To Biomass Energy Centre home page
Bookmark and Share
Fuel costs per kWh
Fuel prices per kWh (excluding VAT)Fuel prices per kWh (excluding VAT)
Prices per kwh by moisture contentPrices per kwh by moisture content
This spreadsheet shows how the cost of energy from woodfuel changes with varying moisture content. Excel spreadsheet - 41 kB
Fuel Price per unit kWh per unit pence per kWh
Wood chips (30% MC) 110 per tonne 3,500 kWh/t 3.1p/kWh
Wood pellets 210 per tonne 4,800 kWh/t 4.4p/kWh
Natural gas 4.9p/kWh 1 4.9p/kWh
Heating oil 58p per litre 10 kWh/ltr 5.8p/kWh
LPG (bulk) 43p per litre 6.6 kWh/ltr 6.5p/kWh
Electricity 15.0p/kWh 1 15.0p/kWh

Typical prices for bulk purchase of fuels at domestic or small commercial scale, December 2013

N.B. These prices are intended for guidance only and represent the typical cost per unit of fuel energy for comparison. This is not the same as cost per unit of delivered heat which will depend on the efficiency of the boiler or stove, and may also include other charges such as service and maintenance for heat supply contracts. They also do not represent either the very lowest price you might achieve by extensive shopping around, or the highest prices on offer.

All prices are prone to significant variation with geographical region, tariff choice, order quantities, overall contract size and duration, time of year, delivery distance and time, etc. Woodfuels in particular are available at prices both significantly above and below those quoted, and bulk prices will be subject to a minimum delivery size of perhaps 3-5 tonnes. Wood pellets bought in bags may be significantly more expensive than those bought in bulk.

Delivery method (speed of delivery) also has a pronounced impact on cost per tonne. It will be far easier, quicker and cheaper to tip a trailer into a chip store than to have to use a chip blower (for example). Additional expenditure on a chip store can have profound financial benefits over the lifetime of the installation.

The market for woodfuels is currently relatively immature which, combined with its unsuitability for long distance transport, supports considerable variation in prices from place to place. Figures have been chosen to represent the mean price achievable across the UK for a single bulk order of 5 tonnes of wood pellets or 10 tonnes of woodfuel quality chips. In the case of the latter however, the prices we see around the country and from different suppliers can vary by a factor of two or more, with 90 - 120 a typical range, but figures both above and below this are not uncommon. For some producers, prices may be subsidized by other activities.

Heating oil prices

As a guide to the volatility of the prices of heating oil, the graph below, kindly provided by, shows how the average price of domestic heating oil (excluding VAT) has varied over the last year.

Other facts and figuresOther facts and figures

Nottingham energy partnership provides regular monthly updated energy price information in cost and carbon emissions for delivered heat. The data is limited to the East Midlands Region, but may provide useful indicative prices elsewhere. Check their comparisons here.