Specifier Review
Earn while you burn! Biomass reduces fuel bills by 40% for luxury cottages

Earn while you burn! Biomass reduces fuel bills by 40% for luxury cottages

Whitewells Farm Cottages, in rural Worcestershire, offers 4* luxury accommodation, heated by a Euroheat wood-heating biomass system; reducing fuel bills by 40% while qualifying for the commercial RHI.Image

Originally converted to farm buildings in 1978, Whitewells Cottages boast period features, such as exposed beams and vaulted ceilings. Despite the history, there is nothing antiquated about Whitewells’ heating system, which has been recently updated from oil and storage heaters to Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) qualifying, wood biomass. Consisting of Euroheat’s HDG Compaq 150 pellet and Novara 50 log boilers, associated fuel stores and a 6,000 litre accumulator, the system supplies central heating and hot water on-demand for seven holiday cottages.

A pellet and a log boiler have been chosen as the site has a reasonable amount recyclable timber, most of which comes from Whitewell’s own woodlands. Stored within the boiler room, wood is dried by the radiant heat – this is not enough to fuel the whole site however and the labour required for logs isn’t practical for an application of this size. Pellet boilers have the advantage of being automated, which means someone does not have to be on hand to refuel the hopper. A web server monitors the boilers remotely to ensure they’re running correctly. Heated water from the accumulators is then piped to the houses with a minimal heat loss of only 0.3C.Whitewells_laying the Rehau district mains

Whitewells_connecting the district heating to the laundry room

Whitewells_the finished system

Simon Durrant, owner of Whitewell’s, explains the benefits of switching to this renewable form of heating: “Moving over to wood biomass has been an excellent decision with savings further enhanced by the Renewable Heat Incentive. Without the RHI we have reduced our fuel bill by £15,000 a year compared with the cost of oil (£10,000 for pellets, verses £25,000 for oil) – enough of an incentive to choose this technology. The RHI gives us £16,000 – £17,000 a year, making the pay-back time for the initial outlay of the system about seven years – after that, we’ll be earning while we burn!

“Regardless of the savings, as a 4* destination it’s imperative that our guests are comfortable and have access to heat and hot water on demand. There is a heat metre in every room and we have over specified the radiators – people want to be cosy on holiday. I have had nothing but compliments in regards to visitors comfort levels.”

Simon has a long-standing relationship with Euroheat; the biomass solutions provider’s stoves are already keeping customers in his pub, The Green Dragon, warm.

“I have worked with Euroheat for around seven years and have nothing but praise for the quality of their products and service. As an ex-Potterton engineer I have a good eye for sound mechanics – these boilers are ‘bullet proof’ and will out-last the RHI, no problem.” Simon concluded.