The BSL - How to meet the criteria
The BSL website has a search facility to source and procure sustainable woodfuel in your area. The government is urging all participants to start sourcing their woodfuel from the BSL site as soon as possible.
Although suppliers listed on the site are all approved to have met the sustainability criteria, this is not a guarantee of quality. All participants of the RHI are also reminded to check their woodfuel products meet the quality standard required, such as EN Plus. The criteria vary between the commercial and domestic RHI and different criteria are to be applied to bought in woodfuel and self-supplied fuel, which we are outlined below.
Commercial RHI participants
Option A: Source woodfuel from the BSL. Ofgem will then require a quarterly declaration (along with your quarterly RHI meter reading) that the woodfuel used within that period was sourced correctly. The regulations have also stated that you should keep records of your BSL registered supplier and delivery notes for a period of 5 years.
Option B: If you use an unregistered supplier for your woodfuel but you are confident of their sustainability, you can make quarterly declarations (along with your quarterly RHI meter readings) that the fuel you have used for that period meets the GHG and sustainability criteria. To evidence this declaration you will need to submit an annual sustainability audit to OFGEM at your own cost.
Domestic RHI participants
There is only one option for domestic RHI biomass boiler projects. All woodfuel sourced for use in biomass boilers will need to be registered on the Biomass Suppliers List (BSL) at the time of consumption. Annual declarations will be required by Ofgem to confirm the woodfuel has been sourced correctly. The regulations have also stated that you should keep records of your BSL registered supplier and delivery notes for a period of five years.
Self-suppliers (domestic and commercial RHI)
When using your own woodfuel you must register this with the BSL in order to make quarterly declarations as required above. Participants with a heat capacity of 1MW or over are unable to register as a self-supplier.
As a self-supplier you do not need to evidence compliance with the sustainability criteria but you will need to prove evidence such as a forest management plan or Felling Licence.
Biomass fuel information
Information about the different fuel types available for biomass boilers, the regulations, considerations to take and information on procurement.
Wood chips are small pieces of logs or wood waste. These are formed by passing through a chipping machine, which turns them into 30mm pieces, also known as G30.
Wood pellets are a type of biomass fuel, made from compacted sawdust or other waste from saw-milling and manufacturing. At 4.8kWh per kg, you only need one third of the space that you'd need for wood chips.
As a biomass fuel, logs will generally deliver 5.1kWh per kg, depending on moisture content and type of wood (hardwood or softwood, and species).
Grain can be an economical and convenient fuel for use in biomass boilers. 'Pourable' grain such as oats, wheat and barley have a low nitrogen content. Being a slightly denser fuel than miscanthus, it will require less space to store for the same amount of heat.
Miscanthus, (or 'elephant grass') is a perennial grass originating from Asia. It is becoming popular as an energy crop as it can easily and quickly grow on poor quality land with no need for fertilisers or very much intervention.
About the BSL
The Biomass Suppliers List (BSL) is a list of woodfuel that has proven it meets the eligibility requirements for the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme.