Frequently asked questions about biomass

To find out more about Rural Energy and biomass, take a look at some of the most frequent questions we're asked by our customers..

If you can’t find the answers to your questions here, just contact us

About Rural Energy
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What does Rural Energy do?

Rural Energy is a leading UK biomass heating solutions expert. We design, supply, install, commission, service and maintain biomass boiler systems.

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We also offer biomass training courses and consultancy services. Read our What we do page which gives you more details about these and the other services we offer.

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Where does Rural Energy operate?

Rural Energy’s services are available throughout mainland UK in England, Scotland and Wales. 

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To check that we service your area, just give us a call on 0203 189 0654.

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Why should I choose Rural Energy as my biomass solution provider?

Our mission is to make sure your biomass project works for you. With an expert team and top quality equipment we can work as main contractor for the entire project or simply as biomass equipment suppliers.

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Rural Energy provides a full end-to-end, turn-key service for clients or projects that require it. We support our clients from initial enquiry all the way through completion and beyond with maintenance and service contracts.

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What accreditations does Rural Energy have?

Rural Energy holds a number of Accreditations, certifications and awards.

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Our recent awards include:

Commercial Installer of the Year 2014 - Energy Efficiency & Renewables Awards

Installer of the Year 2014 - REA Awards (British Renewable Energy Association)

 

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What experience does Rural Energy have?

Established in 2002, Rural Energy is one of the longest running biomass boiler suppliers and installers in the UK. We are a frontrunner in engineering turnkey biomass solutions for private end users, commercial businesses, the construction supply chain, central and local government and industrial applications. 

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Rural Energy has a vast portfolio of clients and the company has facilitated and managed the successful completion of over 1,200 biomass projects in its first 12 years; this includes sales of 440 individual biomass boilers in 2014. Our experience ranges from academic campuses to churches, poultry farms to office buildings, emergency services buildings to hotels, golf courses to industrial estates, and many more. Check out our Case Studies for more insight.

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What other products and services does Rural Energy offer?

We offer a range of biomass boiler equipment and related parts, fuel storage and containerised systems, maintenance contracts, design consultancy and training.

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See our Products pages for more details.

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What training is available from Rural Energy?

Rural Energy runs several biomass training courses as well offering bespoke options. We also offer industry approved CPD seminars and are happy to attend a client’s site to present these.

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You can read more about these on our Training pages and in our blog Those Who Can, Teach.

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Rural Energy product range
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What products does Rural Energy offer?

Rural Energy offers turnkey biomass heating solutions as well as supplying biomass boiler and related fuel feed equipment as a distributor to approved Partners. We are the exclusive mainland UK distributor for one of Austria’s leading biomass boiler brands; Herz. You can find out more about the Herz products on the Product pages of our website.

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Rural Energy also offers a range of Industrial Biomass Boilers which would be recommended on a project-by-project basis.

For containerised biomass requirements, we have a range of plug-and-play solutions that fit virtually all site variables. All our packaged plant room products are built and fitted out off-site, minimising possible on-site disruption, and then delivered and connected up to the existing heat distribution system. They all have the option of a fuel store included in the design, which can be for either wood chips or wood pellets.

The Trade Pod is designed specifically for 199kW heating requirements, has the smallest footprint of our range and is an extremely affordable solution. You can use an existing building or silo as a fuel store, cutting out the cost of separate wood repository.

The Heat Pod is a more customisable option. Biomass boilers from 20kW up to 500kW can be installed in these Pods, for whichever wood fuel you require. Available in different sizes, configurations and extras, such as wood cladding or a colour-matching exterior, these Heat Pods are attractive and provide a solution for sites with limited building space for the renewable heating system.

The Heat Hub gives clients with a larger or more complex heating requirement a fantastic solution. Able to house a boiler up to 1.5MW and with a selection of external fuel stores available, it is the perfect choice for projects with a District Heating aspect.

We also have a range of Wood Fuel Storage options suitable for all types of biomass installation. This includes bespoke designs for external stores, cylindrical pellet silos, octagonal hoppers, manual and hydraulic lifting lids for underground stores, flexible bag silos and hook bin solutions.

We also provide existing clients with maintenance and service contracts, which you can read more about in our Servicing pages.

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Why should I choose a Herz biomass boiler?

If you are thinking about installing biomass to heat your property or have a requirement to provide renewable heating for an upcoming project, there are numerous benefits to choosing a Herz biomass boiler solution. Efficiency, physical footprint, automation, modification options and emissions, government and legislation compliance are just a few reasons why a Herz boiler could be the right choice for you.

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With minimal human interaction required, except for checks and regular maintenance, these boilers suit virtually any type of application; from domestic properties to churches, hospitals to breweries, schools to transportation hubs.

The intuitive and user-friendly T-Control touch-screen control unit makes the Herz boilers even more manageable and, with remote monitoring options, can even be accessed via computer or mobile device.

MCS (Microgeneration Certification Scheme) accreditation and Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) payment scheme approval are additional advantages that could see you financially benefit from opting for a Herz product.

See related FAQs for more about Herz and its boiler Product range as well as our Case Study pages.

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What is so good about the Herz brand?

Austria-based Herz has been manufacturing plumbing and heating parts since 1896. With over a century in the industry, their ethos for producing quality products and dedication to innovation in order to meet the needs of their customers and partners is exceptional. 

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As a leading biomass boiler manufacturer in Europe for decades, the Herz product range is one of the most efficient, automated and safe. Tested to not just European standards but also UK and other individual country legislation requirements, Herz biomass boilers meet or surpass all current UK emission requirements.

Herz’s reputation in the European biomass industry is exceptional and the company has a long history of creating modern, fit-for-purpose products. The company has a proven track record of constructing biomass boilers, fuel feed systems and associated parts to the highest standards, and boasts some of the longest-running medium-sized biomass installations throughout the continent.

Discover more about Herz's history.

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Rural Energy Partner Network
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How do I become a Rural Energy Partner?

If you are an MCS accredited company looking to expand your biomass offering or start up in the biomass sector, we would love to hear from you.Call 0203 189 0667 to speak to our Partner Network Team now, or look at the How to become a Partner page for more information.

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There are numerous benefits to becoming a Partner and being Trained on the installation of Herz biomass boilers, which we will happily discuss with you at your convenience.

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I want Rural Energy to deal with my project, so why have I been contacted by another company?

In order to provide domestic and smaller-scale commercial customers (end-users) the best possible service and price, Rural Energy has a nationwide network of trained and approved Partners to deal with these projects.

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One of the benefits of this is that you can deal with a company that is more locally based to you/your project, making it more efficient when site visits, meetings and so forth are required, even at early stages.

Another benefit is that, especially later in the biomass project timeline, travel costs will be much lower and engineer accommodation expenses may not even be necessary, saving you money.

A major advantage for you as the client is that most of Rural Energy’s Partners have a history in mechanical, electrical and/or plumbing industries. As such, many can provide you with a full turn-around solution that includes any pipework installations or upgrades, electrical wiring of extraneous parts and even some building work that Rural Energy, as a biomass installer, would not take on direct.

This excludes the need for additional subcontractors to be brought on and, again, keeps the cost of your project down whilst ensuring you deal with a single lead company: our Partner.

Contact Us today to find out who your local Herz biomass installer is and discuss your heating project.

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Why does Rural energy have partner companies?

The uptake of biomass heating systems over the last few years has markedly increased and the Herz brand is an extremely popular biomass boiler product. By having qualified Partner companies with fully-trained engineers, Rural Energy can better meet the demand for clean, renewable heating in the UK. 

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The increase in large-scale commercial biomass roll-outs and public sector frameworks requires Rural Energy to optimise the use of its workforce. This is particularly true for the engineers and project managers who deal with the installation and overseeing of extensive biomass projects that can take several months to complete.

The resulting distribution arm of our business, with approved Partner companies looking after our end-user clients, results in a larger team of stakeholders able to look after the best interests of our customers.

Call our Partner Network Team for more insight on 0203 189 0677.

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Who are your partners?

Rural Energy has a range of Partners across the UK and will always endeavour to ensure the best-suited company deals with your particular project. Often this will be the Partner based closest to you.

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Rural Energy will discuss your individual project requirements with the most local and appropriate Partners for your scheme before allocating the opportunity. This ensures that they have the time and resources to provide the support you require from start to finish. You will then be put in touch with that Partner.

To talk to us about your project and find out who your local Herz biomass boiler installer is contact our Partner Network Team on 0203 189 0677

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How qualified are your Partners?

All of Rural Energy’s partners are MCS certified businesses with a history in a relevant business field, such as alternative renewable energies or plumbing backgrounds. Partner engineers are required to go through Rural Energy's training courses in order to comply with the high Herz biomass installer standards.

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Partners are selected, vetted, approved, trained and signed off only when judged thoroughly capable of installing and commissioning the Herz range of biomass boilers and dealing with customers professionally and courteously.

The standard training courses that are available from Rural Energy that Partners must complete can be found in the Training web pages.

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What if I have a problem with the partner I am dealing with?

We would always, in the first instance, negotiate with the Partner to provide the best possible service to our clients and rectify any issues with the customer themselves. 

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Should there be an extreme case in which the client and Partner simply cannot come to a mutually appeasing conclusion, for whatever reason, Rural Energy will step in and deal with the client and Partner appropriately.

Complaints against Partners are taking extremely seriously and anyone experiencing issues with the company working on behalf of Rural Energy should complete the Contact Us form for the attention of the Partner Network Manager.

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Biomass as a ‘green’ fuel source
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What is biomass energy?

The definition of biomass is: organic material from a living, or recently living, organism and in the case of ‘biomass wood fuel’ refers to plant matter. 

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Biomass contains energy and, when burnt in a biomass boiler, the combustion process raises the temperature of the water that flows through the heat exchangers to create hot water and heat through the distribution system.

Related to this, biogas is usually a mixture of the gasses that organic matter produces when breaking down in the absence of oxygen and is also used as an energy source.

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How is burning biomass 'green'?

Burning wood and other biomass as fuel is classed as carbon neutral; plants and trees remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere when they are growing and release the same amount when they burn or decompose naturally on the forest floor.

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Read more about this topic in our blog Why is it 'green' to burn wood?

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Biomass fuel vs fossil fuel costs?

Depending on the wood fuel used (wood chip or wood pellet usually) and the fossil fuel available in your region, there can be significant savings by opting for biomass.

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Wood pellets are more expensive than wood chips as fossil fuels are used in the manufacturing process and so the price traces any cost changes to gas and oil, to some extent. Pellets (at 8% moisture content) typically provide 1 kilowatt hour of heat for £0.04375 (4.375p/KwH) and chip (at 35% moisture content) is around £0.034 (3.4p/kWh).

LPG is almost double the wood chip cost per kilowatt hour at 6.4pence, domestic heating oil equates to 3.9p and electricity is at a whopping 12p! The financial benefits to heating your property with renewable biomass wood fuel are clear for anyone off gas!

Compared to domestic mains gas at 4p/kWh, biomass is still quite competitive. Commercial mains gas at 3.2p/kWh is still comparable with wood chip costs if extremely dry (50%) which is only 2.4p/kWh.

* Figures supplied by Forest Fuels and correct at time of publishing (May 2015).

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I'm off-gas, can biomass save me money?

Biomass is the perfect alternative to LPG - If you are off-grid and reliant on oil, LPG or even coal, a biomass heating system could save you money.

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It is an ideal alternative to traditional fossil fuel heating, with more affordable fuel bills and an additional payback incentive from the Government through the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme.

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How affordable is biomass wood fuel?

Biomass wood pellets and wood chips are a highly affordable fuel resource due to the abundance of available woodland matter throughout the UK and Europe.

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The average price of wood chip is around £110 per tonne (G50 W35 chip classification) and for wood pellet is £220 per tonne but can be as high as £250*.

* Figures supplied by Forest Fuels and correct at time of publishing (May 2015).

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What about imported wood fuel?

Some biomass fuel is imported from Europe and Canada where the woodland matter is of extremely good quality. However, we do encourage our clients to find a local fuel supplier and in many cases they choose to chip their own woodland supplies from sustainably harvested coppice. 

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We also have a number of wood fuel suppliers that we are in contact with to assist in this process.

Contact Us today on 0203 189 0666 to discuss your requirements.

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What are sustainable harvesting and woodland management all about?

Biomass is extremely sustainable when it comes from woodland that is sustainably harvested. The ideal biomass source is coppice as it is a small tree commonly harvested by cutting parts of the tree away rather than removing the whole tree. This allows vigorous regrowth from the plant. 

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Woodland management is a rapidly growing part of the British country life and is considered to improve ecosystems greatly, as was discovered by Rural Energy staff at a tree planting event at the end of 2014.

You can read more about sustainable woodland management on the Woodland Trust’s website or click here to download their Management of our Woods document.

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What can and can't burn in my biomass boiler?

Using the best quality wood fuel for your biomass heating system is the most efficient and cost-effective way of fuelling your heating system, whilst minimising possible issues that could arise from using lower-quality fuels. 

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The Herz range of boilers is suitable only for logs, briquettes, wood chip and wood pellets. For fuel specifications for these boilers please see our downloadable product brochures.
What you can and can’t burn in your biomass boiler depends on the product and manufacturer’s guidelines. 
 
In a Herz Firematic 199kW boiler, for example, you can burn:
 • Wood chip (typically ÖNORM M7133: G30-G50 / W40) 
 • Wood pellets (typically ÖNORM M7135) 
 
But you can’t burn:
 • Treated or processed wood
 • Wood shavings or dust
 • Waste wood products
 
Some biomass boilers on the market are designed specifically for waste woods, straw bales or other non-standard forms of fuel.
 
To discuss your specific requirements, give our team a call on 0203 189 0654.
 
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What is better; chip or pellet?

This is dependent on several factors specific to you and your site. Check out our blog Wood Chip vs Wood Pellet for some of the benefits of each and further information if you expand this answer.

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More information about wood fuel options can be found in the Fuel Types pages of this site but here are some thoughts to help your decision:

Although wood chip is cheaper (per tonne), wood pellets have a higher calorific value per tonne so the same volume of fuel will give more energy to the boiler when burnt. It also depends on the available storage on site as to which is a better fit for you specifically, as is the number of suppliers in your area.

Due to the calorific value and nature of pellets (they flow easily whereas gravity does not always have the same effect on chips due to their irregular shapes) smaller storage solutions can be opted for, compared to wood chip which requires a larger bunker.

If clients are intending on harvesting and chipping their own woodland to feed the biomass boiler, this is obviously not only beneficial to keeping fuel costs down, but also manages the woodland when reaped sustainably. Ensuring you have an alternative supplier is always recommended.

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Biomass boilers and heating systems
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How does a biomass boiler work?

Biomass boilers work in exactly the same manner as any other type of boiler, but use a biomass energy product as its fuel. As this tends to be woody biomass, there is ash as a by-product of the combustion process.

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If you would like a meeting, CPD or just a conversation to discuss this subject in more detail, get in touch via our Contact Us page.
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How efficient are biomass boilers compared to fossil fuel boilers?

Biomass boiler heating systems are, as a rule, much more efficient than traditional boiler systems. The Herz range is up to 95% efficient compared to pre-2011 installed gas boilers which could be as low as 85%.

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All boilers and brands vary, though, so it is worth looking into.

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Can I retrofit a biomass boiler into an existing building?

Biomass boilers can be retrofitted into existing buildings, however there are a few constraints. These include the flue or chimney: A biomass boiler requires a natural draft flue or chimney to be constructed, and although it is possible to use a property's existing chimney stack, if it has one, it is required to be a correctly lined flue with a biomass flue liner. 

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The next considerations would be the wood Fuel Type the boiler uses and on the basis of that decision, the fuel delivery, fuel feed system, Fuel Storage - biomass-fuelled heating systems require an area for the fuel that the boiler is intended to be fed with to be stored - and other factors can be decided upon.
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I'm building a new property and want to install biomass heating. What do I need to know?

Biomass boilers, due to the complex components, are slightly larger than gas or oil boilers, which must be taken into consideration early on in a new build project, as are several other factors....

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... Fuel Type options (which can be flexible)  include wood chip (wood which has been industrially chipped into small fragments, often sized to be G30 = 3 to 16mm in size to G50 = 6 to 32mm in size), wood pellets (very small compacted shavings or dust of wood, which could be derived from sawdust then pelletised in an industrial pellet manufacturing plant) and split logs (which require drying, for example). Read more about the benefits of different biomass fuels in our blog Wood Chip vs Wood Pellet.
 
The type of fuel the boiler is to use or be specified for would then denote the type of fuel feed system required, which would then denote the type of Fuel Storage required. Wood chip requires a larger fuel store than wood pellets for instance as the particle size is larger so therefore the fuel is a more bulky medium.
 
The size of the fuel store is dependent upon the type of fuel being used and also the size of the boiler. It is more cost effective, due to the cost of delivery of this fuel, to have a fuel store that holds a minimum of 6 tonnes. (A premium is paid for fuel deliveries under 6 tonnes).
 
There are many other considerations when planning a new building inclusive of biomass heating which you can discuss with our expert staff by contacting Rural Energy via the Contact Us page.
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How does a biomass boiler integrate with an existing heating system?

The integration of biomass boilers into a heating system is very much the same as a gas boiler, except biomass boilers usually also have what is called a buffer vessel, or thermal store, which fossil fuel systems do not.

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A buffer vessel is essentially a storage area for hot water. The size of the buffer vessel is dependent upon the size of the biomass boiler but can be in the region of 1,000 litres upwards. The larger the boiler, the larger the buffer vessel required. 
 
Buffers contain the water from which a building draws its hot water, be that to provide heat via radiators, underfloor heating or alternative heating system, or for warm to high temperature water.
 
Contact Us to find out more.
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Are they noisy?

In a word, no. 

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The biomass boilers of today are very well insulated and as such the insulation properties act 2 ways. The first is obviously to prevent the unwanted heat loss. 2nd, due to the amount of insulation biomass boilers have, the insulation also gives sound deadening properties. The usual whirs and burrs are the same as other types of boilers.
 
If you would like a copy of a particular Herz bimoass boiler noise report, please click this email link.
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What about smoke?

As an appliance that combusts woody biomass fuel to operate, both ash and smoke are unavoidable side-effects of biomass boiler heating systems. Because of strict regulations and legislation, however, there are requirements for flues and chimneys to be of a certain height to minimise environmental impact.

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Due to the small amount of smoke produced by the burning of wood fuel during the lighting stages, you can’t use most biomass boilers in Smoke Control Areas. These are usually situated in cities and were initially set up to reduce the impact of industrial emissions in or near densely populated areas. For example, virtually the whole of London is a Smoke Control Area
 
To find out if you live in an SCA contact your local authority.
 
Most of Rural Energy’s Herz biomass boiler products on the market are excluded from the Smoke Control Zone restrictions as the emissions have been tested and proven to be below the required levels. 
 
Access our Products pages to download our Herz product emission certificates.
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Fuel storage and delivery
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How do I store my wood fuel?

Depending on the size and type of site you have, a storage solution can be found or tailored to suit your requirements. From underground or above-ground bunkers to farm animal feed-style silos or even flexible material silos for internal locations, there is an option suitable for you.

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There are various pre-manufactured storage options available for your biomass fuel. Some options are suitable for either wood chip or wood pellets, such as octagonal hoppers, whilst others are specifically designed for pellet, such as flexible bag silos.

Take a look at our Fuel Storage options for more information.

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How much space do I need to store biomass wood fuel?

This depends on the type of fuel, output of boiler, site constraints and several other factors. 

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Our Fuel Storage pages will give you some indication of the options available to you and how much space might be required though you can always use no land space at all by opting for an underground bunker, or choose a built-in fuel store as with our packaged solutions.

To give you the best guidance, please contact our team on 0203 189 0654, so that our experts can discuss your options.

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How much wood fuel will I use/do I need to buy?

This varies depending on your boiler output, heat and hot water usage and wood fuel type, to name just a few influences on how much fuel you are likely to use. 

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We will be happy to discuss some calculations with you; just contact our team on 0203 189 0654.

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How is wood fuel delivered?

Delivery is primarily an access issue (can a delivery vehicle get on to the site and up to the fuel store?) however delivery options may be linked to the chosen fuel type, how these can be delivered and the type of storage on site.

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One of the quickest and simplest ways to get fuel into your store is by tipped delivery. Your supplier delivers the wood fuel by pneumatic lorry and, once on site, the lorry simply tips the chips or pellets into the fuel store.

Alternatively, still tipped, the fuel can be fed through a pipe to the storage area. Wood pellets can be blown through a pipe from as much as 20 metres away from the storage, which could work best for sites with obstructions between the access road and fuel silo.

Tre-Ysgawen Hotal & Spa shows a typical tipped delivery design whilst Wythenshaw Hospital has a vertical elevator fuel delivery system.

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Where do I get biomass wood fuel from?

Although Rural Energy can recommend some suppliers, it is a good idea to do some research about wood fuel traders in your local area and there are websites that can help you with this. 

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Websites to help you include the Biomass Suppliers List and the Wood Heat Association

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Can Rural Energy supply my wood fuel?

We don't supply wood fuel direct ourselves, but have local contacts in the Leicestershire area and can make recommendations of where to find a suitable supplier in your vicinity.

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It is worth looking into local wood suppliers as not only will likely keep the costs down for you, but it also keeps the carbon footprint of the wood down as it doesn't need to be transported long distances.

If the website lists in the FAQ "Where do I get biomass wood fuel from?" do not provide you with suitable suppliers in your area, give us a call on 0203 189 0666 and we will see which suppliers we may be able to recommend.

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UK legislation relating to biomass boilers and renewable heating
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Biomass emissions and the Clean Air Act

There are regulations in place throughout the UK, including the Clean Air Act, that may influence the brand of biomass boiler you opt for due to the requirement to meet low emission targets. Our Herz biomass products are all thoroughly tested and have been certified, Clean Air Act approved and MCS accredited. 

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More about the current UK regulations on emissions, including the Clean Air Act, can be found in our article Biomass Emissions - Regulation and Legislation.

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Financing your biomass installation
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Can Rural Energy help me with finance options?

Rural Energy is able to offer tailored finance packages for biomass projects that aims to remove the up front cost from your biomass solution.

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In order to offer the ideal finance solution for each individual biomass project we provide tailored packages upon enquiry that can help move a project along. These solutions include payments structured to match the Government's RHI scheme paybacks and energy savings. 
 
Our Finance Options page may provide additional details. Alternatively, give us a call to discuss our offers and your options on 0203 189 0654.
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What is an ESCO?

An Energy Supply Contract (or ESCO) is essentially a financial arrangement with a company which can help you significantly reduce your heating and energy costs whilst also achieving long-term energy security for your client or business, removing the capital investment costs.

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Essentially, the ownership of a biomass heating system remains with Rural Energy and the user makes payments for the use of the biomass heating system, thus avoiding the initial capital cost. Arrangements can be customised for the client's needs and can include the supply of wood fuel with payments being made on the basis of heat purchased.

Rural Energy is able to provide ESCO arrangements for certain biomass heating projects and your can read more in our Finance Packages pages.

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Incentives and RHI
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What are the incentives for installing a biomass system?

Other than providing your property with lower-cost, sustainably-fuelled heating and hot water, cutting carbon emissions and being an environmentally-conscious decision to implement, there are financial incentives to installing a biomass boiler system, including:

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 • The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is a Government-led scheme that rewards those who invest in carbon neutral renewable energy systems. It is the world’s first long-term financial support programme for renewable heat. For these systems, according to the heat output a boiler will export, there is a payment per kW/hour. To read more about the RHI scheme, can take a look at the DECC web page and report.
 • The Renewable Energy Association can advise clients on the most appropriate sources of funding and complete applications as required.
 • Rural Energy is currently working on various finance options and incentives to make our carbon neutral technology available. If you wish to hear more about these finance options you can Contact Us for further details. More details are soon to follow.
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What is the government's RHI?

The Renewable Heat Incentive is a scheme that allows those who invest in biomass heating technology to earn payback on the heating they generate for 20 years.  This is on each kilowatt hour of heat used and metered, that is generated using a renewable technology and a sustainable source – such as biomass boilers and wood fuel.

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The non-domestic RHI was introduced in 2011 with renewable heating systems commissioned after June 2009 eligible for registration in the scheme.
 
The British Government committed to the EU that 15% of all energy consumed will come from renewable technologies such as biomass by 2020 and the establishment of the RHI was to help reach this target.
 
More details about the RHI, calculations, application process and eligible technologies are included in our article The Nitty-Gritty on the RHI.
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How long will the RHI last?

Payments for registered installations are guaranteed for 20 years on the Non-Domestic RHI scheme and 7 years on the Domestic RHI scheme. New registrations are expected to be accepted on eligible renewable heating systems until at least 2020, though this is subject to change.

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For a more detailed review, click to read our blog article The Nitty-Gritty on the RHI.

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What are the RHI tariffs?

Both the Domestic and Non-Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme tariffs are subject to change - expand this answer for a table showing the current rates.

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RHI updates biomass table 201507 July.jpg

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Service, maintenance and ongoing care
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Why does my biomass boiler need regular maintenance?

Maintaining your biomass boiler and other system parts is vital for its continued efficient operation.

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Maintenance is as much about preventative measures as keeping your system running smoothly. There are requirements to maintain systems associated to incentives also, such as the RHI. You can read all about why in our blog 5 Reasons to Properly Maintain Your Biomass Boiler.

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How do I maintain my biomass system?
From emptying the ash bins to checking the seal on the burn-back protection flap, it is important to understand how to properly look after your biomass heating system. Full instructions are provided upon training of the boiler operator following the completion of an installation.
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The Operation & Maintenance (O&M) manual provided to clients and operators of our biomass boiler systems contains clear, detailed instructions on the weekly, monthly and annual maintenance recommended to be carried out on your boiler. With diagrams and annotated photographs for each aspect of the maintenance on each boiler type, Rural Energy makes it an easy-to-follow process.
 
For any service and maintenance queries, email service@ruralenergy.co.uk or call 0203 189 0666.
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Why do I need to have my boiler serviced?
As with any mechanical and electrical product, especially where combustion technology is involved, having a trained and qualified engineer service your biomass boiler is crucial for safety, performance and contractual reasons. Not least to care for your investment and optimise your installation to get the most out of the boiler.
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From regulatory obligations laid out for Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) recipients to warranty requirements, biomass systems need to be serviced by an engineer who not only knows what they are doing but has the qualifications to carry out the work.
 
Boilers that are not serviced in accordance with the manufacturer’s guidelines and installer’s recommendations may suffer as a result. Service, like maintenance, is often a prevention measure: an experienced eye utilising appropriate tools to diagnose the system and ensure everything is running smoothly and will continue to do so. Any fuel, storage, operation or efficiency issues can be recorded and recommendations on improvements made.
 
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What are my service options with Rural Energy?
Rural Energy offers comprehensive service options for all its clients and installations. From additional warranty cover and regular maintenance checks to bespoke service contracts to best meet your site’s and system’s demands, we can offer the right package for you.
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Taking out a service contract with Rural Energy also provides additional bonuses, such as priority support at busy times and discounts on spare parts. 
 
Download our Service & Maintenance brochure to see a range of our standard service contracts or get in touch to discuss a bespoke agreement on 0203 189 0666.
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What do I do if my biomass boiler shows a fault?

If your biomass boiler shows a fault, this should be dealt with by the trained system operator.

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The trained biomass boiler operator should interrogate the control system to discover the fault code and, if unable to rectify using the O&M Manual’s guidance, contact Rural Energy’s technical support team in the service & aftersales department on 0203 189 0666.
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What do I do if my boiler breaks down?

As with fault issues, if your biomass boiler is non-operational when it should be, the trained operator should try to establish what the fault may be through interrogation of the system using the control panel. Any fault codes should be recorded to provide to Rural Energy’s technical team when you call to report the break down.

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Call 0203 189 0666 and press the number for the service and aftersales department for assistance.
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Your project
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How much will it cost?

There are numerous variables that must be taken into account when looking to answer this question, such as the kilowatt output of the boiler, whether it will be located in an internal or external location, whether separate mechanical and electrical services will be needed on top of the boiler installation, the type of fuel storage and fuel feed being used, etc.

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To tell you how much it costs to install a biomass boiler we will need to understand your requirements and expectations. Because these are different for every customer and site, speak to Rural Energy so that we can understand your needs better.

Please call 0203 189 0654 so we provide you with an estimated price once we understand more about your individual requirements.

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OK, but what about a ball-park figure?

There is no such thing as a ‘typical’ biomass heating installation.

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Until we understand the scope of your project – including if any plumbing, mechanical and electrical work is likely to be involved, whether the existing heat distribution system is suitable for a biomass boiler and if external storage or accessories are needed – even a ball-park figure could be misleading.

We want to ensure you are given as accurate a price for the equipment and work your project will involve, so call us to discuss it on 0203 189 0654.

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How long will the biomass system take to install?

Once the biomass boiler has been delivered to site, depending on the size of the equipment, location of the fuel store and complexity of the project, installation usually takes only a few days.

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Of course, the size of the biomass boiler influences the time it takes to complete an installation also, with Herz Firestar, Pelletstar and PelletFire boilers often completed in a day. Many other influences can effect the amount of time a project takes and often the installation, commissioning and operator training of the biomass system are the least time-consuming aspects of a renewable heating project.

As with most biomass queries, speaking to an expert to assist in your project planning is must. Reach our team on 0203 189 0654 to get started!

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So how do I know what size (kW output) I need for my property/project?

Again, there are many varying influences on how to size a biomass boiler, including the age and insulation standard of the property/properties being heated, heat load requirements and so forth.

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Call 0203 189 0654 to speak to an expert about sizing your boiler.

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