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Biomass solution for an Irish Hotel

 Advised by  Maurice J Bergin, Managing Director, Green Trading Company (GTC)
Business name An Irish Hotel – 35 bedrooms, Bar, Restaurant, Banqueting, Day Spa
Overview The hotels 2 LPG fired main boilers, that deliver heat and DHW, were approaching their end-of-life with one unit continually leaking.  In recent years the hotel had also added additional bedrooms and expanded their Spa offer, requiring additional heat and putting the existing system under pressure.
Opportunities The hotel was initially considering replacing the Gas Boilers with a heat pump installation and replacement backup gas boilers that would have cost c. €98,000 after an EXEED 50% grant.  This would reduce heating energy by 200,000 kWh worth c. €14,000 pa based on 2019 prices.  This would deliver a 7 year payback which would have been a good return for such a major upgrade – and which would allow the hotel deliver heat using green electricity primarily which would lower the carbon footprint of the hotel
Alternative Approach GTC queried this approach and suggested a Biomass (Wood pellet) installation along with the refurbishment of one existing boiler to act as a back up.  The hotel could benefit from an SSRH Grant which pays an annual rebate of up to €38,120 for units that deliver up to 1 million kWh of useable heat.
Biomass Analysis The hotels gross heating energy in 2019 was 600,964 kWh which delivered c. 510,819 kWh allowing for an existing boiler efficiency of 85%
The Biomass Boiler would produce 510,819 kWh of useable heat using 567,577 kWh of wood pellets with a 90% efficient boiler
The pellets would cost c. €26,605 less an annual SSRH grant of €23,347 delivering a net cost of fuel of €3,258.  LPG costs were €47,281 so the Biomass Boiler would deliver annual savings of €44,022
With an installed cost of €127,000 the payback would be 2.9 years against the heat pumps 7 years and the 15 year saving, allowing for carbon tax increases on LPG, would be €772,175 against an equivalent €321,840 if the hotel had installed the heat pump solution.
Carbon Footprint The wood pellets are sourced from sustainable wood and therefore have no carbon footprint – the decision for the hotel owner was therefore between the paybacks and long term savings vs the short term higher capital costs
Customer Decision The Biomass Boiler installation is currently underway funded directly from the hotel owners resources.  SBCI Green Loans and an As a Service model were also available to ensure this project could proceed if funding was a challenge.
Additional Note As the existing boilers were at their end-of-life it is reasonable to have deducted their replacement cost from the Biomass Boiler upgrade.  This would have been c. €50,000 which would have reduced the Biomass Boiler real cost to €77,000 and an effective payback of 1.75 years
References The Green Trading Company offers expert Resource Efficiency advice covering Energy, Water and Waste – contact us at
  WOODCO are the project contractors