So, you’re claiming the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), purchasing wood pellets for your boiler or stove. You have consulted The Biomass Suppliers List (BSL) haven’t you?
As part of your RHI accreditation you are required to purchase your wood pellets from a supplier listed on the Biomass Suppliers List. The BSL is a list of suppliers whose fuels comply fully with the sustainability requirements of the RHI.
One of the first things to bring to your attention is that the BSL is NOT a quality scheme in that it does not have a set minimum standard for quality in the same way as the ENPlus or Woodsure standards do. The BSL only focuses on the environmental sustainability of the wood fuel, so it is possible for you to have poor quality sustainable pellets!
The best way of ensuring you get a high quality wood fuel pellet that is also sustainable is to look for a supplier that uses one of the independently audited quality standards, such as the ENPLus standard, which is administered by the UK Pellet Council and are also listed on the BSL.
The BSL looks at environmental aspects, such as land use, and the RHI greenhouse gas (GHG) criteria. For the GHG criteria, suppliers are required to verify that the emissions from the cultivation, processing and transport of the biomass achieves a saving of at least 60% against the EU fossil fuel average for heat when used in a boiler which achieves 70% seasonal efficiency. The land use criteria require the raw timber to be 100% legally sourced and at least 70% of it from sustainable source which is defined in the Timber standard.
All suppliers on the BSL will have a supplier number (which will look like this BSLXXXXXXXX-XXXX) which they are obliged to supply on their sales documentation. Always check it’s there as it helps to protect your RHI payment.
As part of your housekeeping, Ofgem advise that you keep at least 12 months worth of fuel receipts as you will be asked to produce them whenever your installation is audited. You may be asked to produce them at other times during the scheme’s lifetime as evidence that you have been using a compliant fuel type. Fuel receipts or statements will certainly be of help should there be concerns about your compliance to the RHI.