Energy Efficiency and Biomass Heating

Forestry Commission

Natural Resources Wales (formerly Forestry Commission Wales) has a commitment to the use of wood as a renewable fuel and in 2010 Sustainable Energy undertook an energy efficiency and biomass heating study to cover six of the Forestry Commission District Offices and Visitor Centres in Wales.


The Forestry Commission wished to ensure that all buildings were using heat efficiently and to assess the viability of installing biomass boilers to replace the existing electric storage heaters, oil boilers and LPG boilers across the sites. The overall aims were to reduce the energy costs and carbon footprint of each site and to generate heat via wood fuel from Welsh forestry to complete the sustainability cycle.


  • Feasibility study to assess the different biomass heating options in terms of boiler size, location, specification and cost
  • Outline design of boiler house, fuel store, thermal store and pipe work
  • Planning support, boiler house and fuel store layout
  • Role of ‘Client’s Engineer’ comprising detailed design and specification and support throughout tendering, construction, commissioning and post project evaluation


Sustainable Energy designed and project managed the installation of wood pellet biomass boiler systems for the Vistor Centre at Garwnant and the regional Forestry Offices at Resolven, Welshpool and Dolgellau. Each system included thermal storage, fuel storage and auxiliary gas boiler integration. The biomass projects will offset the use of 50,000kWh of electricity and 300,000kWh of gas per annum and save carbon emissions of 70 tonnes per year across the 4 sites. The wood pellet procurement process specified that all wood pellets were to be manufactured in Wales, with feedstock sourced from Welsh forestry.


READ MORE: Forestry Commission Case Study