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Biomass heating tools and guidance

Biomass boilers and biomass heating guidance, tools and template documentation to help develop and install biomass heating systems

Biomass - woodchips

The production of heat currently accounts for almost half of the UK's carbon emissions. Using biomass materials (such as wood, straw, or energy crops) as a fuel to produce heat, hot water or to raise steam for space and process heating could significantly reduce this as biomass fuels have far lower net carbon emissions than the fossil fuels from which the majority of the UK's heat is produced.

The documents on this page give guidance on the technology, help you assess the potential for biomass heating on your site, and offer advice on procurement, installation and operation of biomass heating systems:


Tools, guidance and case studies were produced through the Carbon Trust Biomass Heat Accelerator project in 2012 and were correct at the time of publication.


Biomass heating tools

Initial assessment tool (XLS): This tool allows you to make an initial economic assessment of a proposed biomass plant based on site information

Decision support tool: This design tool helps you to assess the optimum size of biomass boiler and heat storage and the control strategy for a proposed biomass system

Fuel supply map, a searchable database of biomass fuel suppliers


Biomass heating guides

Biomass heating - A practical guide for potential users (CTG012): overview guide for potential users of biomass heating equipment covering details of the technology, fuel and plant operation.  It also covers procurement and operation from initial feasibility through to full commissioning, and key steps and considerations in the biomass implementation process

Contracting guide (CTG073) gives guidance on contracts for biomass installations

Fuel procurement guide (CTG074) provides advice on setting up a biomass fuel supply

Health and safety guide published by the Combustion Engineering Association.


Overview of the Biomass Heat Accelerator (CTC809) 2012 report summarises findings and outputs from the BHA 

The 2005 Biomass sector review (CTC512) identified the significant contribution that solid fuel biomass heating could make to the UK's low carbon heating targets

Template documents

Template documents to help guide the development of your biomass heating system. These resources have been prepared with input from some of the UK's leading experts in biomass heating technology. They are provided for general guidance purposes only. The Carbon Trust recommends, and these resources assume, that prospective users will take advice on their specific needs and circumstances from professionals in the field, including not only technical consultants and installers, but legal, planning and others as required.

Template request for proposal (RFP) sheets (PDF)
Guidance to help ensure that site developers request appropriate information from prospective installers/suppliers

Template contracts*

Template contract for Supply of Biomass Fuel (DOC)
Guidance Notes for Biomass Supply (PDF)

Template contract for Supply of Heat Energy (DOC)
Guidance Notes for Supply of Heat (PDF)

Template Operation and Maintenance Agreement (DOC)
Guidance Notes for Operation and Maintenance Agreement (PDF)

Template Services Agreement (DOC)
Guidance Notes for Services Agreement (PDF)

*Contracts  - legal disclaimer
For the avoidance of doubt, these documents are in a non-binding, recommended form. Their intention is to be used as a starting point for negotiation only. Individual parties are free to depart from their terms and should always satisfy themselves of the regulatory and commercial implications of their use. If any user has concerns or queries about the form of this document we recommend that the user seek independent legal advice. The Carbon Trust accepts no liability for any loss, direct or otherwise, arising from the use of all or any part of these documents.

Biomass case studies

More case studies

Further support

We also offer:

  • Financing and implementation support for organisations seeking to invest in low carbon equipment, including installation of biomass boilers - for more details visit our financing page.  
  • Public sector decentralised energy support for local energy generation and heat networks.


See our services to find out how we can help your organisation cut energy costs and gain a competitive edge in a challenging economic climate.

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