Biomass fuel is organic material used to generate low cost renewable energy.

Why switch to biomass for your heating?

Lower your energy costs

Using biomass to heat your business could lead to lower fuel costs, lower carbon tax and savings in business operations. Discover how much your business can save when switching from oil or gas.

Calculate the savings

Biomass heating can also

  • Enhance your company's sustainable image
  • Help your workplace reduce its carbon footprint
  • Support local business and employment

What are biomass fuels?

Biomass fuel can come from a range of organic feedstocks. These include wood from forestry bi-products, poultry litter from chicken farms and straw from tillage. Wood fuels are manufactured to a recognised international standard, and are widely available on the open market. The commonly used fuels for biomass heating systems include wood pellets or wood chips.

Wood pellets have a higher energy density than wood chips. Wood chips are normally cheaper than wood pellets on a euro per kWh basis. They require about 3 times more storage than pellets but are less sensitive to moisture damage.

How biomass heating works

Biomass boilers work on the same principle as a conventional oil boiler. Fuel is burned to produce heat which can be used for space heating, process heat and hot water. Biomass fuel is transferred to a boiler where it is burnt to produce heat. This heat is most commonly used for heating and hot water.

The hot water pipework from the boiler is connected to a radiator, or other heat distribution system. This is usually through a buffer tank or thermal store. Heat meters are normally installed at different points in the system. They could be placed at the boiler output or at the connection to a heat distribution system.

Biomass CHP systems are similar but more complex than conventional natural gas fired CHP systems. In case of a biomass CHP, gasifiers are required for converting biomass into syngas which further needs to be purified before it is combusted.

More and more customers are green aware. They are looking for hotels that are working on a sustainability plan for the future.
Bill Kelly, Managing Director of Kelly’s Resort Hotel

Factors to consider

Biomass heating systems include biomass boilers and biomass CHPs (Combined Heat and Power). Businesses that are most suitable for biomass heating are large heat users, with space for boilers, fuel delivery and storage.


Biomass boilers tend to be larger in size compared to a conventional oil boiler. That's why a biomass heating system often needs more space. Biomass boilers also require higher maintenance than oil boilers with an additional requirement for ash disposal.

Delivery access

It is important for any site using a biomass boiler to allow access for fuel delivery. This fuel usually comes in large delivery trucks.


What's the cost of switching to biomass?

Interested in switching? It's a good idea to talk to suppliers or look at similar installations to find out what the costs might be for your business. Cost considerations include:

  • The upfront cost of a biomass heating system is typically higher than an oil or gas boiler.
  • Costs will include servicing, spare parts and day-to-day, onsite tasks.
  • The price of biomass will vary over time, like any other fuel.

Financial support from SEAI

Learn about the financial supports we offer to help your business move to renewable heat. Find out if you are eligible and how to apply.

Support Scheme for Renewable Heat

How much can you save with biomass?

Find out how much you can save by switching from oil or gas to sustainable biomass fuels. Answer 5 questions and generate your business' estimated lifetime savings.

Save with biomass

Fuel quality standards for biomass

It is very important to use fuel that is certified to the standard needed for your biomass boiler. The following resources outline important considerations for biomass fuel.

Visit Wood Fuel Quality Assurance scheme    Visit ENplus® website

Talk to us about switching to renewable heating


Phone: 01 808 2006