Eco-boilers help cut costs

Capable of cutting costs and energy use, new boilers or appliances can prove a shrewd investment as the Goring Heath Almshouses charity recently discovered. According to a news report, the charity installed a new biomass boiler with the intention of saving as much as £10,000 a year on their heating costs. Currently, the charity supports 17 pensioners in almshouses built during the 1720s. By providing their residents with low-cost housing, the almshouses are a vital part of the community but had previously been heated by seven old-style oil burners – each racking up an annual bill of £25,000.

It is hoped that by swapping from oil to wood pellet as a fuel this annual bill will be slashed. The purchasing of the new environmentally friendly boiler was funded through a £50,000 Lottery grant and £155,000 worth of fundraising and trust contributions. Whilst this may seem a large figure to spend, the UK Government’s Renewable Heat Incentive could give the charity the opportunity to claim back some of this cash. The scheme is designed to encourage businesses and non-profit organisations to use green, renewable energy by offering financial incentives.

Biomass benefits

For those unfamiliar with biomass boilers, these heating systems are wood-fuelled burners which can be used to heat a single room or feed central heating systems and hot water supplies. Due to the scalability of the units, they are just as effective when installed domestically as they are commercially.

In terms of the benefits, these boilers are a low carbon option. Rather than eliminating carbon dioxide emissions altogether, they release carbon at the same rate as the plant would have absorbed CO2 during its lifespan. This means the balance of the carbon cycle is maintained, providing environmental benefits when compared to fossil fuels.

There is plenty to gain financially from these boilers too. Whilst the cost of fuel (wood pellets or logs) varies, it’s almost always cheaper than other options. Incentives such as the Renewable Heat Premium Payment and Renewable Heat Incentive offer money-back for those deemed eligible and the average home could save £580 a year when swapping from electric heating.

Domestic scale biomass

For those interested in adopting eco-friendly appliances and heating systems for their home, biomass burners are definitely a great option. As with any replacement boilers it is vital that you have the unit fitted by a qualified professional and this means searching for local installers in your area.

It’s important to remember that the exact savings you make will be determined by the size of your home and the type of boiler or heating system you’re replacing. If installing pellet central heating, the average saving for a typical three-bedroom semi-detached property (which has been insulated) amounts to£720 a year where the previous fuel source was LPG. For the same property upgrading from gas or coal systems, annual savings equate to £90 and £270 respectively.

The author: This article has been written by Kate Anderson of, a journalist who has a passion for educating consumers regarding the significant savings that can be achieved financially, as well as vastly reducing a home’s carbon output simply by replacing an old inefficient boiler with a new A-rated boiler.

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