Better heating for our Carmarthenshire modern home
Paul and Pam Bennett have been using wood to fuel their whole heating system at their modern home in Llandeilo since summer 2011. Here, Paul explains why it's the right choice for them:
"We moved into our home about eight years ago and didn't spare a thought for heating options. Like many new-builds, our house was built with an oil supply, but with oil prices continuing to rise, we realised that we needed to think about the way we'd be heating our home in the future.
We lived in a rural area and so wood fuel seemed a natural option for us to consider. We didn't have any knowledge about wood burners or previous experience of using wood fuel, so we decided to do some research.
I contacted a local boiler and stove retailer - a Woodfuel Wales member - based in Swansea following a local recommendation. A very helpful fellow came to our house, looked at our existing set-up, and explained what options would suit best. It was important for us to have a unit that would tie in with our existing central heating system and not be too intrusive, once it was set up in the garage.
We finally opted for an auto-feed pellet boiler and within four months we had made the switch from oil to wood. Since the installation, our heating system is working equally as well as it did with il. Wood fuel is not a dwindling source of fuel, and by using it to heat our home we are helping the environment by using a sustainable source. Although installation may not be cheap, we view it as a long-term solution that will provide savings."
The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has finally revealed its plans for the future of the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) after initially announcing the scheme in 2009 and introducing commercial RHI support in November last year.
Government is proposing that the Domestic RHI will support the installation of ground and air source heat pumps, biomass boilers and solar thermal panels. The RHI scheme will work in the same manner as the existing commercial RHI as well as the more popular Feed-in Tariff (FiT) scheme, whereby subsidy is provided through tariff based payments for every unit of renewable heat generated. DECC states that the domestic RHI is aimed at any householder looking to replace their current heating with renewable heating kit as well as supporting any householders who have installed an RHI-eligible technology since July 15, 2009.
DECC is proposing that the new Domestic RHI payments will be paid over a seven year period. However, the proposed seven year payment period is designed to pay for 20 years’ worth of heat generated. DECC believes that paying the tariff over a shorter period will help investors realise their investment in a timely manner. The department does recognise that it will face challenges over ensuring the assumed levels of heat are actually generated. With respect to biomass heating the proposed tariff is indicated as being:
Tariff (p/kWh) 5.2-8.7 [Biomass]
However, DECC are keen to stress that it will be “going through a period of refining, updating and verifying our evidence during the autumn including the incorporation of evidence that we gather from this consultation and the most up to date data from the RHPP scheme and other government calls for evidence. This means that the final tariff rates will almost certainly be different to those set out in this consultation.”
The Department is also proposing to introduce a budget management system for the domestic RHI, similar to the one consulted on for the commercial RH. The budget management system would be almost identical to the current model employed for solar FiT payments, where degression would occur when certain trigger points are hit by industry. DECC maintains that a trigger mechanism is necessary to protect the budget of the scheme and ensure that it can keep running.
Commenting on the proposals, Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said: We need to revolutionise the way we heat our homes and businesses and move away from expensive fossil fuels, not only to cut carbon but to help meet our renewables targets and save money on bills.
“Our proposals aim to encourage even more uptake of clean green heating in industry and in our businesses. We have also set out our views on long term support for those who invest in low carbon kit in their homes and we look forward to hearing your thoughts.”
DECC has announced that Ofgem will be the interim delivery partner for the Domestic RHI scheme. The department is hoping to ready the announced scheme for summer 2013.
REA Head of Policy Paul Thompson, who was speaking this morning alongside officials from DECC and Ofgem at an REA seminar on sustainability under the RHI, said: “Renewable heat has been the sleeping giant of UK renewable energy policy. Renewable heat technologies are often very cost-effective, and have a major role to play in reducing our carbon emissions, improving our energy security, and revitalising our economy.
The closing date for this consultation is December 7, 2012.
Next RHI Programme - Renewable Heat Premium Payment scheme
Government ( DECC) has announced that, in the absence of decisions on the domestic RHI, a second phase of the RHPP will be initiated on 1st May 2012 and run until 31st March 2012 (with an increased budget of £25 million, including an £8 million communities competition). Potential applicants for the Phase 2 scheme (which will offer the same grants as in Phase 1) can pre-register on the EST website.
Final outcome of Phase 1 of the Renewable Heat Premium Payment scheme
The Energy Saving Trust has published the final outcome of Phase 1 of the Renewable Heat Premium Payment scheme, which came to an end at the end of March 2012. By the close of the scheme 5,369 vouchers had been redeemed (out of the 7,253 issued) with a total value of £5,479,750. By country the breakdown was 77% in England, 14% in Scotland and 9% in Wales.
The REA has issued the following statement in response to the RSPB’s report: Bioenergy: A Burning Issue, as heard on BBC Radio 4 today:
It is great to see that our campaign – Back Biomass www.backbiomass.co.uk - is creating a debate on the future of biomass in the UK’s energy mix and the RSPB report is a welcome addition to that debate. It is vital that as the Government makes decisions about the future of energy policy in the UK it makes those in recognition of the need for a portfolio of renewables - and heat and power from sustainable biomass offers proven, practical, secure and low carbon energy as part of a balanced energy mix.
We agree with the RSPB that there is much greater potential for developing biomass from better managed forests in the UK and other domestic sources including agricultural by-products. We believe that a mature biomass industry will help to incentivise the more effective use and management of our woodlands, developing the UK biomass energy supply chain. However it must be recognised that the future of biomass is much more sustainable than the RSPB report recognises.
Our campaign is committed to promoting sustainable biomass fuel sources and the new Government sustainability criteria ensures, from April 2013, that all biomass feedstock comes from demonstrably sustainable low carbon sources. This criteria requires information provided by companies to be verified by independent auditors to ensure that these criteria are being met.
Our campaign aims to put forward the positive, practical and pragmatic case for biomass. Its contribution is essential, particularly given its unique position as a low carbon baseload technology, which makes biomass complement to other renewables, many of which are intermittent or variable in output.
We would encourage all of those interested in the debate to visit the Back Biomass website www.backbiomass.co.uk for further information on the role of biomass as an affordable, low carbon energy source, that can benefit the UK economy, helping to strengthen our energy security in a sustainable way.
Biofutures new service vehicle will be ready and completed shortly. It will provide the engineers of the company a vehicle with a very distinctive appearance highlighting the quality of the products that the company distributes for it European partners.
Biofutures have a stand at the show and will be displaying some of their key Biomass systems. The display will include a sectioned boiler which will provide visitors with a unique insight into the working of a modern 96% efficient biomass boiler. The stand will also have a boiler with one of the smallest "footprints" in the market but which still produces 15kW - fine for most individual houses. Drop in and have a special experience and pick up some figures on the financial returns through the FITS and RHI schemes. It nows pays to go green!
Biotech have released their latest pellet boiler the PZ65 on to the market. With a maximum output of 65kW it further fills out the pellet boiler range with outputs now of 9, 15, 25, 35, 65, and 100kW.
With this latest edition Biotech are even beter equipped to have a solution to fit any domestic and small commercial application. Lower your carbon footprint today with Biotech wood pellet boiler system.