In recent years there has been a huge move towards sustainable business, with many companies looking to market themselves as being green. Exactly how this can be achieved will vary from business to business, dependant on their operation and can include using local suppliers, recycling and stocking sustainable products.
However, it is perhaps their energy usage where businesses can make changes that will have the biggest positive impact on the environment and many UK businesses are now moving towards commercial biomass boilers, with the government offering incentives for doing so. Whilst running a greener operation and being able to market yourself as such is of course a plus, biomass boilers also have the capacity to save businesses money on their heating costs.
What exactly are biomass boilers?
A biomass boiler is of course a boiler that is used to heat water in central heating systems. The difference between them and boilers used in standard central heating systems is that they do not use fossil fuels such as natural gas, oil or LPG. Instead they generate heat by burning living or dead organic materials, with biomass fuels including straw, wood, sugar cane and palm oils. However, the most common fuel used in biomass boilers is wood chips or pellets.
How much do they cost to install?
Exactly how much a commercial biomass boiler costs to install is determined by the size of the building which you wish to heat. Smaller properties can be heated by one boiler, which can be installed externally in a self-contained unit placed close to the building. The boiler is then connected to the existing central heating system’s pipework. For larger properties, you may require two or more boilers working in unison.
A commercial biomass boiler from the market leader manufacturers Guntamatic is likely to cost in the region of £100,000. This outlay can be prohibitive to many companies and organisations, who simply do not have the cash available. However, ‘free biomass boiler’ schemes offer a solution to this problem. Such an agreement sees a supplier install the boiler free of charge, with the product still belonging to them. In return for the use of their equipment, the business is signed up to a 20 year contract in which the supplier provides the wood chips or pellets that will be used as fuel. Over the course of the contract the supplier can cover the cost of the equipment and still make a profit.
How much can a biomass boiler save my business?
Again, working out how much a biomass boiler can save you is down to individual circumstances; depending on how much fuel you consume and the fuel that you are currently using. In terms of cost per kWh, there is currently only a nominal difference between natural gas and wood pellets. Although this difference will only widen, with the price of natural gas forecast to increase 6–15% year on year, in contrast to 3% for wood pellets. The table below details the current UK costs of biomass fuel in comparison to more traditional fuel sources.
As you can see, when compared to the current prices for heating oil and LPG, wood pellets are significantly cheaper and could reduce your annual heating costs by anything up to 50%. Even if your property is heated using natural gas, the savings will soon add up over the course of a year and increase as the price of gas rises. Considering the fact that free biomass boilers are available, there really are no drawbacks to going down this route for your heating, as long as you have the available space for external installation of the self-contained unit.
This is a guest post by Think Renewables Energy; a UK based company located in Yorkshire that specialise in renewable energy services. If you would like to learn more about free commercial biomass boiler installation then please visit their site.