Biomass boilers burn wood fuel in the form of pellets, chips or logs to heat up the water in a connected buffer tank.
Hot water from the buffer tank can then be fed, via highly insulated pipes (heat main) to as many different locations as required.
The heat is then transferred via heat exchangers connected into new or existing hot water and heating systems.
Biomass heating can use fuel in the form of logs, pellet or wood chip, all of which are considered carbon neutral and an alternative to fossil fuels.
Wood pellet biomass boilers are an environmentally friendly, safe and convenient way of heating the home, using wood pellets as fuel. However, they differ from traditional solid fuel boilers. Apart from the green aspect, the units are fully automatic and behave more like an oil or gas boiler, using advanced controls which cleverly regulate the amount of fuel being delivered to the burner to match the heat demand on the boiler. The fuel is fed to the burner via an auger connected to the adjacent pellet store/hopper. This can, in turn, be automatically supplied from a bulk pellet/ wood chip store which can vary in size.
Biomass heating is supported by the governments Renewable Heat Incentive scheme which is a subsidy designed to support homeowners and commercial properties wishing to find low carbon heating alternatives. The concept has some similarities with the more widely known Feed in Tariff however there are some key differences as well
Renewable Heat Incentive falls into two schemes:
Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive, which provides support for 7 years for eligible homeowners for more information no the domestic RHI scheme follow this link https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/ofgem-publications/86165/drhifactsheetanintrototheschemev20feb2015web.pdf
Non Domestic Renewable Heat incentive, which is a 20 year scheme for eligible commercial or complex systems. More detail can be found on the scheme here https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/environmental-programmes/non-domestic-renewable-heat-incentive-rhi
How are you paid by the RHI scheme?
For the Domestic RHI, you need an EPC with a Green Deal Assessment and you are paid based on an Estimated or deemed heat use on a quarterly basis
The Non Domestic RHI is based on metered qualifying heat and has strict rules around metering to ensure the scheme only pays for eligible heat. Vale Energy can assist with RHI applications as part of the process.
The RHI is administered by OFGEM, with payments being made on a quarterly basis for all eligible heat produced from systems. The tariffs work by paying a higher Tier 1 rate for the first 1314 hours of use annually, with a lower Tier 2 rate for additional hours. This ensures that the system is not abused. The RHI tariffs are linked to the RPI and guaranteed for 20 years.
A key point to note with the RHI is that if you have to replace the boiler within the 20 (7 for domestic) year tariff period, you will have to re-register the system with OFGEM. This means that the new boiler will only qualify for the RHI rate at that time and not that of when the original boiler was installed. It is therefore crucial to ensure that when you are selecting a Biomass boiler that it will at least last the duration of the tariff period.
Which Biomass solution is right for you?
Vale Energy offer four kinds of Biomass solution for our clients and each has benefits relative to a customer’s own needs – you can find more information on these choices on our fuel types page:
Biomass boilers do not suit every client’s property which is why it is important to undertake a detailed site survey and discuss how you wish to use heat on the site as well as how to design a system.
The key benefits biomass brings:-
Freedom from the fossil fuel trap which is linked to energy security
A Typical Biomass Journey with us...
1. Initial call
3. Feasibility and initial estimate
4. Detailed design
5. Planning permission
6. Place orders and plan installation
8. Commissioning and handover
9. RHI application processed
Non Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive Biomass (RHI)
The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is a Government funded payment over 20 years to encourage investment in specific renewable heat generating technologies. Payments vary according to the technology, heat generated and tariff rate. Tariff rates are linked to the Retail Price Index, thus representing a real return on investment.
The following summarises key elements of the existing scheme:
Tariffs can see a significant return on investment.
Payments based on actual heat usage, system size and tariff. See tariffs for individual technologies below.
The scheme is administered by Ofgem; for further information see click here or you can emailRHI.Enquiry@ofgem.gov.uk or telephone 0845 200 2122.
Non-domestic applications include commercial, public sector and not-for-profit organisations. This includes bed and breakfasts and multiple dwellings sharing the same heat source.
Biomass boilers, ground source heat pumps and solar thermal systems are all eligible, amongst others.
Retro fitted systems and new builds, properties on and off the gas grid are all eligible.
For installations up to 45kW only, MCS accredited installers and products are required. Installations must be heat metered with RHI compatible meters.
DECC review the tariffs and take up quarterly. When the budget is exceeded it may trigger a tariff digression. To view the Ofgem information on tariffs, and to view the tariff tables click here. To view DECC's factsheet on tariff reductions (degression) click here.
For your own interpretation and up to date information see http://www.gov.uk/
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