14 December 2022

Lower quality pellets may create more problems than solutions

EN Plus A1 pellets are the most well known and used pellet for heating systems across Europe. Most, if not all, pellet boilers and stoves in the UK have been designed to use EN Plus A1 pellets.

As well as the pellets themselves, buying from a company who has been audited and assessed as an EN Plus Trader means that you as a customer can be assured that:

  1. Your pellets are EN Plus A1 and BSL approved
  2. The pellets you receive have been loaded correctly, screened for dust and then delivered in vehicles which have approved weighing systems.
  3. The drivers have been trained in delivery of pellets and if there is a problem there is a proper complaint process in place plus the ability to take a complaint further to the UK Pellet Council if you don’t feel it has been dealt with to your satisfaction.

Y Pellets have operated as EN Plus Traders from our first day of operation over 5 years ago and we like to think our customers have benefitted from the processes, procedures and training we have invested in.

When the war in Ukraine broke out in February, gas and oil companies said that they would phase out the trading of Russian oil and gas over the next 9 to 12 months, the European Pellet Council members voted to suspend the trading of Russian made wood pellets immediately. Given that Russian had been manufacturing up to 15% of all the pellets in Europe this had a dramatic affect on pellet supplies across Europe including the UK.

Security of supply for wood pellet customers over the Winter is essential so the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), who control OFGEM, decided to open up the wood pellet marketplace to allow lower grade wood pellets, typically EN Plus A2 to be used by large customers.

Larger boilers use in a few days what a normal household use across a season and have a greater tolerance for pellets of a lower quality. It was felt that giving these customers more flexibility temporarily would free up supplies of EN Plus A1 pellets for smaller customers this Winter.

EN Plus A1 and A2 pellets have similar characteristics with the big difference being the ash content and ash melting point. While these differences are nominally small, most modern pellet boilers will have been optimised for A1, so using other pellets will have a detrimental effect on performance and potentially void any warranty on your boiler.

If you think that using A2 pellets may be an option for you, we’d suggest checking with your installer about the steps required to reconfigure your system for their use as well as checking that warranties will not be affected. You also need to accept that the protections offered under the EN Plus Traders licence won’t apply and so this needs to be weighed against any financial savings you may make.

For more information, please call us on 01405 840095

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