Property Type and Location
Our property is a 17th Manor building which has been modernised in several steps since the 1990s.
The building had an existing efficient (oil) boiler, but we were seriously interested in reducing our carbon footprint. Shortly after moving in we put solar panels on the roof, but we wanted to do more for the environment than that.
A further consideration was cost: Our first oil bill was roughly £450 but due to volatile market developments the second filling of our tank cost us almost £800. We wanted to protect ourselves from such huge fluctuations.
Birds’ Hill Solution
A friend recommended Birds Hill Biomass who successfully installed a wood pellet boiler for him. Company director Nick came to our house for an informal, no obligation chat. We have our own spring, so our initial idea was to replace the dirty oil system with a ground heat pump system. Unfortunately, the original stone slate flooring and other factors make the property unsuitable for ground heat pumps (which run best with underfloor heating).
Nick suggested a wood pellet boiler from Innasol to replace oil as fuelling source. Our house is huge, so we settled for a utility outbuilding boiler with an automated feeding system. That way we had no building work inside and can have the pellets delivered conveniently close to the burner.
New Renewable Heating System Benefits
- This system versus oil has significantly reduced C02
- We receive 7 years RHI payments
- Relatively automated solution – less than weekly top up with pellets
- The ash tray only needs cleaning once a month
- Easy to use, fully automated and programmable
- Wood pellets sourced locally
- Delivery of pellets easier and in more convenient location than oil tank, thanks to carefully chosen location and thoughtful design
- System is linked to wi-fi and email – warnings of system failure to both, us and Birds Hill and control of system via computer
- Rapid return on investment through the Domestic RHI (Renewable Heat Incentive)
- Free heating for 7 years, plus index linked income circa £1500 p.
- Annual income of £9,000 through the Renewable Heat Incentive.
Nick found the perfect spot for the boiler and pellet storage. His team designed and built a wooden casing for the system with an exterior and a chimney option that blend in perfectly with the rest of our house. They dug a trench to connect the new system via pipes to the old boiler room, minimising heat loss. They worked so independently and quiet, we hardly ever noticed they were there.
The interior of our new utility outbuilding was designed ergonomically and tailored to our needs: A large pellet storage so topping up is reduced to a minimum and steps up to the storage to suit my height.
The flue was damaged in transit which caused a slight delay but Nick and his team even worked the Sunday before Christmas in order to finish the project for us in time for the festive season.
Running the System
En Plus A1 wood pellets are delivered to the property on a pallet every few weeks and stored right next to the burner. The delivery of pellets is much easier as it allows for smaller vehicles than the huge Oil truks that had problems accessing our oil tank. The manageable (10kg) sacks can be batch fed into the biomass boiler hopper at our convenience, during
The system is computerised, allowing us to control it via the computer. It also gives us and Birds Hill warnings via emails if there are any issues. When the heating ran out of pellets while we were on holiday, Birds Hill knew about the issue long before we did and dealt with it for us.
The system is clean, safer and easy to operate.
Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) approval was taken care of by Nick who assisted us greatly with the application form. The process was smooth and successfully secured the full RHI for our heating system.
By signing up to the RHI scheme to install a biomass heating system we will make our money back within seven years, an excellent return on our investment.