Bob is really good about all my eco foibles. He is sort of on board, but has a strong hold on the practical. He has been talking for a little while about changing our method of heating the house. We had a multifuel Aga Minsterly burner in our lounge and predominantly used anthracite (very eco non p.c.), but it was quite work intensive – bringing in coal and wood, emptying ashes, etc. etc., and it created an enormous amount of dust, which was not popular with this housework averse, would-be writer. Of course from my point of view, it was the fossil fuel angle that bothered me most, so when we got a call from a ‘green’ heating company, we decided to look at biomass boilers. Once we found out about the RHI payment, it was a no brainer, because the cost of installation would mostly be covered.
I can’t pretend it has been plain sailing. The boiler had a faulty motherboard which meant the system didn’t work for the first week, and we are still trying to decide the best location for the room stat, but it is so easy to use and far less work on a daily basis. Add to that the fact that the by-product can go straight on the compost and it is definitely an improvement. The down side is that we receive one hundred 10kg bags on a pallet and have to store them in our boiler house. It’s not shovelling coal, but it’s not quite labour free either!
So, the cost of being eco-friendly? Well you could argue that the footprint created by the boiler manufacturer will take a long time to cover (a bit like double glazing or photovoltaic panels), but the wood pellets are UK produced, and the exhaust fumes are virtually clean. We will have to wait and see if it is cheaper to run, but so far, so good.