Commercial biomass boilers

Biomass boilers for your business heating and hot water can be a low cost, green option


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A biomass boiler

What are biomass boilers?

Biomass boilers use the heat generated from burning wood pellets, wood chips or logs for heating and hot water.

They are a renewable and carbon neutral alternative to fossil-fuelled boilers.

They can also be a low-cost option for providing your business with its energy needs.

What’s biomass?

Biomass is derived from recently living organisms and is usually wood-based.

A container full of biomass fuel
A stack of logs with trees and woodland behind

Why is biomass thought to be better than a fossil fuel?

Biomass systems typically use fast-growing, renewable wood.

When such wood is burnt it only releases as much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere as the tree absorbed when it was growing.

This means that it’s regarded as carbon neutral.

Why choose a biomass boiler?

Biomass boilers are typically seen as a low-cost energy option for businesses that aren’t connected to mains gas.

Such boilers are often the lowest cost solution if you’re looking for carbon savings and they can be a good green investment.

A biomass power plant with piles of biomass fuel in the foreground

The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)

By 2020, 15% of all energy generated in the UK should be from renewable sources.

To meet this target, the UK Government has introduced the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).

Subject to detailed scheme rules. If eligible, RHI offers subsidies, payable for 20 years, for the amount of clean, green renewable heat that your business system produces.

What businesses use biomass boilers?

A care home worker helps to dress an elderly lady in her bed

A biomass boiler could be suitable for almost any business. Some examples include:

  • A business with high energy bills – especially if it’s off the gas grid
  • Single or multiple-site businesses
  • Schools or university campuses
  • Care homes
  • Glasshouses

Case Studies

Bowood Hotel, Spa and Golf Resort

This new-build hotel and spa was designed to be a low carbon, sustainable building. It benefits from extensive forestry on site, helping to fuel its biomass boiler while providing sustainable woodland management and local employment.

Skipton Building Society headquarters

A wood pellet system provides the heating and hot water for this new-build call centre.

Associated Timber Services, Sewstern Sawmill

The biomass boiler at this business delivers low-cost, renewable heat from fuel produced on site.

Biomass boilers FAQs



Do biomass boilers cause climate change?
A: This type of boiler is considered a carbon neutral option because the wood burnt only emits as much carbon dioxide as the tree absorbed when it was growing. Biomass fuel is sustainable because new trees are planted to replace those that are used. The cultivation, manufacture and transportation of the fuel does lead to carbon dioxide emissions. The effects of this can be minimised if the fuel is sourced locally. Emissions from biomass are much lower than those from fossil fuels.
How does a biomass boiler work?
A: Wood is tipped or blown from a lorry into a fuel hopper and the fuel is then fed automatically from the hopper into the boiler. The fuel feed and air injection rates are controlled to meet changing needs for heat and to make sure the boiler is burning as efficiently as possible. During the operation, hot flue gases flow through the heat exchanger. With good quality fuel, less than 1% of it is left as ash in the grate and flue gas clean-up system. This is removed automatically into the ash box.
Does it take a biomass boiler long to heat up?
A: No. Biomass boiler controls are fully automated and provide low-carbon heat at the touch of a button. The boilers have automatic ignition.
Will I need planning permission for a biomass system?

A: This will depend on individual circumstances, but you may need planning permission. This will be more likely if your premises are in a conservation area, or if it’s a listed building.

Your local planning authority should be able to help you with any steps you need to take.

Also consider whether you need to contact:

  • Building control
  • Your insurer
  • The freehold owner – if you’re a tenant or leaseholder, you’ll need the freeholder’s written permission
How can I find the nearest wood supplier?
A: The following websites can help you find a biomass fuel supplier:
Where can I get more information on biomass boilers?
A: To learn more about biomass boilers, try the following websites:

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