Friday, June 30, 2006

Wood Pellet NO Rip-Off

Kunzel Wood Pellet Boiler

I have been reporting so many ripoff prices and cowboy activities on this blog, that it is a pleasant relief to be able to report an honest broker now and again.

Honest Broker a Definition

First let me define what I mean by an honest broker. I mean a dealer who has straight forward system of pricing and who publishes his prices clearly and simply on the Internet. Additionally, that dealers prices should fairly closely reflect the prices being charged in Germany, Denmark etc. for a similar item - allowing for the extra transport costs.

This weeks Commendation for Straight and Honest Pricing goes to: Solar Energy Ireland. The link to the site is:

Their only Pellet Boiler at the moment is the German make Kunzel. This is an upper market make and not cheap, it offers a fairly hi-tec option. I cannot speak for the performance of the boiler here, but the really interesting thing is that the Irish price is the same as the German price. Now that is a FIRST as far as I am concerned.


Congrats and well done to Solar Energy Ireland for 1. Clear and un-ambiguous pricing. 2. Straight talking and no Bull Sh***ing when you talk to them, or on their site, and most importantly 3. Prices the SAME as in Germany.

May I suggest to you guys that you look at some of the slightly lower tech burner-boilers on the market and handle a couple of those to suppliment your range to take in the man who cannot reach to €7404. Some of the Danish burner boiler combinations work well - and - I would like to see guys like you cover the lower end of the market also.

Good Luck!

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Bio Comfort Wood Pellet Burner Unit

Bio Comfort Wood Pellet Burner Prices

In an effort to give as many comparative prices to the Irish market as possible. Here is another Pellet Burner unit with a price list directly from the Danish site.

$10,000 Question? Why dont the Irish Pellet Boiler Sellers Publish Clear and simple Price lists like the Danish and Germans?

The Burner Unit shown above is the Danish Bio Comfort. This is a very typical design of pellet burner and it looks a lot like the Scotte Burner Unit. In comes in a variety of sizes 16Kw - 24Kw - 30Kw - 40Kw - 60Kw and 80Kw.

Above is a screen print of part of the Danish Price list for the Bio Comfort Burner Unit. The 16Kw unit with a 2 meter auger unit is priced at 13,500Dk plus tax. In Euro thats €1810 plus VAT €2190 incl. VAT.

You can do your own maths for the other sizes. The site that sells these units is:

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Support Appreciated

Hey Thanks for all the Support!

Can I ask a favour in return? Please - Please copy a link of this blog to as many people as you can think of - and ask them to pass it on too.


Keep the faith!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Installer Facts.

What's an SEI Registered Installer?

An installer registered with SEI means ONLY:

  • He/She is willing to participate in the scheme
  • Has a valid tax clearance certificate
  • Has agreed that in the event of a dispute that they will resolve it by means of arbitration.
  • Has agreed to have installations inspected by SEI
Only the last statement has any meaning at all to the customer. It only then has meaning IF SEI actually inspect the installation. I wonder how many installations are fully inspected. I must ring up SEI and ask what is the level of inspection and what are the inspection criteria.

If you have a good and trusted plumber installer, prevail on him/her to get themselves registered with SEI.

It is dead easy GO ON - GO ON - GO ON.

Pellet Stoves

The "Contessa"

This is the Contessa it comes is two different finishes and has up to 7.5 Kwt output. It sells for 59,999 Kcs plus VAT. In Irish money that would be €2111 plus VAT.

Pellet Stove Fitting

A word on installing pellet stoves. This is a way simpler job than installing and commissioning a central heating boiler. The only messy bit is the flue, and because most of these stoves have a fan assisted flue system, even that is a fairly straight forward job. The fitting cost therfore should be no more than €150 to €200 max plus the parts for flue etc. When getting quotes, always ask a supply only price. Ask for the fitting price as a seperate quote, also ask for the price of flue fittings etc.

The more complex pellet stoves with a fitted boiler would have to be plumbed in and the fitting would be a little bit more expensive.

Solar Power

Solar Panels

Although this blog is essentially about wood pellet/biomass heating, I have been doing some reading on solar power and solar panels. It is quite facinating stuff. Also I have been doing a bit of price reasearch in this area.

In the next few days I will post what I have learned and show a few price comparisons.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

More on the Baxi MultiHeat

This thing is BIG, as you can see from the photo. It is also very heavy, the smallest one weighs in at 340Kgs, that's 744 Lbs for those of you still thinking in the old measurements. That takes some lifting!

This is a multi fuel boiler and might suit someone who has a supply of wood chips etc. from a joinery business for instance, or maybe a farmer who could shred and dry his own thinnings. Worth thinking about for the right person and the right place.

The HeatMerchants price I quoted is the full retail price but I am sure there is a bit of room on that. If you are thinking of one of these I bet they would be pleased enough to talk about the price.

Baxi Boiler Danish Irish Prices

The Baxi Multi Heat

I havw happy news to convey in this blog. The Danish price of a pellet/biomass boiler, namely the Baxi Muli Heat 25 kilo Watt with larger size Hopper/Auger unit is not far removed from the Irish Price.

Danish Shop link:
Price shown for the Baxi MulitHeat 25 with larger hopper unit is 48,700 Danish kroner. At todays rate that translates at €6533 inc. VAT. I recently enquired about this unit at HeatMerchants Ireland and the price shown is €6279.55 plus VAT (I willl check this price again soon to make sure I have it correctly and update accordingly). The difference is not too much and could be explained by the transport costs, I am sure you could also get a bit of a discount by asking nicely.

HeatMerchants are at:

I have only one personal comment about the Baxi - it is built like a Sherman tank and for that reason it is HUGE and very very heavy. It would therefore probably not suit the average house simply because of the size. It would be fine if someone had an outhouse or a very large boilerhouse, but you would need a crane to lift it. The construction quality is what I would describe as high industrial grade. If you have the space and the bit of extra cash this thing looks like good value froma well know manufacturer and a reputable dealer.

So well done HeatMerchants take a bow for your pricing policy - but maybe conside some of the tidier units please?

Friday, June 23, 2006

More Prices from Nordic Bio Energy

Bio Comfort Boiler

The price published by Nordic Bio energy for a Bio Comfor 16Kw Complete unit some months ago was €3533 plus VAT and Transport. The larger output model the Bio Comfort 24 was listed at €3649 plus VAT and Transport.

These prices were taken directly from Nordic Bio Energy Ltd site. What you see above is a scan of the printout from that site. The price list has since been removed from the web site.

Listen you Thief, Liar, Danger to the Public!!

You Bas**** -

You are Causing us a lot of Hassle!

Gee Thanks Guys for saying so. I'm all ears and all eyes also. If you have any more Pre-Grant prices on the WWW you better destroy the evidence quickly, or it will end up being posted right HERE.

It makes my heart warm - like a wood pellet stove at full burn, to hear some of these kind of noises coming my way. Guys! does it cause you embarrassment or irritation, or just financial pain to see this Blog published and being read by a lots people?

Pre-Grant Prices!

From here on, we will be introducing thenew terms Pre-Grant Prices and Post-Grant Prices. We better contact Wikipedia ( and explain that this is a new use of the English language brought about in both the UK and Ireland by the introduction of Government Grants.

DEFINITION: Post-Grant Prices refers to the inflation of prices by between 30 and 100% after the introduction of a government financial incentive. Generally speaking, the Post-Grant Prices leave the customer no better off than is he/she had bought at Pre-Grant Prices and not received any grant.

Have a nice day!!

Price List Nordic Bio Energy UK

Here is a scan of portion of a price list published on the net by Nordic Bio Energy UK. GUESS WHAT? It is no longer posted and has been removed. However, I have two printed copies. The site is:

Can I draw your attention to the second from last entry on the top section: Part Number 100116 Complete Boink Pellet Boiler Unit 16Kw.

The price quoted at the time, some 3 months ago, is clearly shown at €2756 plus VAT and transport. What do you think, would the price have gone up since the introduction of the grants, I am convinced that the price has gone up and by a substantial amount!

I am asking you the reader to check the price of a Boink 15Kw complete unit incl. hopper, auger, boiler and burner NOW in Ireland. Be sure to ask for a SUPPLY ONLY price, say you have your own installer. This way there will be no confusion on what the hardware price really is!


Some more Stoves

Eco-Irdo Pellet Stove

This listing of stoves are all from the Czech Republic at the same shop as I have already listed in the last post. Checkout the price and availability for yourself.

The Eco-Irdo is 56,974Kcs plus VAT. So at todays exchange rate that give an Irish equivalent of €2006 plus VAT. Remember that these things cost to ship. In bulk the cost would probably be about €150 per unit on average, the smaller ones weighing about 100 kilos.

Baby Fiamma Stove

The Baby Fiamma has up to 5.1 Kilo Watt heat output and sells at 39,158Kcs plus Czech Vat. That would be €1379 plus VAT in Ireland.

The Preziosa Pellet Stove

This one sell in the Czech Republic for 49,799Kcs plus the VAT. In Ireland that would be €1754 plus the VAT at todays conversion rates.

The Divinia Pellet Stove

The last one for this post I will list is the "Divinia" this is a bigger stove that the ones listed above. It has up to 11 Kilo Watts of output, thats quite a lot of heat, it would heat a very big room. It sells for 74,284Kcs plus the VAT. Now that is in our money €2616 plus the VAT.

If you want more comparative price go to the Czech site I have linked in the previous post and look them up for yourself. With regard to buying these, I see no problem in importing them. As far as I know, all the ones I listed in this post are SEI Grant approved.

If you were touring the Czech Republic in a big car or camper you could even bring one back with you - good luck!!!

More Pellet Stoves By Special Request

Since posting the information on the Pellet Stove only hours ago, I have already been asked to put up some more stoves and prices.

The stove pictures above is "Bella" Pellet Stove with an output variable between 3 and 7.5 KiloWatts that is equal to between 3 and 7.5 single bar electric fires of heat.

The Czech Price is 53,192 Czech Koruna plus VAT. In our money at todays rate of exchange that is €1868 plus VAT.

I think this one may be on the SEI list for grant approval but check it out yourself if you are interested.

And so I am not accused of bending or distorting the facts here is the link to the Czech Shop:

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Wood Pellet Stoves

Prices of Pellet Stoves

I have no idea what the cost of wood pellet stoves is in Ireland. As I said at the beginning of this blog, I was not concerned about this part of the market. But while looking through many different sites for comparative prices on pellet boilers, I kept coming accross lots and lots of very attractive stoves.

The one in the picture is called the Iris and it has 5.5 Kwatts output. It is 80% efficient and it costs 36,553Kcs in Czech money. Thats €1284 plus VAT in our money.

What does this sort of stove cost in Ireland? I am asking you!

Here is the link to the Shop in the Czech Republic:

Further Update on Atmos Boilers.

Atmos Boilers are SEI Grant Approved

Just to note that SEI do approve the Atmos for the grant scheme. Check this out for yourself on their site at These boiler are ISO9001 and ISO14001 approved. There are spare parts readily available and the company is fairly widly recognised and reputable.

Have a look at the Atmos site:

Also the Polish company I listed with the great prices for Atmos is a wholesale company, not retail - but I am sure if anyone was buying several units at a time they would be happy to do business.

Pellet Heater Prices from Poland

Great Polish Prices!!!

I keep getting the argument, only from a few, that my take on prices for wood pellet boilers in Ireland being at Rip-off levels is incorrect or distorted - maybe it it?

I am posting today some prices from Poland in support of my argument. Poland is in the EU and so there is no problem with either the VAT or with borders, or even with language, as so many Polish people now live in Ireland. There is easy and regular transport from Poland. I personally have half a dozen good friends in Poland.


A good business opportunity for Polish people living in Ireland. Get into selling these boilers in Ireland at close to Polish prices and you will do very very well! Just simply apply to SEI for registration - no big problem.

Also Polish workers in Ireland have a very good name for both good work and reasonable prices. Are there Polish heating engineers and plumbers out there who would be willing to give me their prices? I will publish them HERE.

First the shop link:

The boiler above is again the ATMOS as sold in Germany etc. The polish price for the smaller one, the Atmos D 15 P is Zlotty11,859 including 22% Polish VAT. AT todays conversion rate that equals €2912 - WOW! That a lot keener than the Czech price. At that sort of money it might be even worth forgoing the SEI Grant and going it alone.

The bigger model Atomos the D 20 P is 13,169Zlotty in vat. That is €3234 inc. VAT. Beat that!!

Another Polish pellet boiler - I cannot identify this one but it looks like the Viadrus ViaLing. On offer at Zlotte10,488 in VAT or €2576 in VAT.

Go check the prices etc. for yourself.

Ask Questions about prices.

Then start to ask question about Irish prices. Ask you politicians to check what is going on.
Are you fed up with the Rip-Off Republic? If you are then DO SOMETHING about it.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Seems I have annoyed some people!

Gee - the Price of Fame!!!

I have been getting quite a bit of feedback recently on these blogs. Seems more and more people are reading them. Most of the feedback is very supportive and appreciative, but some is to put it mildly - abusive, threatening, bullying and insulting.

Here are a couple of quotes taken from one contributor to a discussion group I subscribe to under the user name of MysterFixIt, he is one VERY annoyed businessman:

"The way I see it is MysterFixIt is proposing theft by defrauding the SEI Grant which is funded by the Tax Payers of this country"
(refering to my suggestion about possible buying co-ops)

"The same person goes on to to give inaccurate information on products that can be purchased in the Czech Republic, a boiler system that is not what he claims it to be"
(I took the information directly from the Czech business site - if it is inaccurate it is NOT my doing)

"He then goes on and gives what could be dangerous information regarding the flue system because it is not accurate for the purpose of the thread being the installation of Pellet Boilers."
(I suggested that high efficiency boilers would do best with insulated or double walled flues)

"I hope we have some readers / participants who are members of our law enforcement or revenue, I do believe conspiracy is an offence, not sure though, it's one of the disadvantages of running an honest business." (I hope so too, coz this guy might need some investigating)

Now how would you read that sort of abuse from someone I had no direct contact with or who I did not even consider or mention in my posts? It would appear he is calling me a potential thief, a liar and a danger to the public. He would also appear to be calling on the law enforcement agencies to investigate me.

Now the thing is - I have nothing to hide from the law or anyone else, other than from abusive bullies like the man quoted above. I am delighted that I have got to him, his response show where he is at. The people who are really mad at these blogs are business people with interests in Pellet Heating. That is not to say ALL people involved in the pellet heating business are mad at my blogs - far from it - I have had very positive feedback from the sensible ones because they have nothing to lose or to hide.

The ones making the loudest protests can only be understood to be annoyed BECAUSE I have touched a raw nerve. The people who are doing their business honestly and ethically have no gripe with these blogs.

Spread the word - pass on a link to these blogs - hopefully the muddy waters will run clear eventually!

Monday, June 19, 2006

What is this Guys Agenda?

People are Asking Questions.

As more and more people are reading this blog, some are starting to ask questions - and rightly so too!

Question like the following:

Q. Who is this guy?
A. I am a regular guy with no business interest in Heating, Wood Pellets or associated lines.

Q. Why don't you identify yourself?
A. My friends know who I am. But I do not want to draw down fire on myself, and believe me there are very annoyed business people out there who hate what this blog is doing.

Q. Isn't this blog just causing confusion, or even spreading mis-information?
A. It is my aim to publish only correct information and prices etc. I will do this to the best of my ability. All the information I publish here is gathered from a wide variety of sources and is passed on to you in good faith. I do not guarantee the accuracy of information whatsoever, but can say honestly that it is, to the best of my knowledge, accurate and correct. If there is incorrect information, it is not knowingly put forth by me. I can only pass on what I myself learn, and no man is an encyclopaedia.

Q. What is this guys agenda?
A. I passionately hate rip-off merchants and price gouging. This is in my blood - there is a race memory of the "Gombeen Men" of Famine times somewhere in my sub-conscious. I am also very very interested in alternative energy. Ireland is perhaps the European capital for Rip-Offs, and Eddie Hobbs proved that well enough - but only touched the tip of the iceberg. In my area of interest I will do my best to outline the Rip-Offs that are muddying the waters of alternative energy. The Irish Government, I believe, did a good thing by introducing grants - but I believe that the situation was not fully thought out. As it stands, I believe, that the grants are encouraging the gougers as much as they might be encouraging a switch over to alternative energy.

Q. Why this blog?
A. To spread alternative energy information as far and wide as possible, to encourage discussion, and to warn people of the rip-offs.

Q. What about the honest merchants and plumbers?
A. I acknowledge that there are many really principled and honest dealers and tradesmen out there. I will point my readers in the right direction when I am convinced of their intergity. But I will always suggest that the buyer beware.

Q. Will you name and shame?
A. No. It is not my business to do that. I will identify the overpricing and the scams, and I invite my readers to add comments with their findings BUT I will NOT name and shame any individual or company. If I find good value I will suggest people look in that direction.

Q. Are you making money from this?
A. Not a single penny.

Q. If you are not making money why do you bother?
A. If everyone took that sort of view - nothing would be done - someone has to ring the bell when there is a fire.

Q. Are you discouraged by the flac?
A. On the contrary, I know I am getting to the gougers when they make noise, and this gives me great encouragement.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Danish pellet Burner Units

A Look at Some Pellet Burner Units

On the left is a picture of a Pellx Pellet Burner Unit. This is a well tried and tested unit on the Danish market place, and is easily available in heating suppliers. My Danish friend Christian has been using it in his home central heating system for some time and is well satisfied with its performance.

The price is only 11,000 Danish Kroner which equals only €1475.83. If you add 21% VAT you get €1785.75

This next burner unit is an Iwabo brand Pellet Burner, the Iwabo Villa S1.

Again, this is a common unit on the Danish market. And the price?

The price in Danish Kroner 10,950. In Euro €1469 add the VAT gives you €1777.49

But you would be in need of an Auger Unit this will cost you 2900 Dk Kr which equals €389 add VAT at 21% €470.69

NOW! Let's do Some Sums

One only Opop boiler unit at €623.15 incl. VAT.
One only Pellx Burner Unit at €1785.75 incl. VAT.
One only Auger motorised Unit €470.69 incl. VAT

TOTAL Cost €2879.59 Inclusive of VAT

Opop Boiler Price

Above is an Opop boiler Type 418 an 18Kw Boiler unit - you can see the mark on the front of the boiler if you look carefully.

Why am I interested in this boiler and picture? Well I tool the picture myself in Ireland of an SEI "approved" boiler. This one is fitted with a Boink Burner unit. The same OPOP boiler without the burner unit is on sale in the Czech Republic for 18,815 Kc including 19% Czech sales tax. This is a RETAIL price.

If we take off the Czech tax we have Kc 15,353 that is €515!!!!!!!! An Opop approved boiler unit for €515 plus 21% VAT that's only €623.15 including VAT at 21%.

Anyone out there who travels to, or does business with the Czech Republic could bring these into Ireland. here is the site:

Stay tuned for more information.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Proof positive we Irish are being ripped off

The above is a screen print of a Danish Heating Supply Store Internet site

You will see a COMPLETE pellet boiler/burner plus Hopper and Auger set - - for DK Kroner 28,500 incl 25% tax (thats more than our Irish 21% VAT.) Less the Danish Tax the RETAIL price is 22,800 Danish Kroner. 22,800 Dk. Kr is equal to €3059 Euro at todays rate.

Add Irish VAT at 21% gives you €3701.39 inclusive. If you add say a generous €350 for transport to Ireland (a container load it would be a good deal less per unit)

That gives you a figure of just €4051 for a high efficiency complete system with recognised Bio Confort Burnerunit, Auger, Hopper and Boiler.

There is NO REASON why a very similar price should not be achieved in good old Rip-Off Ireland

- other than there are nasty, greedy, green-eyed monster, good old Irish gombeen rip-off middle men at work!!!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Pellets of Wood

I have been learning a little bit about wood pellets and I would like to pass on what I have learned so far.

Wood Pellets are made from essentially sawdust. They come in different qualities. In Denmark there are 3 different qualities available.

What Makes a Good Pellet

1. Good quality raw material. (no bark, or other rubbish, or oily timbers)
2. High compaction. (Nice hard shiny pellets)
3. No or little loose dust or bits. (Dust will clog up the system)
4. Very dry with less than 8% total moisture. (Pellets die, literally disintegrate, from moisture or any dampness)

What's Happening in Ireland?

Here is what worries me a lot: PRICE. With the other Irish style rip-offs in this business, I am afraid, that like the supply and fitting situation, there will also be abuses on the price of pellets. So far the situation seems fairly good.

Balcas is the only national player at the present and they offer fair prices. There are a number of other players coming onto the scene. Czech-Direct is a Kerry based company which is importing pellets, as yet prices delivery arrangements etc. haven't emerged. There are other start up situations around the country but I do not have details as yet.

What really needs to happen is for Ireland to grow its own needs rather than use waste or imported materials. I hope that there will emerge many schemes to encourage farmers to plant large areas with fast growing trees that can be harvested on a regular basis. Local industries which will process the materials also need to be encouraged. I am not up to speed on what is happening on this level.

Delivery and Price

Delivery is in essentially two forms; Bagged or Loose. The bagged pellets are reasonably safe from moisture but should be stored in a fairly dry situation anyway. The loose pellets really need a VERY dry place in which to store them.

Loose pellets are cheapest at about €170 per tonne for a 3 tonne delivery. Bagged are quite a bit more expensive at €210 and upwards a tonne delivered on pallets. Smaller quantities of bagged pellets are dearer again. It would pay you to have bulk storage if you have a suitable space to make it.

A pellet stove or furnace will not work if the pellets get damp, so be warned. You will also lose a lot of pellets and money if they get damp. They are only good as garden mulch, but even then what would you do with say two tonnes of mulch?

The following was a complete surprise to me given Ireland performance on the Internation Rip-Off tables: For the moment Ireland is a bit cheaper for wood pellets than Denmark.


Sunday, June 11, 2006

How About Forming Co-Operatives?

Just an idea!! - How about the idea of forming Co-Operatives to purchase and install wood pellet boilers?

Why you may ask would we want to do that? The simple answer is to short circuit the Rip-Off merchants and thus to encourage more people to go over to wood pelleted heating systems. It would also be an excellent way of distributing the necessary information to people by means of those without vested interests and large profits as motivation.

Apart from getting the gougers out of the loop, wouldn't it be loverly to get a wood based system really going in Ireland.

IDEA #2!!

If even only we got to 20% of Irish homes which were using wood pellet heating, this would create many many hundreds of jobs.

There would be the farmers who would grow the fast growing trees that could be harvested every two years or so. This method of fuel harvesting is called Bio-Mass. The sally tree is particularly suitable to re-cropping. The roots remain in the ground and the growth is cropped ever two years or so.

Then there is the Bio-Mass handling and the Pelleting Business', and finally there is a distribution business. Lots and lots of jobs - and it all aids both the Environment and the Economy.

Government not Interested in Gougers!

The blatant and enormous abuses of the Grant Scheme by the price gougers does not seem to be of any great interest to the government agencies. The SEI is just not interested - their job is just to promote the alternatives, they are not interested in policing their recommended dealers and installers. Yet, by virture of SEI putting them on a recommended list, I believe they have some responsibility to make sure that these people do not abuse their advantage.

The Office of the Director of Consumer Affairs is not interested in policing rip-offs, I have an e-mail which says so. Their job is to inform the public to WATCH YOUR BACK.

It is we the people who will have to tackle this outrageous situation ourselves.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Plundering Plumbers!

There are plumbers out there who have a secret aspect to their lives. Like Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde they have a secret formula that changes their behaviour and character, from the ordinary to the sinister.

What??? Do I hear you ask is that mystery potion? It is not actually a formula or a potion; it is a combination of words , like a witches spell, that causes the unwholesome transformation.

Do I hear you ask what are those evil magic words? These, my friends, are words that should not be mentioned in the presence of plumbers, I warn you, heed me; hex hex keep thou away - return to hell oh Satan!!!

Do NOT mention the words "Wood Pellet Boiler" to a plumber, because if you do - the price of the job immediately doubles, trebles, quadruples or even multiplies by 10 or more. That person you thought you knew, turns into a green eyed monster, and wants to take over the world, or at least a lot of your money.

Now if you said "will you install a boiler" to that same plumber, he/she would smile and give a fairly standard price, which could be anything from about €150 to €350. By adding just ONE word, you issue forth the Magic Spell that changes EVERYTHING.

By mentioning "Wood Pellet" the price goes from €150 up to as much as €1000!!!

WARNING: If you talk to a plumber about the installation of a Wood Pellet Boiler, be absolutly sure NOT to mention "Wood Pellet", use only the word BOILER on its own.

Friday, June 09, 2006

"Greener Homes" Grant Facts

Just a few thoughts on the Government Grants from SEI (Sustainable Energy Ireland). As I mentioned earlier, there are several categories of grant. I am only dealing with one particular grant here in this blog, and that is the grant for Wood Pellet Central Heating.

One Grant - Two Types of Rip-Off

There are two types of Rip-Off going on in Ireland as a result of the grant. (1) There is the supply of equipment price rip-off, and (2) There is the installation and commissioning charges rip-off. Because the grant is so generous, these people feel they can get away with price gouging and rip-offs.

Some grant recipients might feel they have to order the units from the supplier they nominated on the Grant Application. This, however, is not necessarily the case. SEI is only concerned with the installation being an "approved unit" - it does not matter where the unit is actually bought from. It can be purchased from the cheapest or most suitable source, once it is one of the approved types of boiler/heater. In fact it could be imported from mainland Europe where there is much greater competition, more savvy customers, and as a result, the prices are more honest!

The Installer Rip-Off

The other confusion affecting some people is the matter of the installer/commissioning agent. It does not matter who actually installs the unit once they are competent plumbers / electricians. This is how Gerkros, the only Irish manufacturer of wood pellet boilers, actually operates. Gerkros sell to wholesale to hardware merchants. You then buy from the hardware store. Your plumber installs the unit according to the manual. Then Gerkros sen their man out to inspect and commission the unit, and fill up the Grant Approval Form.

It is the person who does the inspection, commissioning and tuning of the unit that really counts. If you are unhappy with the "approved" installer that you have nominated in your Grant Application, you can simply re-apply to by letter to SEI to have a different one nominated. Be sure to tell SEI why you are changing when re-applying!

You Just have to Find the Honest Ones!

Do phone around and get as many prices as possible before proceeding with the work. There are actually some honest "approved" installers out there - you just have to find them.

The more people that become savvy, ask lots of questions, and carefully check out the prices - the more it will squeese out the gougers. And we all want that, don't we?

The Rip-Off Irish - Danish Price Comparisons

On the left is a picture of a Boink 16Kw (Kw means kilo watt, one kilo watt is the equivalent of a single bar electric fire) central heating unit.

It comes complete with: Boiler, Burner Unit with 100 step modulation, and a 1.6 meter Auger Unit. The retail (not wholesale mind you) price in Denmark is Dk Kroner 20,400 excluding tax. Translated to Euro that is €2739 + VAT. €3314 including VAT.

Why dont you check out what the dealers in Ireland are asking for this unit???? And bring a chair to sit on and some Valium with you! So the shock will not kill you!

Next we have the Bio-Comfort Central Heating Unit from Boink. This is a high efficiency unit quoted at 93.3% efficiency. (that is really high). The 16Kw unit is what is being dealt with here.

The BioComfort 16Kw unit, which includes Boiler, Burner with 100 step modulation, and 1.6 meter Auger Unit, has a Danish retail price of Danish Kr 24,400 not including tax. This translates into €3273 plus VAT.

I will be adding more evidence of the Irish "Greener Homes" Grant Rip-Off - so stay tuned!!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Some Technical Aspects of Wood Pellet Boilers

Today I thought I might make a few comments on the technical side of wood pellet heating from the perspective of the buyer.

There is a very large array of wood pellet heaters and chetral heating boilers on the market. I am dealing in this blog specifically with central heating boilers. There are several different technologies used in these units. I have had some training in central heating, and I get confused with the technology, so I will attempt a brief and simple outline of WHAT IS WHAT.

Boilers versus Burner Units

First let me make a clear distinction between the parts of a Wood Pellet Central Heating Unit. The big, and heavy bit is the boiler The picture above shows a Dor Wood Burning Boiler. It is essentially a "kettle" in which water is heater, on much of the main-land European continent the word kettle is used to describe a boiler. The same type of boiler, more or less, is used for oil fired heating. The retail cost of the above boiler in Germany in 24 Kw size is approximately €850 including German VAT.

On the left is a Scotte Wood Pellet Burner unit. This is the equivalent of an oil burner unit, and essentially it could be fitted into just about any boiler. These units are the expensive part of a wood pellet c/h unit. A "Scotte" burner, like the one shown on the left, sells in Germany for about €2100 incl. of German VAT for a 16Kw size. The larger capacity burner units cost extra.

Some complete units have an integrated burner unit like the "Baxi". In the area of seperate burner units, there are 3 main types. 1. Bottom feed type, 2. Top fed type, and 3. Lateral feed. All use an igniting element and a feed system to control the flow of pellets. Essentially there is a burning pan or chamber into which the pellets are fed, then ignited. Once lit a fan is used to blow the flame.

Some of the other pieces needed to complete a Wood Pellet Unit include a motorised Auger which transports the pellets into the burner, and a Lambda Unit, which controls the oxygen in the burn process. Also needed is some sort of storage bin or hopper which holds between 5 and 14 days of pellets, depending on capacity.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Wood Pellet Heating Rip-Off in Ireland

Rip-Off Ireland has become a common catch phrase in recent times. There is now a completly new type of Rip-Off going on which is based on the new Government Grant Scheme set up to promote domestic renewable source heating systems.

There are generous government grants for Solar, Geo-Thermal, and Bio-mass wood pellet heating systems. Full details are available at This is an excellent site with lots of information. There are grant application forms etc., and the site gives details of approved units and approved installers.

What the site does not detail are some of the major price rip-offs going on in the business. For instance; the cost to install a pellet central heating boiler and commission it, price not including materials, the time amounts to about a half days work, was quoted by one recommended installer at €1000 inclusive of VAT. Materials for plumbing and flue etc. are extra. Now that's price gouging at its worst, and it is just plain sickening!! I have a great dislike of gougers, I consider it nothing less than thievery.

Government "Greener Homes" Grant has spawned green eyed monsters!

Some of the more common makes of wood pellet central heating units being sold in Ireland are the Opop and Dor Boilers with either Boink or Scotte burner mechanisms fitted. The Boilers are made in the Czech Republic and I will have the retail prices posted here soon. But be assured that the Irish price is perhaps 50 - 100% more expensive. I will also publish some retail prices for the burner units from the mainland Europen Continent. Again you can be sure the Irish price is 50% to 100% more expensive.

The single biggest rip-off is in the installation and commissioning prices being charged. Like €1000 one thousand Euro being asked for a single boiler installation. I kid you not! €1000 for installing ONE boiler. The installation and commissioning time amounts to roughtly a half days work this information by the admission of two seperate installers. The seller-installers tend to charge a bit less for installation - but then they have the sale profit don't they?