Biomass systems are ideal for both the generation of hot water and  heating systems.

Biomass fuels are not only becoming increasingly attractive but are also sustainable, renewable and carbon-neutral. Modern wood heating systems operate just as well as conventional oil or gas systems with efficiency in excess of 90%.

Biomass fuels are now in much more abundant supply in the UK, following years of experience in Europe, Scandanavia and North America.  Usually in form of wood pellets, they can be bulk delivered just like oil.

Domestic Biomass

Is my home suitable?

Well designed, expertly installed biomass heating systems can greatly reduce heating costs in your family home.

Design of Biomass boilers has moved on in recent years, and space efficiency has been greatly improved. This makes a biomass heating system suitable to a wider range of properties. Homes that are currently heated by oil are particularly suitable, as biomass can be very competitive with oil, and is much better for the environment. If your home is heated with mains gas it will unfortunately be difficult to justify switching to alternative forms of heating on the financial benefits alone. However, in the long term, even gas prices will begin to increase, and for some the environmental benefits will win out over cost.

An average biomass boiler is a little larger than a typical oil boiler, and you will need space to store the pellets that fuel your system. There are several companies providing pellets for biomass heating systems, and you will need to make sure your home has space for the delivery vehicle to get access. You will also need to make sure that your pellet store is dry, as damp pellets will prevent your boiler form running efficiently.

You will need a flue to be installed to vent the boiler, so we would need to check that the space is suitable to allow this. If your home is a listed building or in a conservation area, we would need to check with the local planning authority. If you have an existing chimney, this can be lined and used. All work would also need to comply with current building regs.

How does it work?

Biomass systems for homes can be as simple as a wood burning room heater, to a fully automatic computer controlled pellet boiler.

They can be treated much the same as a traditional oil or gas boiler and will happily provide all your central heating and hot water.

A biomass heating system will be installed in a small room or space that is suitable, and the pellets will be stored in a suitable wood store. Most biomass boilers will have a hopper system which will automatically feed the pellets into the boiler as and when needed. The boilers themselves have very sophisticated programming mechanisms so that they can be carefully set up to run at maximum efficiency for your home.

The settings can be complicated, but just as you would expect a gas engineer to make your boiler run efficiently, your biomass installer will make sure that the settings are running perfectly. Once these are set up correctly, the boiler should run well without further intervention.

Once your boiler is installed and running efficiently, it is a simple system to work with, as most of the settings are automatic – you won’t need to top up with wood or light it frequently, it will run in the background just as your typical oil or gas boiler used to.


  • Affordable heating fuel: although the price of wood fuel varies considerably, it is often cheaper than other heating options.
  • Financial support: wood fuel boiler systems could benefit from the Renewable Heat Incentive.
  • A low-carbon option: the carbon dioxide emitted when wood is burned is the same amount that was absorbed over the months and years that the plant was growing. The process is sustainable as long as new plants continue to grow in place of those used for fuel. There are some carbon emissions caused by the cultivation, manufacture and transportation of the fuel, but as long as the fuel is sourced locally, these are much lower than the emissions from fossil fuels.


Renewable Heat Incentive

The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is split into Domestic and Non-Domestic tariffs.

Domestic RHI

The scheme is now open for householders looking to replace their current heating system with a supported renewable heat technology and householders who have installed eligible renewable heat technology since 15 July 2009. The domestic RHI will pay owners the following:

Ground Source Heat Pumps 18.8p/kWh
Air Source Heat Pumps 7.3p/kWh
Solar Thermal >19.2p/KWh
Biomass Boilers 12.2p/kWh

The RHI criteria for eligibility are available via Ofgem. We are happy to talk through the best options for your individual situation and remain completely impartial. The Energy Saving Trust and YouGen also provide independent information easily accessible via their websites.

Read our Domestic RHI fact sheet here

What happens next?

When you are ready to go ahead with investing in a Biomass heating system, we will arrange for a survey of your home. One of our team will come and get all the details we need for your install to go smoothly.

We will check you have a suitable location to install the boiler, but we will also check that there is space to install the flue and store the pellets. We rarely find any problems, but in the unlikely event there is an issue we can advise on the best solution. If we feel that an alternative technology would provide better benefits for your home and budget, then we will advise you on potential alternatives. We are accredited for a variety of products, and will always aim to give impartial advice, so that our recommendations are based solely on your needs and requirements.

We’ll take all the measurements we need so that we can design your system, carefully planning how to add it in to any existing heating and pipework. We will also need to measure the rooms and other spaces in your home so that we can carefully calculate your potential heat losses. This is important so that we can make sure the system is sized accurately – this is important for you to get a really efficient system. It is also important if you care claiming the RHI for your system as it has to be carefully matched to your predicted usage. We will carefully explain all the details and talk through any special requirements you might have.


Once we have all the information we need, we can provide you with a quote for your install. This will give you our recommendations and options for the boiler system we think will give you the maximum benefits.

When you are ready to go ahead, we will arrange your install – booking in the scaffolding and finding a date that suits you for the installers to come to your home.

100% of customers asked were highly satisfied with how our surveyor answered their questions.


Your biomass boiler will need regular servicing, just as an oil or gas boiler would. The ideal service schedule will be recommended by the manufacturer, and will be dependent on usage, but would on average be once a year. Most boilers will have a degree of automatic maintenance, such as an automatic heat exchanger cleaning mechanism.

There are several visual maintenance checks that you will need to do at home, as they will indicate how well your system is running and let you know if there are any issues. For example, keeping an eye on levels of unburnt fuel within the ash deposit chamber or excessive levels of clinker within the combustion chamber. Your boiler will burn most efficiently with high quality, dry fuel, so being aware of how quickly your boiler is getting through fuel will also highlight if there are any issues. Poor quality fuel could potentially result in increase ash build up or cause damage to internal components.

It is usually cost effective to set up an annual maintenance agreement to ensure the most efficient running of your boiler.