Running cost of bio mass boiler

by Readers Question

10:57 AM, 15th February 2015
About 4 years ago

Running cost of bio mass boiler

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Running cost of bio mass boiler

I have been a tenant on a farm on an AST for nearly three years. I have always had trouble with a dodgy oil fired boiler and at times had several days without heating. The owner has now installed a bio mass boiler fuelled by wood pellets to serve my property, two other cottages, his house (perhaps the equivalent of 4 semis), and his swimming pool. Each property is metered although I have not been given the opportunity to take meter readings. Running cost of bio mass boiler

The first invoice from him was for under 6 weeks of heating, It was for £426 and calculated at 7.5p kW/hr. I have queried this rate with the installing company who say he is paying 4.5p kW//hr but the cost is actually more as you have to allow for inefficiency of the boiler (i.e. even a new one will only function at 85%) and then loss of heat as it travels from the boiler to my radiators. This makes the charge of 7.5p seem excessive and is certainly much more that I was paying for my oil when the price was art its highest.

Having queried this price with the landlord, he has revised the charge to 6.5p but this still is ‘to include some allowance towards running and maintenance costs’

I am an estate agent and landlord myself and have never heard of a landlord charging for maintenance of the boiler. I was happy with having an oil fired boiler and no part in the decision to change the method of heating. Do I have any way of challenging his charges or do I have to accept them?

I will really appreciate your comments.

Thanks in advance

Clare Garvey



Comments

Martin Eyre

14:42 PM, 16th February 2015
About 4 years ago

IMHO he should take the cost of fuel and divide it proportionately based on the amount used.
I suspect he will be getting a massive government incentive through the RHI scheme. The amount of energy you 'use' will depend of the location of the meter and the distance/efficiency of the connection to your home. If the meter is in the plant room and there is a long run to your home I would strongly advise against using the biomass boiler for hot water only in the summer, an electric immersion heater may be much cheaper to run.
What does your tenancy agreement say about heating?

Nick Pope

15:30 PM, 16th February 2015
About 4 years ago

My daughter rents ah house with this system. It's so unreliable that in the the 2years that is has been fitted he's has not charged her at all yet.

There are large Government grants for using this system and I bet he has not factored them into the calculation.

Martin Eyre

15:42 PM, 16th February 2015
About 4 years ago

The government grants are there to offset installation and maintenance costs, not to subsidise the heating of homes, although Biomass is widely recognised as being cheaper than oil.
IMHO the energy user should pay for the energy they consume (as metered at the point of entry to their home), but not for the cost of installation and maintenance of the system.

Adrian Matthews

16:34 PM, 16th February 2015
About 4 years ago

As previously said, the RHI is to cover the installation and maintenance costs. I'm still in the process of calculating the true cost of running a biomass boiler, but so far it appears they cost a lot more to run than originally quoted. I was told pellets cost 4 pence per kw and oil 8 pence per kw (approximate figures). Depending on when your landlord qualified for their RHI, depends on what they get back but it should be around 8 pence per kw, and as its commercial it will be for the next 20 years. So I would say if they are charging you anything over 5 pence per kw, they are charging too much, and the meter should be within or just outside your property, so that you are only billed for what you use.

Mike Amapola

18:17 PM, 16th February 2015
About 4 years ago

This is a bit new to me so I might just ask a silly question. So here goes. How is the energy you used measured ? You say it is for hot water (?) . How far from the boiler is your property ? And if not very close how is heat loss overcome or reduced. I can't quite visulize the set up. Sorry its all questions. Regards.

Adrian Matthews

11:59 AM, 17th February 2015
About 4 years ago

The boiler heats a large buffer tank which is then circulated on demand to the properties in under ground super insulated pipes. It is them measured in kwh as it feeds the property. Each property has its own meter. Any boiler heat loss/inefficiency is prior to the meters.

james pearce

9:35 AM, 21st February 2015
About 4 years ago

Perhaps you could look at it another way?
You didn't ask for the system to be installed and have a history of how much the property cost to heat using oil.
It would seem only fair you continue to pay the same rather than subsidise his pet project.
you don't say how much more expensive your heating is than before.


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