It is official now that Heat pumps give a better return than biomass. As predicted some time ago, the RHI payments for biomass systems have been reduced again. New applications for non-domestic RHI payments for biomass have been reduced from 12.20p to 10.90p from January 1st 2015. There is a further degression of 20% planned for 1st April this year. Heat pump tariffs remain at their highest and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.
DECC have also raised questions over the efficiency rates of biomass boilers and their ability to help meet the UK clean energy targets. The latest study shows that not only were the non-domestic biomass installations 10-20% less efficient than expected but also the average efficiency rate was as low as 65%, instead of the target 85% requirement. This target may in fact be unreachable as the report found that the biomass systems surveyed can only reach levels as high as 76% on average.
This adds considerable weight to the use of heat pumps as an alternative. The financial returns are better, the maintenance requirement is minimal, there are no deliveries necessary and they can be installed without emission issues or the requirement to build a new plantroom in most cases. You will also not be at the mercy of fuel suppliers who are prone to price hikes that will match those of gas and oil as most suppliers are subject to rising delivery costs and importation costs.
The wind of change is blowing, and heat pumps can provide the solution.