The Energy Saving Trust on wood-fuelled heating systems
WOOD-fuelled heating systems, also called biomass systems, burn wood pellets, chips or logs to provide warmth in a single room or to power central heating and hot water boilers.
A stove burns logs or pellets to heat a single room – and may be fitted with a back boiler to provide water heating as well.
A boiler burns logs, pellets or chips, and is connected to a central heating and hot water system. A wood-fuelled boiler could save you nearly £600 a year compared with electric heating.
Affordable heating fuel: Although the price of wood fuel varies considerably, it is often cheaper than other heating options.
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Financial support: Wood fuel boiler systems could benefit from the Renewable Heat Premium Payment and 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.
A pellet stove will cost around £4,300 including installation. Installing a new log stove will usually cost less than half this, including a new flue or chimney lining.
For boilers, an automatically fed pellet boiler for an average home costs around £11,500 including installation, flue, fuel store and VAT at 5 per cent. Manually fed log boiler systems can be slightly cheaper.
Pellet costs depend mainly on the size and method of delivery.