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The Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (Domestic RHI) is a government financial incentive to promote the use of renewable heat. Switching to heating systems that use naturally replenished energy can help the UK reduce its carbon emissions.
People who join the scheme and stick to its rules, receive quarterly payments for seven years for the amount of clean, green renewable heat their system produces.
Can I apply for Domestic RHI?
Yes, if you the owner of the renewable heating technology and own or occupy (or both) the property that it provides heat to.
How much can I earn?
The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) payment for the year 1 April 2015 to 30 June 2015 is from £1,730 to £2,610.
Discover how much money you could get with the Renewable Heat Incentive when you install renewable heat technology (for example a biomass boiler or ground source heat pump) in your home using the Renewable Heat Incentive calculator.
|Existing system||Fuel bill savings (£/year)||Carbon dioxide savings (kgCO2/year)|
|Electricity (old electric storage heaters)||£490 to £880||9,700 to 15,700 kg|
|Oil older (non-condensing)||£130 to £140||5,600 to 8,200 kg|
|LPG older (non-condensing)||£970 to £1,390||5,300 to 7,800 kg|
|Coal||£300 to £460||10,100 to 15,400 kg|
|Gas older (non-condensing)||£10 to £70||4,600 to 6,800 kg|
As the world's population continues to skyrocket and more and more people come to appreciate the limitations of non-renewable resources, biomass is becoming a popular alternative fuel source. What is this magic material? How does it provide power and heat without harming the environment? Can it be used by ordinary homeowners? The answers are provided below.
Where Biomass Comes From
In its most basic and generously-defined form, biomass is basically any flammable plant matter that can be burned to release energy in the form of heat. Biomass can be anything from logs thrown on a fire to highly-refined ethanol poured into a car's fuel tank. Thanks to its amazing versatility, biomass is suitable for a wide range of applications in heating and generating power.
Biomass is an especially attractive fuel source because huge amounts of it are generated inadvertently through industrial and agricultural production. Harnessing this waste material and extracting more energy from it improves all-around efficiency and reduces the ecological impact mankind has on the environment.
The Many Advantages Of Biomass
Although it may not seem obvious at first glance, burning biomass is actually a nearly carbon-neutral source of energy. This is because burning biomass is merely releasing the carbon dioxide captured by the plants and trees that formed the biomass when they were alive. In practice, of course, the necessities of the production cycle that turn living plants into ready-to-burn fuel add more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The same holds true for most other fuel sources, though.
As noted above, raw biomass is often created as a byproduct or waste product of other production processes. Even when biomass is created from plants and trees grown for this express purpose, it is an inherently renewable energy source. Fast-growing species enable biomass to be generated rapidly without incurring undue environmental damage.
In terms of raw economics, biomass usually presents a fairly attractive alternative to conventional fuels. While initial set-up costs and fuel prices are sometimes higher than their non-renewable equivalents, there are often incentive and rebate programs available to those who make use of biomass. This brings the overall cost of using biomass down and makes it fairly competitive with less environmentally-friendly options.
How Biomass Is Used In The Home
For residential users, biomass is best employed as a source of heat in the colder months. While a simple wood-burning stove certainly counts as a biomass furnace, purpose-built biomass boilers can provide far more efficient heating. The most advanced models are entirely automatic and regulate their own operations carefully to get the maximum benefit out of their fuel. Properly-designed biomass heaters are extremely safe and have very modest maintenance requirements. One important limitation is that they are almost always bulkier than oil-fired models, and they have significant additional space needs for fuel storage.
Although biomass isn't a "magic bullet" solution for everyone's heating needs, it can be an outstandingly effective way to heat a home under the right conditions. This makes biomass worth considering for most homeowners, and quite a few of them may find it a perfect fit for their needs and resources. A good biomass system combines the great simplicity of burning plant matter e.g. wood pellets for warmth will all of the efficiency and reliability of modern technology.
If you're concerned about the overall environmental impact your home has, you may already have started investigating alternative ways to develop the power and heat required to keep you and your family comfortable. If your home is suited for it, you could generate plenty of affordable, environmentally-friendly heat by using a biomass boiler.
What Biomass Boilers Do
Unpacking the name "biomass boiler" (also known as log boilers or woodchip boilers) tells you a lot about what this device does. As the "boiler" half of the title suggests, this is a piece of equipment designed to heat water. That means that biomass boilers are suited for generating hot water and powering whole-home heating systems where water is the heat-transfer element (i.e. those with radiators and/or radiant floors). Biomass is the fuel these boilers run on, which is typically industrial and agricultural waste.
Biomass is environmentally friendly based on its reuse of material that would otherwise go to waste and its nearly carbon-neutral output. While burning biomass does generate carbon dioxide, it is merely returning the same gas to the atmosphere that was captured when the plants making up the biomass were alive. Biomass boilers don't generate nearly as many airborne pollutants as gas boilers, (or electrical boilers powered by coal power plants) but they're still not entirely clean.
Advantages Of A Modern Boiler
While a basic wooden stove counts as a biomass heating system, modern boilers are considerably more refined and efficient. A good boiler can be very intelligent and fully automatic, feeding itself fuel as needed and adjusting its burn rate to maximize efficiency. If you install a modern unit that uses biomass to produce heat you'll find it to be practically maintenance-free; your only responsibilities are keeping the fuel store topped up and removing ashes from time to time. (These can be recycled into your compost pile to create rich, productive soil.)
While installing a biomass heating system can be an expensive proposition -- especially if your home isn't already set up for water or steam heating -- it's often possible to shield yourself from some of the high upfront costs by taking advantage of incentive programs. Many governments offer rebates on biomass equipment or tax breaks for homes that use biomass for heating. Once a biomass system is up and running, it's quite economical. Biomass heating costs less than using locally-stored gas or heating oil or relying entirely on electricity. It's not quite as affordable as using a municipal gas connection, though.
Requirements For Using A Biomass Heating System
If biomass heating is starting to sound tempting to you, there are a few important requirements to look for before you start shopping for a boiler! First, you have to bear in mind that biomass is not as energy-dense as fossil fuels like oil, natural gas, or coal. That translates into greater space requirements both in terms of fuel storage and for the boiler itself. Many manufacturers recommend using a fuel store large enough to hold a full year's supply of biomass, and this can be bulky. Biomass fuel also needs to kept very dry (ideally less than 8% moisture) for maximum efficiency.
While modern heating equipment is designed to maximize your safety, you need to keep in mind that there are inescapable risks involved with any heating system. Protecting yourself from the danger of carbon monoxide poisoning is especially important when you convert your home to biofuel, and you'll need to install a full set of reliable detectors.
If you're looking for an affordable low-impact solution to your home heating problems, a biomass boiler just might be the answer! You'll have to assess your situation carefully and learn quite a bit about these boilers before making a final decision, but it's definitely an option that's worth considering.
Are you fed up with expensive electric heating? Is your home located in an area where municipal gas service is unavailable? There's an affordable, environmentally-friendly heating alternative that can solve your heating dilemma! It's called a biomass boiler, and it's may be a surprisingly simple solution to your heating problems.
Unlocking The Power Of Biomass
Biomass is any fuel that can be burned to release energy which comes from organic sources. From a practical standpoint, the bulk of biomass is usually made up of wood, but energy-rich cereal crops (e.g. corn, rape, and other grains) can also be used to produce biomass. Since the plants that make up biomass are easy to replace, it counts as a renewable resource.
One major advantage of biomass over petroleum-based fuels is that it's often created unintentionally by other agricultural and industrial production. A large volume of the biomass burned to create heat and power comes from waste products -- everything from compressed sawdust and wood shavings to the stalks and husks left over after cereal grains have been extracted. Putting this material to use reduces our need for other sources of power.
Integrating With Your Heating System
If you intend to install a biomass boiler in your home, you'll find that it can easily meet all of your heating needs. Don't be fooled by the name; while a boiler is particularly well-suited for use with a radiant floor or steam radiator heating system, the use of water as a heating and cooling fluid is definitely not required! Biomass furnaces can easily be adapted for use with common forced-air heating systems.
Biomass systems do an excellent job of heating up water for domestic use. If your home requires heating year-round, a biomass furnace can be relied on to handle all of your hot water needs. Most homeowners find it more efficient to switch off their biomass furnaces in the summertime. This requires using an alternate water-heating arrangement.
Installation, Maintenance, And Upkeep
Before you make the decision to install a biomass furnace, you need to make sure your home can work with one. Biomass equipment is on the whole bulkier than the non-renewable equivalent. You also need plenty of space available to store your fuel; the less frequently you have to replenish your supply the more affordable it will be.
When they're operating in full swing biomass heating systems are extremely reliable and they have minimal maintenance requirements. They do need to be kept clean to ensure efficient operation; this means emptying them of ashes on a regular basis. (The leftover ashes can be added to a household compost heap if you have one.) Properly-designed biomass boilers will vent any potentially-harmful gases outside the home, but you should make sure you have functional carbon monoxide detectors for added safety.
Thanks to the great efficiency and the affordability of their fuel, boilers that burn biomass can be very economical. They're far cheaper than electric heating, and even a little less expensive than other systems that burn fuel on site (e.g. natural gas or fuel oil). If you need a cheap, responsible, effective source of heat in your home, biomass boilers are well worth a look.
We pride ourselves on the quality of our installers who deliver the highest quality, most cost effective and visually attractive biomass boiler installers in Dumbartonshire, with the minimal impact to their surroundings and their environment.
The Biomass Boilers Company was established to save you time and money. We have researched and fully vetted the installers to ensure they deliver the highest of standards.
Our installers have vast experience and hold a diverse range of certifications and accreditation. Whether you are looking for domestic biomass boilers or commerical biomass boilers we will find the right professionals for you.