Home  5  Books  5  GBEzine  5  News  5  HelpDesk  5  Register  5  GreenBuilding.co.uk
Not signed in (Sign In)


Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
These two books are the perfect starting place to help you get to grips with one of the most vitally important aspects of our society - our homes and living environment.

Buy individually or both books together. Delivery is free!

widget @ surfing-waves.com

Vanilla 1.0.3 is a product of Lussumo. More Information: Documentation, Community Support.

Welcome to new Forum Visitors
Join the forum now and benefit from discussions with thousands of other green building fans and discounts on Green Building Press publications: Apply now.

    • CommentAuthorJohnW
    • CommentTimeFeb 9th 2015
    hnW 21 minutes ago
    Hello: Five years ago I entered a discussion about my newly installed Perge boiler. Now after a fairly unsatisfactory relationship with the beast, I am considering replacing it with one of the new breed of Pellet boilers approved for RHI payments. My question is: does anyone know an honest dealer out there who will provide and install a boiler at an affordable price? I merely want to replace a log boiler with all its features like 3,000 litre accumulator tank, pumps, safety features and pressure vessels. But it seems impossible to obtain a quote that does not take the breath away! Yes, I know pellet boilers are not cheap but why should a boiler costing, say anything up to £10,000 cost more than double this amount to install on an existing system? I fear we biomass groupies are the victims of another case of Rip off Britain since the domestic RHI payments were introduced last year. Like solar panels a whole industry has sprung up to latch on to these government payments. If my oil or gas fired boiler needed replacing, I guess I would pay for a replacement and a fair price for installation. With biomass it is sold as an investment! Yes, I know, as I have been told a dozen times, the cost of the boiler and associated works will be recouped within the seven years of RHI and I will also save on my heating costs. But that is little comfort to anyone having to find well over £20,000 to replace an existing system. From my enquiries this appears to be the going rate but I also suspect I am being asked to pay for what amounts to a whole new system rather than just replacing an older boiler. Am I right or wrong?
    • CommentAuthorJonG
    • CommentTimeFeb 9th 2015
    Hi John, we are installers and so can hopefully shed some light on the situation for you.

    Obviously every install and product is different and there may be elements of your existing system that are not compatible with an automated pellet boiler. The accumulator sizing for log gasification is different to that for a pellet boiler, different hydraulics may be required, the flue may not be compliant etc. etc.

    Our labour rate for renewables is the same as our labour rate for gas, oil and LPG, but we make a much higher margin on renewable technology, this offsets against the additional costs that we bear for MCS accreditation, continuous training for the lads, learning curve mistakes etc.

    In comparison with a gas or oil installation, there are generally more bits of plant required e.g buffers, return risers etc, sometimes extra kit for compliance with RHI/MCS, larger expansion vessels, more treatment fluid, larger bore pipework and fittings and therefore larger size insulation etc. etc.

    We looked at the Perge back in the day but were unconvinced by it, there is a huge difference between the tech. in that and a decent, good quality automated pellet boiler,which if bulk fed will also have an automated store.

    Administratively too the situation is complex with MCS/RHI and the time for this has to be accounted for somewhere, we do absorb some of this in the margin to play the long game but it is much more difficult to even get to quote for biomass/heat pump tech. than it is for gas or oil, despite the fact that arguably more stringent controls should applied to the fossil fuels.
    • CommentAuthorbxman
    • CommentTimeFeb 9th 2015
    I think the short answer to your question is yes .

    I suspect in the long term it will be found to be the taxpayer that has been ripped off more than anyone .
    • CommentAuthorcjard
    • CommentTimeFeb 10th 2015
    While the government is trying to drive early adoption, you might well find that all the quotes are a couple of k cheaper than the maximum benefit payments you will get, even if the rate falls in the future
    • CommentAuthorTriassic
    • CommentTimeFeb 10th 2015
    Maybe it's worth looking at alternatives like gas, LPG, PV and immersion heaters, more insulation etc. £20k every five years is a lot of money!
    • CommentAuthorscrimper
    • CommentTimeFeb 10th 2015
    John W ... I too was very cynical about this ahead of our installation. I actually wanted to compare costs in countries where subsidies weren't offered ... and it seemed that actually our prices (at least for the boilers themselves etc.) were roughly the same in countries like Austria where there are no grants etc. However I didn't really satisfactorily answer the same question regarding installation costs - so I'd still be very interested. As Jon G says, yes, it is more specialized, and there is the MCS side of things to keep up with, so a premium IS justified ... just a question of how much!

    I am interested in possibly adding a separate log gasification unit to our pellet set up, so will be very interested to see what we get quoted for that ...
    I object to the lack of a free market, one gets "locked-in" to an "accredited" supplier, who in both my recent experiences can then charge extra for various unspecified bits.
    When the accreditation is not worth wiping ones arse with.
    From experience, after glaring problems with the first install.
    Like "extra over" for anything more than 2.0m distance between the boiler and buffer tank.
    The firms can somehow, definitively, price the job without EVER even visiting the site.
    Which can only indicate the amount of "wriggle" room they leave themselves.
    And one is constrained to pay the extras, or no certification, therefore no grant/subsidy monies forthcoming.
    • CommentAuthorJeff B
    • CommentTimeFeb 10th 2015
    JohnW - in reply to your question - yes, without a doubt. I am surprised to read that you say the prices for boilers are about the same in the UK compared to continental Europe prices. 5 or so years ago my wood pellet boiler which was made in Denmark was half the cost over there compared to the UK price. Maybe there is more competition now as obviously 5 or 6 years ago we would have been regarded as "pioneers" in this technology I guess.
    • CommentAuthorgyrogear
    • CommentTimeJan 4th 2017 edited

    "(...) alleged the scheme was being abused and that at least one farmer would make £1m over 20 years from heating an empty shed"

    Even HALF--a-million quid would buy me a heck of a lot of firewood...

    This sort of thing leaves me just an empty shed of my former self...

    • CommentAuthorringi
    • CommentTimeJan 4th 2017
    Even in the UK, someone can get lot of RHI payments to heat a shed to dry firewood, rather then just let the wind dry the firewood without needing any heat....
    • CommentAuthorEd Davies
    • CommentTimeJan 4th 2017
    Posted By: ringiEven in the UK…
    Isn't the article about a part of the UK?

    England != Britain != UK. At least for now.
    • CommentAuthorgyrogear
    • CommentTimeJan 4th 2017 edited
    • CommentAuthorgravelld
    • CommentTimeJan 4th 2017
    I was wondering about whether it would be possible to abuse the RHI to help pay for retrofit.

    1. Get EPC done with scary space heating requirement
    2. Fit RHI heating and start collecting payments
    3. Retrofit
    4. Pocket the difference (or pay down the loan for the retrofit)

    Dunno what sort of payments are possible.
    • CommentAuthorArtiglio
    • CommentTimeJan 5th 2017
    Imhad a pellet boiler system installed at my mothers house. A trianco boiler that has performed pretty well but needs plenty of tlc. The biggest bug bear with the rhi scheme, is that its based solely on the boiler performance and not the system as a whole. Whilst the system has to able to accept a heat meter its not mandatory on every installation. The levels of insulation were pretty poor,but acceptable under the scheme. I spent many a day upgrading the insulation levels on the buffer, pipework , pumps etc. This reduced the pellet consumption by around 7kg a day.
    • CommentAuthorDarylP
    • CommentTimeJan 6th 2017
    Heat meters are for commercial/non-dom. installations.:confused:
    Domestics use the deemed energy demand on the EPC, I believe?
    Yes, as Daryl says domestic RHI is based on the energy demand of the property as listed on its EPC.
    So, if you base the heatload for RHI on the pre-retrofit EPC report that will do you nicely.
    Metered heat use is for commercial premises only.
    I have come across a report talking about increases in RHI from April 2017 for biomass to 6.5p/KWh and ASHP to 10p/KWh - only rumors so far.
    This goes against the Governments other policies, but maybe there is a change afoot ;-)
    • CommentAuthorcjard
    • CommentTimeJan 7th 2017 edited
    Not rumoured, formally announced and awaiting parliamentary approval! but


    the new RHI have a cap on how many kWh you can claim for, I think 20,000kwh/yr. this effectively limits the payments and is intended to curb the existing abuse. Remember that a machine with s COP of 3 means that you get paid on 2/3 of the deemed so you'd have to deem need of 30MWh to get paid the full 20MWh cap

    My ashp was about 5k overall and I stand to get 7k from the payments, but if I'd let the installing co do everything the bill would have been more like 7k. I applied a month before the announcement and do wish I'd waited/known as if I'd applied after then I'd be in the 7p rate now but get bumped to 10 next March. Oh well, it's only 3k

    You can possibly game the system by having a crappy EPC and getting RHI then improving but you're going to be paying about 7k as a minimum for a compliant heating system and earning a max of 14k over 7 years on the capped 10p rate for an ASHP. Would 7 k pay for the rest of your retrofit? It would cover even half of what I spent on insulation let alone it's install. You are also supposed to declare improvements that change your EPC so you're committing theft

    As a final note, the ofgem guy mentioned metering, not of heat produced but of electricity consumed by the heating system, in the new scheme. I didn't listen too closely on this part but that link has some info
    • CommentAuthorgravelld
    • CommentTimeJan 7th 2017 edited
    No, it would never get near paying for a retrofit, but it's a contribution...

    Didn't realise you had to declare changes.

    It's dishonest, but with what I deem to be a noble goal. I guess it's also anti democratic because government could do retrofit if it wanted, just chooses not to by mandate, and I would be subverting that.

    Thanks anyway for your figures.
    cjard, thanks for the link
    • CommentTimeJan 11th 2017 edited
    • CommentAuthorbarney
    • CommentTimeJan 11th 2017
    I suspect Marty resigned because he's in the deadpool for 2017 and can create a bit of mischief before he shuffles off the ball of clay

    It would be interesting to see just who benefited from the RHI and how they link to the gang at Stormont though


    I thought the English RHI scheme always had ceilings and reducing payments as usage increased since it was competently designed, and that the NI problem was that they missed these out, which created an opportunity for exploitation.

    Then Arlene and her minions did nothing several times when given the opportunity, which opened the door for freeloaders to pile in.

    But that the NI govt only started doing anything when the UK Treasury confirmed that there was not a magic money tree in Westminster that would carry the can for N I Govt Cockups.

    Then Arlene tried to hang on like a barnacle by claiming it was because she was a woman, when it was actually because she was an incompetent First Minister, then Marty resigned through a hole he had created in the bottom of the boat, which also sank Arlene because they are tied together by a pair of concrete boots.

    And .. in the next Episode of SOAP ... Ireland will stop giving people Free water ... or not.

    I was quite disgusted that SF/SDLP always regarded benefits money , fradulent obtained or not, as "free" money from the "Brits".
    To discover that the DUP have the same mindset, regarding fradulently obtained RHI benefits as "free" money to be pumped into the NI economy disgusts me even more.
    And yes, as above only reacted, when told the RHI would have to be NI financed.
    All in all a proper shower of shite up on the Hill.
    I cant edit the above post, to comment that the domestic RHI scheme required insulation to as high a standard as was practically obtainable, dependant on the construction of the dwelling.
    The domestic RHI scheme was also capped, at about £2,000 per annum.
    I did not join, despite qualifying for the maximum annual payment.
    Posted By: orangemannotThe domestic RHI scheme was also capped, at about £2,000 per annum.

    My understanding of the problem is that the cap was in the mainland scheme but left out of the scheme for NI. And the lack of cap allowed 'inventive' projects to be put forward and approved.
    Note, in the N I case
    commercial = uncapped(and for 20 years)
    domestic = capped(and only for 7 years)
    Also know of a church being heated for free, courtsey of a next door installation, who are only too glad to dump the paid for heat.
    And boilers being "commissioned" and signed off while still sitting on pallets in the open air(to beat the deadline)
    The Irish are a resourceful, imaginitive race!
    The Scots Irish are not much different, just being more careful as to how they spend their lucre.
Add your comments

    Username Password
  • Format comments as
The Ecobuilding Buzz
Site Map    |   Home    |   View Cart    |   Pressroom   |   Business   |   Links   

© Green Building Press