This is a brief guide to check whether your property could be suitable for a biomass installation.
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Biomass boilers are generally larger than conventional boilers, thus needing more space.
- Commercial installations will require plant room space similar to conventional gas and oil counter parts.
- Domestic installations are generally smaller but significant space is still required for the boiler, buffer store and fuel store.
A large dry area close to the boiler is required for fuel storage. The property must also have suitable access for bulk fuel deliveries.
A vent which is specifically designed for wood fuel appliances, with sufficient air movement for proper operation of the boiler is required. An existing chimney can be fitted with a lined flue at a relatively low expense.
If the property is located in a smokeless zone, then wood can only be burnt in certain exempted appliances. Designated smokeless zones are listed here: UK Smoke Control Areas.
Planning permission will be needed if the flue will extend 1m above the height of the roof, or the property is in a Conservation Area or World Heritage Site and a flue is to be installed on the principal elevation visible from a road. Planning permission applications for biomass boilers are generally considered ‘Permitted Development’.
Checks must be undertaken to make sure that the current plumbing system will be compatible with a biomass boiler and to establish whether any alterations are needed.
Biomass boilers can be used within district heating systems supplying multiple premises with heat from a common shared boiler. For example, a row of terraced cottages or a block of flats could invest in one shared biomass boiler.
Where one building is split into multiple properties with different commercial or domestic purposes (home or barn conversions), a biomass boiler could supply the multiple properties and still qualify for the RHI.