How much does a bag of wood pellets cost
The cost of a bag of wood pellets depends on how you buy them. Pellets can be delivered in bags of various sizes, usually 10kg bags, 15kg bags and one tonne dumpy bags. The war in Ukraine has made the cost of fossil fuels volatile, and highlighted that it's a bad idea to be so beholden to nations with rather less than perfect regimes. Prices are quite changeable at the moment and so we will add a date for this price and also show you how to work out the price per kWh from prices you can find yourself online.
On 14/06/23 a one tonne pallet of bagged wood pellets from one of the main UK suppliers cost £420 for 65 x 15kg bags. That makes them £430/tonne, and £6.50/15kg bag.
However it's more useful to know what the cost per kWh is.
Pellets contain, on average, 4.8 kWh/kg of heat.
65 15kg bags is 975kg in total.
And these 975 kg will contain 975 x 4.8 kWh of heat = 4,680kWh.
The cost per kWh is then just 420 divided by 4,680 = 0.0897 £/kWh, or 8.97 p/kWh.
But pellet appliances are not 100% efficient, and some of the heat is lost up the chimney. The SAP seasonal efficiency of a wood pellet boiler is its predicted efficiency over a whole year including these losses. It may typically be 82-85%. To stay on the conservative side lets say 80%.
So we take that value of 8.97 p/kWh and divide it by 0.8 - then that raises the cost to 11.21 p/kWh - this is the kWh per kg that we are likely to gain from the pellets.
This changes as the cost of pellets fluctuates, but hopefully the example above should allow you to do the calculation for yourself as well.
Do remember that when comparing prices between fuels, for example mains gas, that you will also need to factor in the seasonal efficiency of the boiler - which is not usually done, so to make the comparison fair remember to do that.
As to how long a bag will last - that's a bit of a "how long is a piece of string" question. It all depends on how much heat your home needs and how much hot water you use. In the winter I get through about a bag a day. You can work it backwards from your current fuel bills - look up how much you are using at the moment, use google to convert those figures to how many kWh you are using and then divide that by 3.84 to see how many kg of pellets that would be.
Most people like yourself get in touch with us and we can talk you through everything and help to estimate how many pellets you will need in a year when you make the switch.
Wood pellet truck. Photo: Forest Fuels Ltd.
Pellets can also come by truck where they are tipped out from the truck or blown through a tube into a wood pellet store. Often these wood pellets can only be ordered at a minimum quantity but it works out cheaper if you have the space. You have to have a dedicated pellet store which can be either inside or outside your house.
Wood pellet blown delivery - an easy way of filling your pellet store.
Photo: Forest Fuels Ltd.
Do get in touch with us to learn more about heating your home with wood pellets, we're here to help.