How do biomass fuel prices fluctuate?

We are often asked about the risks of investing in a biomass / wood-fuelled heating system in terms of fluctuating fuel prices. The thing is, the price of wood pellets hasn’t varied a huge amount in the last 15+ years.

Austria is one of Europe’s main exporters of wood pellets and this graph produced by Pro Pellets in Austria demonstrates the relative stability of Austrian pellet prices in comparison to heating oil.

wood pellet prices vs. fuel oil

This second graph further details the historical pricing of heating oil and wood pellets in comparison to wood chip, firewood and natural gas.

Wood pellet prices

Whilst we don’t have a crystal ball that will offer a guaranteed prediction for future fuel prices, we can make an educated guess that traditional fuels for heating (heating oil and gas) will likely fluctuate and see an overall price increase, while the cost of biomass fuels like pellets and woodchip should only see a comparatively small and steady increase in price, remaining a considerably lower-cost fuel source than heating oil and gas.

The cost of fuel for every biomass heating system will vary according to size and location. It is always a good idea to call your local approved suppliers to obtain a quote before investing in a new system. Don’t forget that as of Spring 2015 your supplier will need to meet the new sustainability requirements in order to be eligible to receive payments under the RHI (Renewable Heat Incentive) scheme, as detailed here in our earlier post about the new Land Criteria.