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Are You Ready to Invest in a Biomass Boiler?

Author: Jack Lloyd
Updated: Jan 29, 2024
7 minutes read

The UK is starting to embrace newer, more eco-friendly methods of home heating. Gas and oil are starting to be sidelined in favour of various greener alternatives. From 2035, new homes may not have gas or oil boilers built into them, and these boilers will be phased out entirely from 2035. This is just one reason why so many people are now investigating the world of biomass boilers.

The strategies mentioned above are part of the UK Government’s Heat and Buildings Strategy. Over the next few years, the government is offering grants to people that install heat pumps or a biomass boiler. Read on to find out more about these heating systems and why they could benefit you and your household.

Interested in a biomass boiler already? Use our quote comparison tool to see how much you'd pay. It only takes a minute.

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What Exactly is a Biomass Boiler?

A biomass boiler is fuelled by wood, unlike other conventional or typical kinds of boiler. This wood fuel usually comes in the form of chips, logs or pellets. The most popular type of fuel to use is pellets, as these tend to be the most affordable and easily available of these options.

Once you have a biomass boiler installed, it will burn the wood to heat water. This water will then be sent to your taps, showers and radiators to deliver the comfort you need throughout the year. There are two main types of biomass system available. Some biomass boilers need to be topped up with wood manually, but others have an automated feed hopper. This sends wood to the machine when it is required. You will need to empty the ash around once a month, though some people add this to their compost pile to help their gardens grow.

What Does Biomass Mean?

Biomass is biological material that’s sourced from formerly living beings like plants. Wood is the most commonly used biomass energy source. Other biomass fuels include waste from industry, food and animals. It’s possible to transform biomass into energy forms such as ethanol, bio-diesel and methane gas. When biomass is burned, most of the energy is released as heat. This can be used for a wide range of purposes. It can be used to power vehicles, to generate electricity and heat buildings including residential properties.

Why is Biomass Environmentally Friendly?

Biomass is environmentally friendly because the fuel can be replaced more easily than other types. Trees and plants used for biomass purposes can quickly be regrown by when we plant and grow new ones. Biomass is regarded as a lower carbon energy form. This is because they absorbed as much carbon dioxide as they released during their lifecycle. These boilers only release around 360kg of carbon dioxide a year, which is much lower than the 5,200kg associated with gas fired boilers. According to Forest Research, biomass boilers only emit around 360kg of carbon dioxide a year to heat a home. You can see how each fuel type compares in the interactive graph below.

Although wood certainly isn’t a new form of fuel, we have been able to do much more with it over recent years thanks to technological advancements. Domestic biomass boilers can save you a considerable amount of money in the long run. They can save you up to 50% on fuel. Although they have a higher price tag than many other types of boilers, the long-term cost savings are just one reason why so many people are replacing their old boilers with biomass ones.

What is the Best Way to Source Wood?

If you want to make an even better contribution to the environment and can afford to take this step, it’s a good idea to purchase a year’s supply of fuel in advance. This will help you save money on delivery costs too.

How Much Do These Boilers Cost?

Biomass boiler prices can vary substantially depending on factors like the features that are included, the brand you’re buying from, how big the boiler is and so on. Prices generally start at around £5,000 and can rise to around £15,000. Installation is normally included in the price that you pay for a biomass boiler. You may also be able to save money if you opt for a manually fed boiler as opposed to an automatic one.

Which is the Best Wood Fuel for a Biomass Boiler?

  • Logs, chips and pellets are amongst the most frequently used types of wood for biomass boilers. Chips and pellets are often used in automated boiler systems, but logs generally need to be added to systems manually by humans. You also need to take care when adding wood to your system. If there is too much moisture in your wood or it hasn’t been seasoned properly, you may have issues with tar and smoke
  • Wood pellets have become particularly popular with biomass boiler owners for various reasons. They are simple to use, renewable and completely natural. They consist of wood shavings and compressed sawdust. They have more energy content than the other options and don’t need a great deal of storage space
  • Wood chips are produced by cutting larger wood samples. Chips are noted for their low expense, though they don’t tend to be as efficient as wood pellets. Wood chips don’t require as much energy as other types of wood fuel when they are manufactured, processed or transported. This is why wood chips may appeal to you if you’re particularly eco-conscious. If wood chips are harvested via sustainable forestry practices, they can be regarded as a renewable energy source

What to Think About Before You Buy

There are several things you need to think carefully about before you go ahead and order a biomass boiler. You need to ensure you have enough storage space for your boiler and to think about things like moisture content. Wood pellets are generally dryer than chips and logs, which means you’re less likely to face problems like smoke when you use them.

If you need help with affording a new boiler, research the British Gas free boiler scheme.

Advantages of Biomass Heating

Biomass heating may well be for you if you’re looking for a more affordable way to heat your home. Wood fuel prices can go up and down, but generally they’re much cheaper than other methods used to heat your home. Many people are opting for biomass systems to future-proof their homes and benefit from government incentives. Biomass heating may also be the right solution for you if you need a greener way to heat your home. It can help you save money and cut down your carbon dioxide emissions. You can also support the local and national economies by opting for biomass heating. You can easily source biomass from businesses near you and around the UK.

Do Biomass Heaters Require Much Maintenance?

Another reason why biomass heaters are becoming more popular is that they don’t require much maintenance at all. Some of the biomass boilers on the market are wholly automated, so you don’t need to do anything to maintain them. You will still need to have your boiler serviced by a qualified engineer each year. If automatic flue cleaning isn’t a feature offered by your system, you’ll need to clean out and empty your ash bin once a week. You should also avoid turning your biomass boiler on and off. The boiler will reach peak efficiency if you allow it to operate constantly.


There has been a consistent increase in the number of biomass boiler installations around the UK over recent years. In fact, the Renewable Energy Association’s June 2019 report suggests that bioenergy use could rise to 16% by 2032. With more people turning to sustainable means and cutting carbon emissions, this could increase further since their report.

Do I Need to Apply for Planning Permission?

If you’re installing a biomass boiler in a residential property, you won’t normally need to get planning permission beforehand. You may need to obtain planning permission if you want to install one in a historical building or a particularly sensitive location.

Do Biomass Boilers Produce Smoke?

You are only likely to experience problems with smoke if the wood fuel that you’re using has a high moisture content. This is why pellets and chips have become more popular than logs.

If you’re looking for a carbon-neutral way to heat your home that delivers long-term savings and helps you improve your contribution to the world around you, a biomass boiler may well be for you.

With a biomass boiler, you’ll get more control over your heating costs, help boost your local economy when you purchase wood fuel, help reduce the amount of waste that’s sent to landfill and relax in the knowledge that’s is relatively simple to maintain your system and have it serviced.

Finding the Right Boiler for Me

At Eco Quote Today, we can help if you’re ready to buy a biomass boiler and get the best deal for your particular needs. We are passionate about helping you save money, boost your green credentials and help you manage your energy bills more effectively. Our site is home to a host of articles about various energy-saving solutions including solar panels, EV charging points, boilers, insulation, heat pumps and double glazed windows.

Our quote comparison tool is designed to help you get the best deals on biomass boilers, biomass heating and wood pellet boilers. Simply enter a few details into the tool to find competitive quotes from our suppliers that are tailored towards your specific needs and requirements. Why not get started right now?

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