Biomass Boilers Becoming Popular With Property Owners

5th Oct 2011

Seen as an eco-friendly method of providing heat, it seems more and more property owners are turning to biomass as a renewable heating source.

Domestic biomass boilers – also know as wood fulled heating systems – can be used as an alternative to conventional central heating systems.

Wood burning stoves are becoming increasing popular, with sales of small domestic wood burners having increased steadily over the last three years.

Fuelled not least by consumers turning to the renewable heating technology as electricity, gas and oil prices continue to escalate, interest in biomass as an alternative source of heating is only going to increase with the introduction of the Government’s Renewable Heat Incentive.

As more and more people become intrigued by the prospect of their high efficiency and general eco-friendliness, property developers are turning to wood fulled heating to build comfortable homes with a low carbon footprint.

In Oswestry, Shropshire, developer Julian Morrison’s four-bedroom restored and extended house, the Ginny Ring, benefits from a biomass gasification boiler which he uses to heat water for the property’s radiators. Costing around five times as much as a conventional boiler, an interest in the environment encouraged Mr Morrison to “put my money where my mouth is”. Aiming to build a home for his family with a low carbon footprint, he opted to install the renewable heating technology.

As featured on Grand Designs, restored 18th century Kemeys Folly, near Newport in Wales, utilises a biomass boiler to provide all of the property’s underfloor heating.

“We don’t have mains gas here and we wanted to do something eco-friendly, but it is not a small house so we have an almost commercial-sized boiler and use wood pellets, which are delivered and blown into a five-ton hopper, ” said owner Sarah Berry.

But one Norfolk resident has plans to take biomass to a whole new level. The owner of 1,000 acres of woodland and the chairman of Anglia Woodfuels, Edward Brun wants to install a biomass boiler that would be able to heat the small village of Fring. Having installed the technology in his own Fring home, Mr Brun says he has already benefited from savings of 45% on his fuel bills since the boiler was installed two years ago.

However, the initial capital outlay was considerable – in Mr Brun’s case the biomass boiler installation cost £86,000.