Biomass Heating for Oast Houses & Hops Kilns
Depending on what part of the UK you hail from, you’ll call the buildings used for drying hops either oast houses or hops kilns. Many of which have since been converted into living spaces, their height, size and shape making them ideal for turning into living quarters.
Whether you’re using them for their intended hops drying purpose or have decided to convert one into a living area (or perhaps you’ve just bought one) biomass is a viable, sustainable, renewable and efficient heating alternative to conventional oil, gas or electric heating systems.
Why consider biomass?
If you’re off grid, and most oast houses usually are, then really your only heating solution is oil (or very expensive electric heating). In the case of oil heating, this means you need an oil tank on site which a large tanker needs to be able to gain access to in order to refill at least two or three times per year.
The price of oil is rather volatile and can shift rapidly and unexpectedly, market forces tend to have a dramatic impact on its price. The moment a conflict or other issue arises in the Middle East, the price of oil worldwide shoots up. Meaning you never really know what the next tank of oil is going to cost you.
Biomass fuel is most commonly wood pellets, specifically manufactured for the purpose. These are produced from specially managed forests and from wood product wastage. They are less effected by market forces and, since they mostly come from Scandinavia and Central Europe, their supply is rarely (if ever) effected by conflict.
What does biomass give me that oil can’t?
In truth, in terms of heating efficiency, stability and energy output, biomass is on a similar level to oil and there is little difference between the two.
However, biomass fuel is carbon neutral and qualifies therefore as a renewable energy source. This makes it eligible for government incentive programmes, tax breaks and so on which can make it far more attractive. The RHI (Renewable Heat Incentive) scheme, for which biomass boilers can qualify, provides an income back in return for using the fuel source. This can be available for both domestic and business biomass boiler customers.
Typically, most biomass boilers pay for themselves within the first five years. After which, the incentive scheme payments become a tax-free income in their own right. Meaning you can get paid for heating your oast house or hops kiln! Just imagine that!
To find out more about how your oast house or hops kiln can benefit from biomass please get in touch with us today and we’ll be happy to help.