The Benefits Of Biomass Boilers For Care Homes

Published: 27th October 2015

The low fuel costs and government incentives available with biomass boilers can be an effective solution to the problem of how to manage expenditure on heating and hot water in care homes.

Space and water heating are major expenses for the operators of care homes, assisted living developments and retirement homes; in fact, this sort of accommodation incurs some of the highest energy costs of any type of business.

The need to select a heating system that keeps costs to a minimum or even delivers a return on investment is clear.

The financial benefits of biomass boilers for care homes

When choosing a heating system for new or refurbished premises, any care home operator has to consider the whole life cost of the suitable alternatives. Wood-burning biomass boilers perform particularly well in this measure.

As long as the wood pellets or logs are purchased from an approved source, the biomass boiler should be eligible for the government’s Non-Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). This environmental programme is designed to persuade more companies and public sector bodies to switch to renewable energy by offering them financial incentives.

Installations that qualify for the Non-Domestic RHI will receive payments from the government for the first 20 years of the biomass boiler’s life. The sums paid depend on the size of the boiler and the amount of energy used, but should total enough to cover the initial purchase price of the heating system and to deliver a healthy return on investment.

Care home operators will also benefit from the consistently low price of wood fuel. The the price of fossil fuels fluctuates depending on a host of geopolitical and supply & demand factors, meaning that for a period every few years heating oil begins to look like a cheap option. However, taken over the full lifespan of the boiler, wood fuel will deliver a considerable cost saving and also help with budgeting (due to its consistent price).

The combination of RHI payments and the price of wood fuel means biomass boilers are an attractive option for care home operators keen to reduce running costs.

The practical benefits of biomass boilers for care homes

Wood-burning biomass boilers easily fulfil the basic requirements of any commercial heating system. They are highly reliable, clean and have a low maintenance requirement, while also being simple for staff to use on a day-to-day basis - no different from gas or oil-fired systems.

They do have some design advantages, including that biomass boilers can be connected to create a highly-efficient district heating system that can provide space and water heating for multiple buildings - ideal for care homes that are expanding or retirement complexes that have bungalows and apartments.

Biomass boilers can be installed in existing boiler rooms or unused rooms, but there are other options that will help to free up the maximum amount of usable space within the care home itself. For example, a special cabin can be installed in a car park or on nearby land to house the boiler, associated equipment and a store for the wood pellets. This type of solution works well for new builds, conversions and to replace heating systems that have reached the end of their useful life.

One other benefit of biomass boilers is that they help to reduce carbon emissions and allow care homes to source wood fuel from a sustainable local source; which helps to improve the operator’s green credentials and meet any Carbon Reduction Commitments.

Getting started with biomass boilers

The Denby Dale Energy team are happy to carry out a no-obligation feasibility study at your care home site to ascertain whether a biomass boiler is a viable option. We can also provide some advice about the best Euroheat biomass heating system for your site and explain how the RHI could work for you.

For more information about biomass boilers for care homes, please call Denby Dale Energy on 01484 866785 or contact us via the website.