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Wood fuel

Wood fuel, known as biomass, for boilers comes as wood pellets, wood chips or logs. You need to consider the best option for you.

Choosing your wood fuel

The type of wood fuel that you choose to use is inextricably linked to the amount of space available to store the fuel and the choice of biomass boiler.

A Renewable Fuel

Biomass is a renewable, low carbon fuel that is already widely available throughout the UK.

If the wood fuel is sourced from well managed woodlands, then carbon released from the wood during combustion will be removed from the atmosphere as the remaining trees and seedlings photosynthesize.  The process is sustainable as long as new plants continue to grow in place of those used for fuel. There are some carbon emissions caused by the cultivation, manufacture and transportation of the fuel, but as long as the fuel is sourced locally, these are much lower than the emissions from fossil fuels.
New sustainability criteria were introduced in early 2015 for all biomass fuel suppliers wishing to supply homeowners receiving the RHI payments. The criteria focus on greenhouse gas reduction targets and specific land requirements.

Wood Pellets

Wood pellets have the advantage of having the ability to be automatically fed into a boiler, take up the least amount of space and produce less ash than chips or logs.

Wood chips

Wood chips are often used in commercial biomass boilers and could be best if you have your own supply of wood.


Logs are favoured for smaller heat demands or where fuel supply is local and easy.

Fuel – FAQ

>  How much space?  Wood boilers are larger than gas or oil equivalents and you will need space to store the fuel. This area will need to be somewhere that’s handy for deliveries as well as appropriate for feeding the boiler. It can be a utility room, garage, outside shed or a self contained boiler cabin.

>  How much fuel?  As with any heating system the amount of fuel required will depend on the size of boiler and the period for which it is operated. The volume of fuel required also depends on the calorific value of the fuel and its density.

>  Who supplies wood fuel?  Deliveries of pellets are available anywhere in mainland Britain and Northern Ireland, but the supply of logs is more variable. To be eligible for RHI funding the supplier also needs to meet the sustainability criteria mentioned above. You can search for registered suppliers on the Biomass Suppliers List.

>  How much does it cost? If you have room for a large fuel store that will accept several tonnes of pellets at a time, delivered in bulk by tanker, the cost is currently around £180-£200 per tonne in central Scotland, prices will vary elsewhere in the UK. Bulk delivery costs depend on distance from the supplier and volume of the delivery. A one tonne pallet of bagged wood pellets costs about £240 and your location is less critical. Logs can be cheaper than pellets, but costs depend on the wood suppliers in your local area, and how much processing you can do yourself. If you have room to store more than a year’s worth of logs you can save money by buying unseasoned logs and letting them season for a year.

>  Are prices stable?  Wood pellet prices have risen only very gradually over the last 5 years despite major growth in UK pellet consumption. Forward predictions are that bulk pellets prices will remain below £220 per tonne delivered in bulk for the next 3-5 years.

Further information

To have a chat about the different fuel types, just  get in touch on 0330 22 33 868 or by email.

We can provide further information on fuel suppliers and a free no obligation quote on request.