speech. This money, raised through taxes on energy bills to pay for renewable energy (all electricity) strategies, e.g. FiTs

Looking forward we do know that there are 10 months of support for new renewable heating projects. Financially it makes better sense to install a biomass boiler if your needs are greater e.g. 40kW domestically or more than 100kW non domestically. If you would like advice on what to install, what it costs, what incentive you may achieve then get in touch with us through the “contact us” form or phone 01225 580 401

Biomass degressions June 2015

The biomass degressions for both the non domestic and domestic Renewable Heat Incentive were announced at the start of June to come into force on the 1 July.

What has happened in June?

The first week of June was possibly our busiest ever week for selling wood pellet boilers to installers in Wales, Scotland and the North of England. This was mainly for the installer to be able to get the boiler in time to install it before the rate changes on 1 July.

Roger and Steve went out to Bulgaria early in June for annual training and an update on the NES product range. There will be some new log gasification boilers being added to the Pyroburn range as MCS accredited boilers. These will be affordable and without a Lambda sensor. 18, 25, 30 and 40kW.

There are many other upgrades, and we will release details when they become live.

Once back in the UK we attended the Eco Technology Show in Brighton. This was located at the Amex Stadium, home of Brighton and Hove Albion.

We exibited a 40kW wood pellet boiler (Pelleburn) with a 1500l thermal store. Perhaps our 2 best selling items. Fantasic weather over the week, finishing with a thunder storm on the way home.

At the show there were many interesting talks, and the panel discussion around meeting the 2020 targets for emissions reduction was the best attended. Caroline Lucas chaired the panel. One part of the discussion was that the RHI funding is to finish in 2017, and the total installations to date do not help the UK reach the targets for renewable heating without more funding. There is a new energy minister, Amber Rudd, who is yet to comment on the RHI, we will have to wait and see.

We were also near to the Center of Alternative Energy Stand. They have produced a document “Zero Carbon Britain, rethinking the future”, which I am busy reading at the moment. They do emphasise the need to improve the thermal quality of buildings and also point out that there are limits to “growing” biomass as there are competing demands for land. (Personally I do think that there can be better woodland management and co-ordination on a local scale to produce chip, pellet and log products. I also think that there will be substitute materials for biomass that can also be fuels. e.g. waste from anearobic digestion, recycled coffee granuals, straw, etc, all of which there is work towards meeting a standard at the moment). However the point is clear – if we want to reduce CO2 and CO emissions for heat then we are about 20% of the way there at the moment and 5 years to go.

After Brighton I went up to Scotland – firstly surveying a possible 160kW installation in Dumfries and Galloway with DMS Energy, after which of to Oban and Ferguson Energy, where I looked at a number of installations that had been running for some time, including the Bunkhouse on the Isle of Mull.

What struck me was, despite the rain, the area was beautiful and ideal for biomass. For homes the Pyroburn (log boiler), works very well as fuel can be plentiful.

What is the best way to get from Oban to Aboyne (near Aberdeen)? Up, underneath or through the Cairngorms? I went under and found the road shut (big detour), then on my return I went through and found the road shut (another detour), so perhaps the best route is above! I did, however, find Sugplumb Ltd very accomodating. They are also fitting a lot of renewables at the moment. I did notice the trees during my scenic drive!

After a brief pitstop in Blackford I went down to Oiline Ltd near to Colne, Skipton and Keithley. They have been installing mainly pellet boilers into an area that seems to be more rural than the Cairngorms. Certainly the roads are no better!

There do seem to be fewer trees in this part of North Yorkshire, however I do know that Oil Line are completing a Pyroburn log gasification boiler at the time of writing.

What remains of June for many is getting the RHI applications in before the deadline. We will be making further visits out to see boilers in early July.

Wood Pellet boilers – how much will I be paid?

If you have a wood pellet boiler then one of the key considerations is understanding whether it will leave you better off.

1 – if you have a recent EPC or Green Deal Assessment there will be two figures on the last page (p 4 of 4) that show you how much space heating, and how much hot water you require in kWhrs. For instance this could be 33,000 hrs and 2500 hours.

2 – If you require to update loft insulation or cavity wall insulation there will also be an estimate on how much this will save you in heating hours.




You now have the information to use the governments Domestic RHI calculator. The advantage of this is that they do keep all the tariffs up to date, so you will know what you will get, providing you install before a certain date.

Once you have figure for what you will get there are key considerations that you can estimate yourself:

What size boiler do I need?

The first thing to do is to roughly calculate what size boiler you need. For instance if your home requires 32000 kWhrs a year of heat then you need to estimate how many hours the boiler will be used for over 1 year.

Estimate 1 – The RHI commercial figure is 1314 hours a year

Estimate 2 – The Energy Savings Trust figure is 1100 hours per year

In reality the figure can vary according to house type – if you have a lot of heat loss e.g. stone walls, then you may need more boiler hours because you are losing lots of heat. If you have a very well insulated home then the home will conserve heat. This is important when it is very cold and determines whether your boiler can keep up with your home’s need.

So – 32000 hours = 24kW boiler using the first estimate or 29kW using the second

If you have secondary heating e.g. a log stove then you may feel that you could use a smaller boiler. If you have poor insulation and no extra heating then you may want a larger one.

If we are invited to do a survey then we have to calculate the size of the boiler, and we do not rely on the EPC figure. However this estimate gives you a starting point.

Once you have got a boiler size it is possible to get a ball park figure for a boiler room installation e.g. no changes to the central heating system, just the replacement cost of the boiler subject to survey.

If you would like us to give you a figure, then please contact us. We do find that our prices are quite reasonable.

£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.

Degression for the RHI Tariff for domestic biomass

Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive applications are monitored closely. When targets are exceeded this triggers a degression or reduction in the tariff.

Applications for domestic biomass installations for the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive have exceeded targets and from the 1 April 2015 there will be a 20% degression from 10.98 to 8.93p.

This degression will affect all new installations where the installation has not been completed and claimed for.

If you are in any doubt about your application you should have:

1 – A Green Deal Assessment

2 – An MCS certificate that covers the installation of an MCS accredited boiler by an MCS accredited company

For legacy applications before 9 April 2014 the tariff is still at 12.2p for biomass installations. You must, however, apply before 8 April. For instance you may have been waiting to take action on your insulation.

Rates for other technologies such as heat pumps and solar thermal have remained unaffected – and even risen slightly as they have been adjusted for inflation.

These are now:

Applications submitted Biomass boilers and stoves Air source heat pumps Ground source heat pumps Solar thermal
New applications – current and future tariffs
01/01/15 – 31/03/15 10.98p 7.30p 18.80p 19.20p
01/04/15 – 30/06/15* 8.93p 7.42p 19.10p 19.51p

Biomass boiler efficiency

Biomass boiler efficiency in general has come under some criticism in a recent Guardian article .

Key points from the Guardian article are that a DECC study of installed biomass systems found that the average efficiency of the boilers was 66.5%, that the surveyed systems can only reach 76% efficiency, and that this is lower than the needed 85% efficiency to contribute to carbon targets. Yet the original research also states  “In other words, the estimated central performance standards of 81.5% to 72% (and 76.75% on average) would only be slightly exceeded if the boiler were gas, oil or coal fired.”

Whilst the article was clearly pushing heat pumps, a rival renewable technology, there seems to be confusion in the text.

To qualify for the Renewable Heat Incentive biomass boilers have to conform to a European Standard EN303-5. In addition to this the boilers have to be tested to emit limited emissions.

The 85% efficiency relates to the EN303-5 standard and the class of boiler that can be used for an RHI Scheme. This is calculated in lab conditions from the burning of a specific fuel. This is not the overall efficiency of the heating system.

Over the last 2 years there are a number of variables that may have influenced the study.

Issue 1 – Heat Meters

Heat meters are used to measure effective heat that is used by the RHI biomass system. What is recorded on the heat meter is what is paid to the owner of the system. In the majority of cases the heat meters are placed on the entrance to the heated spaces. Thus they only measure what is being used, and not what is being wasted. In addition there have been some issues with the installation and accuracy of the meters, where the accuracy can vary by up to 30%. There are currently free courses to help remedy this.

Issue 2 – Fuel

When the RHI first came into being the boilers could be tested on a very efficient fuel, but in reality the boilers were using a similar fuel that was much less efficient.

For instance you can buy wood briquettes that can have a low moisture content e.g. 8%. These will burn very efficiently, in excess of 90% in the right conditions. However if you use logs that are not properly seasoned then the moisture content will be much higher e.g. 30%, and the efficiency of the burning process may be as low as 65%.

This issue has been addressed in part by a tightening of the specifications. However there are boilers installed that are burning poor quality fuel as it is cheaper than specified fuel. This is more prevalent with landowners or farmers. Today all newly installed boilers should only be burning specified fuel and the boilers should be able to burn with an efficiency of above 85%. Owners of the installation have to keep records of the fuel they have purchased.

Wood Pellets all have to be ENplus. Regular samples of pellets are taken and they are measured for moisture, dust (fines), hardness, and burn quality. There have been some issues with dust in particular. The pellets can degrade in transit and when loaded into a hopper. There are examples where the dust content can rise above 10 or 15%. Clearly this makes the efficiency of fuel to heat produced less efficient. Again these issues are often dealt with by an experienced installer, or many of the good distributors will offer replacement pellets if they have been wrongly handled. There are very few issues with bagged ENplus pellets.

The majority of the boilers in the study seemed to be using woodchip at 199kW. In the case studies provided the fuel used was often wood chips with a moisture value of 30 or 31 percent. Wood Chips are significantly cheaper than wood pellets, but burn less efficiencty, and therefore will have a poorer efficiency. For instance if the burn efficiency of 31% moist pellets is 80% then the heat transfer to water will be below 80%. This will largely explain the number of responses that seemed to be 70% + and fairly well installed.

Issue 3 – sizing of boilers

With Solar PV everyone who purchased wanted as much as possible. This produces more electricity, which is a good thing! For biomass the owner of a system gets paid the highest tariff up to 199kW. So if you are buying a biomass system for investment purposes then it seems that choosing 199kW will earn you more money.

The difficulty with this is that this causes 2 problems. a) The boiler is not run at its most efficient output. This is true, for instance, for many combination condensing boilers that have been sized for hot water production and not heating need. The boiler never reaches its optimum output and is less efficient as a consequence. b) The heat is not really needed. Here the owner is more interested in the tariff rather than the efficient distribution of the heat. The heat is then lost.

Issue 4 – UK weather and system management

UK weather presents a number of issues. Firstly we do have mild winters and cold winters. This can relate to the sizing issue. When you size a boiler you examine possible temperatures that you want the boiler to be able to cope with. For many this may be -3 degrees. In reality we may experience the majority of the winter with temperatures of between 6-12 degrees.

The other issue with UK weather is that it is intermittent. We generally do not need the heating on all day every day. Therefore you have to consider carefully when the heating needs to be turned on. If the following month is then warm you will wast the heat that is already in your system. For instance if you have buffer tanks and have spent time heating them up, only not to use the heat, then this heat could be lost and not used.

Issue 6 – General heating system efficiency

What is not clear from the Guardian article is how the efficiency is measured. The original article is far clearer and looks at the whole system efficiency rather than implying that the efficiency is all down to the boiler.

Before the heat gets to the heat meter there may be pipework (lagged), district heating pipe work, buffer tanks, and the transfer of the heat from the burn chamber within the boiler to hot water.

Examining the transfer from heat to water, there is a UK database that is slowly expanding that shows that heat to water efficiency (typically 80-86%) from biomass boilers rather than the burnt efficiency of the burning process that is often above 90%.

Due to the nature of the study being more about 199kW boilers for predominantly large retail systems with possibly wood chip boilers, it does not cover smaller systems that do not have district heating, or many pellet boilers.

If you are in doubt over what your system efficiency is or even means, then please get in touch with us.

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.

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.

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 .

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:

What is the Renewable Heating Incentive (RHI)?

What Exactly is the Renewable Heating Incentive?

Exciting News!

Offgem recently published an article on their webite ( that all over England, Scotland, and Wales we hit a major milestone on 29/09/14: 10,000 accreditations for the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) in less than six months of the scheme being opened. The facts speak for themselves really, more and more people turn to wanting to use renewable energy. Let me start by explaining about what the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is and how you could benefit from it.

Biomass Renewable Energy Boilers

We have discussed the Renewable Heating Incentive before but the key recent change is that since April 2014 it is possible for domestic users to get paid for using Biomass Renewable Energy. (Previously there was just grants available to part fund the installation of biomass boilers)

The RHI is the worlds’ first long-term government financial support programme for renewable heat. It was first introduced in 2011 to promote the use of renewable heat by paying installation grants to participants of the scheme. Switching to heating systems that use naturally replenished energy can not only help the UK reduce its carbon emissions but also saves money on our heating bills. The Renewable Heat Incentive applies both to heat (from low carbon sources) and to biomethane fed into the gas grid.  In addition, you get continuous payments for the next seven years for using renewable energy. With the rising cost in fuel bills each year it sounds like a no-brainer to me!

The Renewable Heat Incentive has two schemes – Domestic and Non-Domestic and is open to anyone who can meet the joining requirements. It’s for households both off and on the gas grid. People off mains gas have the most potential to save on fuel bills and reduce carbon emissions.

  1. Domestic RHI – launched 9 April 2014 and open to homeowners, private landlords, social landlords and self-builders. The key to joining is that the renewable heating system heats only a single property that can get a domestic Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). The EPC is the proof that your property is assessed as a domestic ‘dwelling’. An EPC gives information about a property’s energy use, plus recommendations on how to reduce energy and save money.
  2. Non-domestic RHI – launched in November 2011 to provide payments to industry, businesses and public sector organizations. Generally, if the renewable heating system is in commercial, public or industrial premises, then you would apply to the Non Domestic RHI. This can include small and large businesses, hospitals, schools, and organisations with district heating schemes where one heating system serves multiple homes.

Now to the good bit; save money and get paid for using renewable energy! People who join the domestic RHI scheme receive ongoing payments for seven years for the amount of clean, green renewable heat their system produces. The ongoing payments are calculated multiplying a tariff with the heat demand/use in your home. The current tariff rates in pence per kilo watt hour (p/kWh) are as follows (a);

* Biomass – 12.2 p/kWh
* Air Source Heat Pump -7.3 p/kWh
* Ground Source 19.2 p/kWh

Special Note:
The domestic rates are reviewed every quarter. It is already suggested that the domestic RHI for biomass will start to drop by as much as 10 percent by January 2015. (This is similar to what happened with the Feed In Tariff (FIT) for solar pv panels) So clearly acting sooner rather than later to claim the RHI would be advantageous.

It’s easier than most people think to get started with renewable energy in your home or business. At Wood Pellet Solutions we can assist you with choosing the right energy options allowing you to maximise your financial return from the RHI. Contact Us for further information.

Contact Us Today for further information or quotation or Phone 01225 580401

(a) Example of domestic tariff rates taken from the Ofgem Website,