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Biomass boilers, Has anyone got one??

(12 Posts)
Tigger13 Sat 06-Sep-08 21:30:56

Have just moved into a 60's house which needs a fair amount of work including a boiler, which we weren't expecting angry it is in a village which doesn't have mains gas and most people have oil, the oil tank also needs replacing and re-siting angry

Have been looking at alternatives which are about the same cost 3-5k as oil but more sustainable especially as other houses costing about £80 a month to buy oil. I have started looking the bio-mass boilers which are fed on wood pellets as an alternative and can be purchased with a grant. But want to know how easy they actually are to use, run, how many pellet things you get through and most importantly whether you would recommend buying one????

Any comments greatly appreciated as winter rapidly approaching.........

Jampot Sat 06-Sep-08 21:34:21

the lovatt arms hotel in fort william has a biomass boiler which they're pretty proud of

DaisySteiner Sat 06-Sep-08 21:36:45

I'm interested in the answers as we would consider doing this in the long term, but we have a new-ish oil boiler and we don't use anything like £80 a month - more like £30....

KatyMac Sat 06-Sep-08 21:38:27

Do check you can get the pellets delivered & stored easily - it can be a problem

Were will your boiler be?

KatyMac Sat 06-Sep-08 21:39:26

That was really a where nor a were ...honest

lalalonglegs Sat 06-Sep-08 21:46:14

There was a piece in the guardian recently about biomass boilers and how painfully difficult it is to get any information on alternative energies. (Sorry, tried to find article on web but couldn't.) One of things to worry about, iirc, if you ever manage to find someone to explain all the ins and outs, is how accessible your house is for pellet delivery. The boiler looked huge and cumbersome - it would definitely need its own room/cellar. From memory, the journalist seemed quite pleased to have done it but it was very, very hard finding out about it and getting practical information.

KatyMac Sat 06-Sep-08 21:47:23

Have a look at the green building forum

The peeps there are fab at this sort of thing

Millarkie Sat 06-Sep-08 22:01:34

I think Bobsmum has one?

We've looked into it since we also live in a village with no mains gas and have oil-fired boiler. We have a double garage sized 'boiler room' so plenty of room for self-feeder boiler and pellet store. We spend about £80 a month on oil and that's with me shopping around and bulk-buying when the oil price dips. The biggest thing which has put us off is that at the moment the wood pellets cost as much as oil! The price of the pellets is linked to oil because of the transport costs. I spoke to a local installer and he recommended a log stove rather than a pellet stove because the fuel is cheaper..but then you need to link it to a 'heat store' and 'fire it up' every now and then rather than have a {pretty} stove burning.
Our oil boiler is not very old yet so we are looking ahead to when it needs replacing - but at the moment it looks more likely that we will use solar thermal panels to pre-heat water feeding a combi-oil boiler than a biomass one

Millarkie Sat 06-Sep-08 22:04:09

Oops - it was Bobsdad... see

KatyMac Sat 06-Sep-08 22:05:50

I have a wood burning stove powering my central heating & I love it

Tigger13 Sun 07-Sep-08 09:58:58

Thanks for all your comments, really useful

Katymac I have also been looking at wood burning stove to power heating and hot water as this also seems a good option, DH is worried about how u heat water in the summer, my thoughts are that you use an electric shower (also need a new shower!) and maybe electric immersion heater in hot water tank and in the future possibly solar power when we have more money available. With your wood burning stove how often do you need to feed it and do you light it each morning in the middle of the winter?? We are looking at a multi fuel stove for the living room anyway so this would make sense for it also to supply the heating!

Didn't realise there was a green building forum will have a look there to.

Many Thanks x

KatyMac Sun 07-Sep-08 10:43:54

It's hosted by the green building magazine & is very good

My stove stays lit all winter - only goes out if we go away for more than 18-20 hours

I feed it every couple of hours if we are in - but if we go out we bank it and it will be lit when we get back

We have an immersion in the summer but are saving up for solar (which pre-heat the water for the immersion & the stove (even in winter))

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