Biomass wood pellet prices - bagged and bulk

edited 7 December 2014 at 1:37PM in LPG, Heating Oil, Solid & Other Fuels
169 replies 80.4K views
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Replies

  • WPGWPG Forumite
    24 Posts
    Hi Peter,

    That seems excessive to me too.

    If my maths is correct, 12 tonnes a year works out at around 32Kg/day. The tech specs for your boiler (if I'm looking a the right one, and my polish translation is correct!) show a fuel consumption of 3.2Kg/hour, which suggest your boiler is running for 10 hours a day all year round? That seems a lot to me.

    Did your biomass system replacing an existing oil/gas installation? If so, any idea what the energy consumption of that was like?

    We have a 24kw boiler and average about 10kg/day over a year. However we do have a wood burner as well which provides the main source of heat during the evenings.
  • cancuniacancunia Forumite
    97 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    I have a 15kw boiler in a 2 bed house and burn about 15kg per day. My house does have cavity walls though so that will account for some of the difference. There are some good pointers on the replies above that you could follow up on and may give some help.

    1, What did your EPC say the energy needs are for your house.

    2, Do you use the boiler for Hot Water as well as heat?

    3, What temp do your radiators run at?

    4, Does the boiler run stop / start via a room thermostat or tickover when it gets to the right temperature?

    5, Maybe a reputable Pellet Stove (Hetas / MCS registered) engineer could take a look?

    There's another thread on this forum about MCZ stoves, looking at that, it's easy to believe that there are a lot of installers out there who do not know what they're doing, so finding one that does, may well be of help.
  • ProfessorChao5ProfessorChao5 Forumite
    23 Posts
    Fifth Anniversary 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    Hi Peter.

    What is the ash like? Maybe you could upload a picture of it.

    Do you have a buffer tank / thermal store installed?

    Do you have a draft flue stabiliser installed?

    You are using a lot of fuel and it is probably a small installation issue or commissioning issue on the control panel of the boiler. The ash can reveal a lot. Is it very fine, gritty, are there un burnt pellets etc?
  • WPGWPG Forumite
    24 Posts
    I think Cancunia's suggestion of getting an Hetas/MCS engineer to take a look might be worth considering. If you let us know where you are someone on here might be able to recommend someone (unfortunately I won't be able to as our installer, and another one in the Derby area, have closed down over the last few months, which is a bit worrying.)
  • trueab1trueab1 Forumite
    5 Posts
    I've seen a couple of messages here saying that installers are closing down. Is that a thing now in UK? Any idea what could cause it?
    Also, is the quantity of people getting biomass boilers growing or decreasing?
  • WPGWPG Forumite
    24 Posts
    This is the explanation our installer has given on their website for closing down
    Due to the continual Government cuts to the feed-in tariff and RHI, it is with regret we have decided to close our company Derby Solar Ltd.
    As we see it there will be little or no uptake on renewable energy systems and therefore no way to operate a sustainable company.

    Not sure whether thats generally the opinion within the industry.

    It does make me a little concerned over the long term maintenance of our boiler. I've been trying to find someone to do a service and there doesn't seem to be many engineers operating in our area now.
  • edited 23 March 2016 at 8:10AM
    cancuniacancunia Forumite
    97 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    edited 23 March 2016 at 8:10AM
    Yeah, I think we've come to a dip in demand due to reduction in government incentives that will reduce the amount of suppliers around as their margins decrease due to people not being willing to pay so much. As noted above, same will probably go for solar panels. I declined to get solar panels installed as I could not see a case for a 10-15 year return on investment. I think the market for pellets will grow after a short decline as more people realise that it's a good alternative to coal, electric & LPG and installers cut their margins to attract business and make money via volume. Pellet boilers are not really any more complex than mains gas, just different. Perhaps they cost a bit more to make, but not so much that they cost 8-10x the amount to install. With the competition we're now seeing in the pellet fuel market, costs for pellets should hopefully stabilise and become relatively cheaper as other fuels rise.
    Central Europe has a massive amount of pellet stove users, I'm fairly confident that it will pick up in the UK too.
  • Shepster23Shepster23 Forumite
    5 Posts
    Fifth Anniversary
    A lot of companies piled into renewables as it was a way of getting rich quick! In my area there are established heating/ electrical engineers who added it to there portfolio of services. Yes the cut in subsidies may have reduced demand but they have there other services to offer and meanwhile can continue to maintain biomass boilers, I hope! Most HETAS engineers should be able to take up the challenge.
  • WPGWPG Forumite
    24 Posts
    The increase in the number of suppliers and also the availability of imported pellets over the last couple of years would definitely seem like a good thing (although I know opinion is divided on the imported pellets, but I do think they’re helping to keep prices competitive)

    It’s a bit off-topic, but the one issue that I have with biomass, or rather using bagged pellets, is the palletised delivery. i’m not sure if it puts people off installing, or just frustrates them after they installed (or whether it’s just me!)

    The combination of a tonne of pellets, a pallet truck and anything less than perfectly smooth and level ground unfortunately (in my experience) doesn’t really work and much of the success/failure of a delivery depends on the driver and what mood they’re in. Finding yourself with a tonne of pellets to move from the side of the road bag by bag before it starts raining is never all that much fun!

    I’ve been contacted by a few companies recently (mainly in Scotland) offering a local delivery service where they’ll stack the bags in your store rather than just offloading them at the kerbside. To me this would seem like the sort of service that would help with uptake, but it’s not something that seems to be widely available (I assume due to a lack of demand)

    I'd be interested to hear how others get on with delivery.
  • cancuniacancunia Forumite
    97 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    It all depends on what you compare pellets with. Coal for example is an absolute mess, normally delivered & tipped loose which then needs to be shoveled into a bucket before going into a stove! Logs need a lot of space,LPG is a bit better I suppose, but from personal experience with 47KG cylinders I still prefer pellets.
    I think a lot comes down to how much you need to use over a season. For me, it's 1.5 to 2.5 Tonnes which fits into the space I put aside when I got my garage built so long as I stagger the deliveries. I simply tip a bag or 2 every day into my stove, nowhere near as neat as mains gas, but I don't have that option. I'm not sure how current the following link is, but I'd expect that the coal, lpg & oil prices are correct relative to pellets.

    http://www.biomassenergycentre.org.uk/portal/page?_pageid=75,59188&_dad=portal
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