Solar PV and Renewable Energy Installations
Bristol, Somerset and the South West

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0845 338 6227 or 0117 9020095

Biomass FAQ


Biomass Boilers Questions Answered

Is my Home Suitable?
Yes all homes are suitable. Its only requirement is space for the unit itself and the fuel you will want to store. It can also be fitted to your existing central heating system.

Do I Need Planning Permission?
No planning permission is needed, unless you plan to install a new external chimney and your house is listed.

Where will the boiler need to be located?
Biomass boilers are available in a variety of sizes, however it is safe to say they tend to take up more space than a standard boiler, especially when you take into consideration the storage space required for fuel. Many Biomass boiler stoves are in fact great looking interior features and in fact can sited in pride of place in the home, and the utility style boilers can be located in a utility room, cellar or an outbuilding so as to not loose space inside your home. They need to be connected to a chimney / flue, which needs to be considered when choosing a location within a home.

How much hot water will a system generate?
As long as a suitable system is installed it will be able to provide all of your hot water and heating needs. Our technical surveyor will be able to advise you on an appropriately system with the adequate output for your home.

How much will a Biomass Boiler system cost from Gem Solar?
As each system is tailored to the property to which it is installed and the brand and size of boiler chosen. A technical survey is required to give you an accurate quote. However to help give you an idea, and using a typical 4 bedroom house scenario, a fully installed system, ready for the Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme can cost as little as £5k.

Please contact us to discuss your requirements, and if you like we can arrange for technical survey to give you a precise quote.


Can I choose a particular make of Biomass Boiler for you to install?
Yes you can. We will advise you as to what we believe to be the best quality and value system available at the time. This is judged not only by the specifications from the manufacturer, but also from the installation experiences of our installers, and reviews from previous customers.

We are not tied to a particular manufacturer in order that we can maintain that flexibility to provide for our customers the very best product available at the time.

It also means that we are free to install any equipment a customer wishes. So if there is a particular make of system you have researched yourselves that you would specifically like us to install for you, then please let us know and we will source and quote accordingly.


What does a technical survey involve?
One of our full time employed, non-commission based surveyors will visit your home to assess your hot water heating requirements, as well as how well insulated your home is in order to calculate the correct sized system for your home. The surveyor will also discuss with you the location options for the boiler to be installed.

The survey is required not only to be able to properly asses you property in term of being able to recommend the correct sized system for your home to give you an accurate quote, but also adhere to the MCS (renewable energy installation governing body’s) standards, which requires us to give you the customer the most accurate data possible on how effective the proposed system will be.

Unlike many renewable energy companies we are completely against the use of the typical hard sell techniques used by so many firms. We cannot stress enough that it isn’t an untrained commission based hard sell sales rep that will be visiting your home, but rather a fully trained technical surveyor who is there to give you the information required and answer any questions you may have.

The whole survey process involves a complete property heat loss survey and should take about an hour.


What can I expect to save in energy?

This will of course vary depending on how much energy you use to heat your home and hot water, how well insulated your house is, and the type of Biomass fuel you decide to use.

The systems are extremely efficient, even compared to a modern condensing boiler, so you should expect to use less energy than you currently use to heat your home and hot water.

The biggest savings can be achieved where you have access to a free or inexpensive source of biomass fuel (such as free logs), where you can heat your home for free. Even if you are using a pellet system a biomass boiler is still significantly cheaper to run that a gas, oil, or electricity run system.

As well as savings in the amount of energy you need to pay for you will also be eligible to earn extra revenue through the Renewable Heat Incentive.


What can I expect to earn from my Biomass system?
As well as the savings you can make by needing less energy from your supplier, through the RHI Scheme you will also be paid 7.42p per kWh of energy you produce through your Biomass heating system.

This 7.42p per kWh is paid to you even though you will be using the energy you create yourself in your own home. You are effectively getting paid for doing your bit to help the environment – it’s a thank you from the government for being a part of the solution to the planets problems rather than being a continued user of the non-sustainable energy produced by the big power companies.

For current Biomass installations this payment is fixed for the next 7 years, giving you plenty of time to earn a considerable income from your System, tax free. There is unlikely to be a better time to get a Biomass system installed to maximise your earnings from this incentive.


How long will it take the system to repay its investment?
Using a typical system example you should expect your system to have completely paid for itself in savings and Renewable Heat Incentive earnings in about 7 years. As the Biomass boiler system should last for many extra years to come, this still leaves many further years of savings.

Is there much paperwork I need to do to get my system registered for the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme?
We will provide you with everything you need to easily make the application

What maintenance of the system is required?

A biomass boiler requires ash to be emptied, as some basic cleaning approximately every 2 weeks depending on the type of fuel burnt and frequency of usage, however this takes only a few minutes and the small amount of ash waste created is great for the compost heap.

Just like a standard boiler a regular annual service is recommended.

Gem solar is always on hand for any routine maintenance or any problems and we always make sure we recommend reliable boilers for which spares have guaranteed long term and next day availability.


Can a Biomass System work alongside my Boiler?
Yes it is possible to have a Biomass boiler that can work alongside your existing boiler, however a suitable Biomass system is capable of providing all your heating and hot water needs.

Will I need new radiators and hot water tank?
A Biomass boiler system can be connected up to your existing heating system and water tank, so there is no need for you to invest in new radiators etc. For log burning appliances in many cased a new larger thermal store or cylinder is advised.

How long will it take from placing my order to get the system installed?
Typically we can have a system installed and up and running on your house within 3 weeks, depending mainly on any advanced plumbing works required, but we will always try and fit around your requirements and will always try and get it done sooner if you need us to. Equally if you wish to order more than a month before you would like it installed, we can delay installation until whatever date you request.

What size system will I need?

This very much depends on your water and central heating energy usage primarily, as well as how well insulated your home is.

The most important thing is to make sure you get a system large enough to supply the heating and hot water you require, and we will make sure you are advised accordingly.


How long will the system last?

Conservative estimates for the current standard of the technology and the high standard of the equipment that we recommend, you should expect a system life span of at least 20 years, if the system is suitably maintained.


What reassurance can you give?
We are MCS accredited and members of the Renewable Energy Consumer Code, and use only our in house installers and surveyors. We guarantee a top level service from start to finish.

We use the best quality equipment and we will always match the warranty on the equipment with the same warranty on the installation.



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Gemsolar Ltd - 326 Redcatch Road, Bristol, Somerset, BS3 5DS
Tel: 0845 338 6227 - 0117 9020095 - Email: info (@) gemsolar.co.uk