Wood Pellet Best Practice
There are two clear advantages of using ENplus® certified wood pellets:
1. Quality – the ENplus® certification scheme is a quality management certification scheme, covering all stages of the supply chain, from production through to delivery of wood pellets. The quality requirements for ENplus® certified pellet producers and traders can be found here.
2. Sustainability – compared to fossil fuels, using wood pellets produced using sustainably sourced raw material helps to fight climate change. The Biomass Suppliers List (BSL) is a list of wood fuel that has been proven to meet the eligibility requirements for the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme. It allows RHI participants to easily demonstrate to Ofgem that the fuel they are using in their biomass boilers meets the RHI sustainability criteria required to claim their RHI payments. However, it is important to realise that, unlike the ENplus® certification scheme, BSL authorisation does not guarantee the quality of the fuel as it is not a quality scheme. Please click here to go to the Biomass Suppliers List.
All ENplus® certified companies in the UK only supply fuel that is BSL authorised, and the BSL number relating to your delivery will be indicated on your wood fuel invoice. Therefore, when you buy fuel from an ENplus® certified company in the UK, you are getting a guarantee of quality and sustainability. Please click here to find details of all ENplus® certified UK traders and producers.
By following the requirements of the ENplus® quality management scheme, ENplus® certified companies are doing their best to ensure that the wood fuel they produce is consistently of the highest possible standard. However, there are 4 key things that consumers can do to help ensure that their biomass heating system works efficiently and reliably.
Ensure your store is cleaned regularly by a professional – over time, the concentration of wood fines will build up in a store.
Excessive wood fines can lead to a variety of issues that can impact on the efficiency and reliability of your heating system. For this reason, your fuel store must be cleaned. The frequency of cleaning is based on the number of deliveries but should be a minimum of once every two years. The store must have been completely cleaned after every 5 deliveries. Please click here for further details relating to cleaning of your fuel store.
Ensure your boiler is being maintained by an approved engineer – it is critical that your biomass heating system is regularly serviced by a competent engineer. As with any combustion appliance, over time ash and soot will build up, and the combustion and heat exchange efficiency will decline, meaning that you will use more wood pellets to produce the same amount of heat, and that the system is more likely to experience issues. In addition, RHI guidelines state that your heating system must be maintained in good working order and “It is expected that heating systems should be maintained in line with the manufacturer’s instructions.” (https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/key-term-explained/ongoing-obligations-your-responsibilities).
You can find details of suitably qualified installers by visiting:
Ensure your fuel store meets the latest guidelines – the design and construction of the fuel store and the fuel reception system are critical to minimise pellet attrition and generation offines. In particular, a delivery of high quality wood pellets with <4% fines by weight can only be guaranteed when the total length to be blown between the end user storage and delivery vehicle is less than 30 metres. Storage design and construction guidelines can be found here.
Ensure your fuel is from an ENplus® certified supplier – this provides the advantages outlined above as well as ensuring that you have access to arbitration if things don’t go to plan (see Dispute Resolution).
UKPC video on pellet handling
The UK Pellet Council has created a training film on good design for wood pellet handling: