Wood Burners – Costs, savings and earnings

Woodburners Costs

An individual pellet stove will cost around £4,300 including installation. For boilers, an automatically fed pellet boiler for an average home costs between £14,000 and £19,000 including installation, flue, fuel store and VAT at 5%, and log boilers between £11,000 and £23,000. Pellet costs depend mainly on the size and method of delivery. Buying a few bags at a time makes them expensive. If you have room for a large fuel store that will accept several tonnes of pellets at a time, delivered in bulk by tanker, you can keep the cost down. Logs can be cheaper than pellets, but costs depend on the wood suppliers in your local area, as they cost a lot to transport. 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. 

 

Savings

Savings in carbon dioxide emissions are very significant – up to 14.5 tonnes a year when a wood-fuelled boiler replaces a solid (coal) fired system or electric storage heating. Financial savings are more variable – if you replace an older gas heating system with a wood-burning system you might save up to £80 a year, but if you are replacing an old electric heating system you could save as much as £650 per year .This table shows how much you could save by installing pellet central heating in a typical four-bedroom detached house with basic insulation:

Existing system

 

Savings per year

RHI income per year

Electricity (old electric storage heaters)

£/year

£340 to £650

£2,135 to £3,390

Carbon dioxide/year

8.4 to 14.5 tonnes

Oil older (non-condensing)

£/year

£335 to £470

£2,135 to £3,390

Carbon dioxide/year

4.8 to 7.5 tonnes

LPG older (non-condensing)

£/year

£950 to £1,435

£2,135 to £3,390

Carbon dioxide/year

4.7 to 7.3 tonnes

Coal

£/year

£265 to 425

£2,135 to £3,390

Carbon dioxide/year

9.0 to 14.5 tonnes

Gas older (non-condensing)

£/year

£25 to £80

£2,135 to £3,390

Carbon dioxide/year

4.0 to 6.3 tonnes

These savings assume the house has been insulated, as we always recommend that people insulate their homes properly before considering installing renewable energy systems. So you could save money from insulating, and then save the money from switching to wood heating too! We’ve assumed different boiler efficiencies for each fuel type; heat pumps produce more energy (as heat) than they use (as electricity), so their efficiency is more than 100%. 

Earnings

You may be able to receive payments for the heat you produce from a wood boiler through the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).From August 2011, you may be able to get help with the installation costs of a wood boiler through the Renewable Heat Premium Payment scheme. Pellet and log stoves are not eligible for Renewable Heat Premium Payments.