How do self-supplied woodland owners join the Biomass Suppliers List (BSL) to feed their own biomass system?

Government incentives such as the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) and Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs) mean that a wide range of landowners, businesses and industries can save money on their fuel costs and receive subsidies from the government for 20 years. If you have your own woodland, and therefore a readily available supply of wood, you will see greater savings.  In order to receive the government incentives you must use wood fuel registered with the BSL.

The Biomass Suppliers List was set up by the UK government to ensure that wood being used by people wishing to claim the RHI (non-Domestic) meet a sustainable criteria. For the vast majority of people it’s a simple case of checking with the fuel supplier that they are registered with the BSL, however, there is a growing number of country estates, landowners and businesses that would like to use wood from their own grounds to fuel their RHI compliant biomass system.  In order to use your own wood fuel supply for your biomass boiler, you will need to register with the biomass suppliers list (BSL). In this article we outline the steps you need to take in order to do that.

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In order to register to be a self supplier on the BSL, your boiler must be less than 1MW. You must be part of the RHI or apply to be part of it. You must provide evidence that you are capable of supplying your own fuel, e.g. in the form of a woodland management plan, as well as information regarding where you obtain your fuel from.

You should register on the BSL website, using the supplier portal. You will need to declare that you’re a self supplier, that you burn your own fuel, without intent to supply others and that your boiler size is less than 1000kW. You will then need to indicate whether you will be using woody biomass and / or waste wood.

Woody Biomass

To self-supply with woody biomass you need to declare the following:

  1. That you are legally entitled to use this biomass e.g. through owning or renting the woodland or through community rights.
  2. That you are not drying, cutting or chipping biomass supplied from another source.
  3. That the source of woody biomass is located within 50 miles of the boiler.
  4. Whether you are using virgin timber, non waste timber residues such as slabwood or short rotation coppice and the quantities.

You will also need to provide evidence of self-supply such as a “Woodland Management Plan approved by the Forestry Commission, felling licence or a map of the woodland showing the size in hectares and where you plan to source and extract from and details of thinning and extraction plans.”

Sourced Waste Wood

If you are using waste wood for your biomass boiler it must “meet a lifecycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions target of 60 per cent GHG savings against the EU fossil fuel average, and land criteria, which for woodfuel are set out in the UK Timber Standard for Heat and Electricity.” – Biomass Suppliers List

Although the GHG criteria have always been in place, the land criteria requirements are new and you must demonstrate compliance before 5th July 2015. Self suppliers only have to demonstrate compliance if virgin or virgin waste blends are used.

If you are using sourced waste wood you must provide the following evidence:

  1. Waste exemption or environmental permit.
  2. Evidence to show that you’ve advised the Environment Agency or equivalent and confirmation “that you are legally able to handle, produce and use waste in your appliance” (click here for example). You must check which permit/exemption is required.
  3. A statement or evidence that you have been in touch with the Environment Agency, or equivalent, who have advised that a permit/exemption is not needed.

As you can see, it is a fairly straightforward process to register with the BSL. You can maximize your fuel savings by sourcing your own wood chip AND receive government subsidies for 20 years!

Biomass Boiler Systems. Contact us for a no obligation chat.