The Wood Recyclers' Association is calling for clarification on which grades of wood are acceptable for small scale RHI biomass boilers, after discovering inconsistencies in guidance.
The trade body is expressing its concerns after finding that the wording used in guidance to boiler manufacturers and fuel suppliers is inconsistent. Whilst the Environment Agency states only clean grade A wood can be used in non-WID (Waste Incineration Directive) boilers, local authority guidance allows a mix of grade A and in certain circumstances grade B, to be used in non-WID boilers processing less than three tonnes an hour, under something known as a “B Permit”.
The WRA says it believes that the confusion in wording has resulted in some boiler manufacturers being able to sell non-WID compliant boilers on the basis that lower grade woods can be burned in them. Andy Hill, Chair of the WRA, said that while the trade body awaits clarification it has decided to adopt an interim position of only recommending the use of virgin or untreated pre-consumer waste wood for small scale RHI (non-WID compliant) boilers. He said the WRA is asking its members to adopt that position while clarification is sought: “We know there are situations where lower grade materials have been used in small-scale non WID biomass boilers and that has prompted us to look at exactly what guidance is available for our members. Having done that, it is clear the guidance is inconsistent and ambiguous which is totally unacceptable.
“We will be working with the Environment Agency, OFGEM, the Biomass Suppliers List and local authority representatives to ensure that there is consistency on this issue in the future."
This latest move is part of the trade association’s drive to raise standards across the waste wood industry as it develops a Code of Practice, which all members will be expected to sign up to in the future. The WRA has also temporarily stopped taking on any new biomass boiler manufacturers to its membership until the situation is clarified.
Andy added: “We have to lead the way with this and other similar issues and our position is clear. We need clarification and consistent guidelines from the bodies who regulate this industry and we will be strict with our membership to ensure that guidance is followed by anyone within our organisation.”
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