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We predict a very busy winter season this year, don’t leave it too late to order


Here at Balcas energy, we are expecting a very busy season and strongly recommend all our customers to order as in advance as possible to benefit of the current lead times and avoid soon-to-come longer waiting times.

 

As we all know from entering local supermarkets and doing online orders, there are many gaps and out-of-stock items. Lots of businesses have announced that they simply cannot get stock as there aren’t enough lorry drivers available to deliver the orders. According to the Road Haulage Association, they have estimated there is now a shortage of more than 100,000 drivers in the UK, out of a pre-pandemic total of about 600,000. As this may be a worrying time for us all, businesses have advised us not to panic buy as we enter the winter months.

What does this mean for wood pellet industry?

With a staggering amount of drivers remaining in the UK, for some smaller wood pellets providers it may be difficult to get wood pellets delivered to specific areas and when they can, the delivery time may be longer than what it has been in previous years.

When it comes to wood pellets, it is advised you use the same brand of pellets within each appliance as changing product brands may cause your biomass appliances issues. Many pellet distributors produce the same brand of pellets, but they may not be from the same pellet plant. Here at Balcas, we constantly produce our own pellets in our pellet plants to ensure the pellets are good quality and meet ENplus A1 standards.

For us at Balcas…

wood pellets truck lorry As we approach Christmas, we want to ensure we give our customers relevant and up-to-date information to ensure they are not left disappointed. With the high demand we are expecting to receive, we are advising all our customers to order ASAP and get their fuel in time to ensure nobody’s left disappointed as we enter the winter season.

To place an order of up to 8 tonnes please order here:




If you require more assistance, place contact the team and we will help put through your order or deal with any queries you may have if they cannot be resolved by viewing our Frequently Asked Questions.

Thank You,

Balcas Energy

 

Summer Bank Holiday 30th of August

 

Our Customer Support office will be closed on Monday, 30th of August for the summer bank holiday. We will reopen as normal on Tuesday, 31st of August.


bank holiday
You can still order online 24/7 by visiting our Online Shop:

 

 

Balcas Energy Team

5 reasons why you should use wood pellets

use of wood pellets

Many know what wood pellets are but don’t know their benefits. Here at Balcas, we want our consumers to have as much information as possible when considering buying wood pellets from us.

As a reminder, wood pellets are a compressed form of wood biomass and can be used in stoves and boilers for fuel, as an alternative to fossil fuels. Continue to scroll to read the key benefits of using wood pellets in the long run.

These are five key benefits of using wood pellets in the long run:

  1. A cost-effective fuel – Wood pellet prices have been extremely steady over the past decade, while all other energy sources change dramatically within the market.
  2. The carbon footprint of wood pellets – Pellet fuel can produce one-tenth the carbon as heating with oil. If the forest the wood pellet material is sourced from is managed sustainably, the carbon footprint is significantly reduced in comparison with fossil fuel heat. This is why in Balcas Energy we pride ourselves with our sustainability story.
  3. Forests can directly benefit – By using environmentally reliable sources for production, burning pellets releases fewer carbon emissions than if trees were left to decompose in the forest. This allows modern forestry organisations to enhance the rate of carbon elimination from the environment by replanting new trees which absorb CO2.
  4. Wood pellets are natural – When it comes to using pellets, there are no chemicals or dangerous extracts included that could be harmful to you or the environment. Pellet fuel is made from scratch using green energy and high-quality material from trees grown in sustainable forests.
  5. Storing is very easy – Wood pellets can be stored in any dry room. They are not easy to ignite and do not pose a significant fire hazard. Whereas fossil fuels such as fuel oil, gas, diesel fuel, and coal are easily flammable and contain have harmful odours.

Here at Balcas, we want to ensure you have as much information as possible based on our fuel. If you have any queries surrounding this topic, please check out our frequently asked questions section or give us a call on +44 (0) 28 6641 1001 or email [email protected]. Alternatively, you can contact at any time via our Contact Form online – a member of our team will get back to you ASAP.

BANK HOLIDAY 12th of July

Our Customer Support office will be closed on Monday, the 12th of July (bank holiday) and will reopen as usual, on Tuesday 13th.


bank holiday
You can still order online 24/7 by visiting our Online Shop:

 

 

Balcas Energy Team

Do you know where your wood pellets are coming from?

Wood pellets are now manufactured and sold in many countries around the world. The uses of wood pellets are varied and include:

  1. as a replacement for coal in electricity generation
  2. for home heating in a boiler or stove
  3. commercial space heating
  4. Animal bedding
  5. Animal litter trays
  6. Industrial heat processes
  7. Heating of commercial buildings
  8. Barbeques
  9. Pizza ovens
  10. Heating of public sector buildings such as hospitals.

 

The demand for wood pellets is therefore increasing with all of these different uses. Not all wood pellets are the same. They can have different colours, different diameters and be made of different wood species all of which lead to different characteristics. Depending on the wood fibre used to manufacture them wood pellet ash content, calorific value and other characteristics vary. They can also be made from waste wood (old pallets, doors etc) or virgin timber or sawmill residues. The sustainability of any particular wood pellet depends on the source of the wood fibre and how they are manufactured.

 

Wood pellets are viewed as part of the solution for reaching net zero especially in rural or off grid areas for domestic and commercial space heating and industrial process heating. Wood pellets represent a carbon neutral, eco-friendly alternative to the traditional imported fossil fuels. Unlike heat pumps the high heat available from wood pellets make them suitable as a replacement in many more applications and existing building types without the need for high levels of upgrading and retrofitting of insulation etc to the building fabric.

enplus wood pellets


This is the main reason why, at Balcas, we talk so much about our sustainable manufacturing in our two plants, from wood obtained from our local sustainable forests. Using green energy for manufacturing the pellets is another factor that contributes to the carbon neutral benefit of our pellets. You can read about our entire manufacturing process and timber sourcing here.


Why timber sourcing is important?

 

Without proper sustainable sourcing of the timber used in the process of manufacturing wood pellets, the fight towards climate change gets affected. First, to have a sustainable timber sourcing, trees have to be replanted in place of those used and nothing should be wasted. Secondly, when someone gets imported timber this can travel half way around the globe, which means incredibly higher carbon footprint compared to our local sourcing, plus the risk of cross contamination.

 

We’ve closely followed Preferred by Nature’s latest work in timber sourcing and sustainability and we’re concerned to see how many of the imported wood pellets that are potentially sold on our market are made from timber sourced from Preferred by Nature high risk areas. In our opinion it is therefore important that attention is paid to the certification and traceability for products manufactured from timber from these areas. You want to be sure your products are of good quality and ethically & legally sourced.

In this sense, Preferred by Nature has created an interactive world map to show each country’s risk information when sourcing timber from their national forests. In the picture below, we can see how many of the world’s countries are in the high risk timber score (pictured in red):

 

where your wood pellets are coming from

The countries are colour coded depending on their Timber Risk Score. The lower the score, the more widespread the risks of illegality in the country. The score is based on Preferred by Nature’s assessment of 21 parameters relevant to timber legality. Each indicator deemed a low risk gets one point, while each indicator above low risk gets no point.

The countries are ranked to enable comparison relative to violations of applicable laws.

 

Who is Preferred by Nature?

Preferred by Nature (formerly known as NEPCon) is a non-profit organisation that supports better land management and business practices that benefit people, nature and the climate. You can read more about them and their mission here.

 

Where is our timber sourced from?

Short answer: locally. Our timber used in manufacturing wood pellets is sourced from our sustainably grown forests in the UK and Ireland. Read more here…

 

For each tree we use there are four more planted



Summer Check list for your wood pellet boiler

As is our custom every year, we wrote our recommended summer check list for optimal wood pellet fuel performance.

summer check list
Thanks to the gorgeous weather sweeping across GB and Ireland this month, home owners are powering down their wood pellet boiler and dialling back the heat to enjoy the unseasonably warm temperatures.

Off-peak periods are the perfect time to ensure that your store is clean and your boiler is prepared for the next heating season.  We have devised this four point check to help you maintain optimum performance for your biomass boiler set-up…


Balcas Energy four point check

✅ Store is Clean. 

Vacuum your store annually.  Although our wood pellets has less than 1% fine material, this can build up over time from many loads if a store is not cleaned. Check out our Summer Maintenance Guide

✅ Annual Service. 

Make sure that your wood pellet boiler is serviced annually by a certified technician to ensure the appliance is operating safely and correctly. These contacts can be found depending on your area online or via phone book. Before calling someone, please make sure they have the right certifications. Alternatively, you can give us a quick call so we can look this up for you.

✅ Thermostat. 

Check and adjust your thermostat settings to ensure your heating system is turned down for warm weather, keeping you comfortable and saving energy this summer.

Advance Ordering.  

Check your store to gauge when you will need to re-order and don’t leave it until the last minute to avoid being caught out on cool summer nights.  You can easily order online 24/7 a bulk delivery or 10kg bags online via our Online Shop.

 



Stay safe and warm!

Government announcement: Companies must commit to net zero emissions to win major government contracts

We’re delighted to hear and support the UK government’s announcement that businesses must commit to net zero by 2050 before they can bid for major government contracts.

net zero carbon by 2050

Any firm applying for a public sector contract worth more than £5m a year will have to meet the criteria from September.

From September, firms seeking public sector contracts worth more than £5m a year will also have to publish “clear and credible carbon reduction plans” before being considered, the Cabinet Office said.

It means that all firms bidding for contracts will have to meet the new criteria – not just those who win, a government spokesman said.

Under the new plans, a carbon reduction plan will have to set out where a company’s emissions come from and the environmental management measures it has in place.

For the entire press release which outlines the new criteria please read more on the Government website here.

 

If you have a business and you’re not familiar with these new changes and don’t know how to go carbon neutral, please feel free to contact us via our Contact Us form on our site, sending us an email by clicking the button below, or give us a call at and one of our Account Managers can chat you through everything:


Balcas Energy is the largest manufacturer & distributor of carbon neutral wood pellets, supplying fuel since 2004. We offer heating contracts where you can pay by kWh and help with an energy solution tailored for your business, whatever that is.

You can read more about our heat contracts and about our team here.

Earth Day 2021

Today is Earth Day, which is an annual event celebrated around the world on April 22 to demonstrate support for environmental protection.

earth day tree in hands balcas energy

At Balcas we celebrate Earth Day because we believe that sustainably managed forests are our future. So we innovate with timber, taking care to use it as efficiently as possible, planting four trees for every one we harvest.

The original timber we use is either spruce or pine, which are locally sourced from sustainably managed forests.

These forests are the lungs of the planet and we are proud of the contribution that we are making towards fighting climate change.


Here are Five reasons why all our Tomorrows Depend on Trees and how Balcas Energy supports the fight against climate change:

1. Carbon Dioxide is warming the earth and accelerating climate change. Trees absorb CO2 and store it.

2. Balcas Energy is made from fast growing softwood – we plant four trees for every one we harvest, offsetting any CO2 released.

3. By making our business local, we are supporting a sustainable timber industry that is making increased forest cover a reality in the UK and Ireland. Ireland wants to increase its forest cover  by 64% by 2050. The UK wants to increase its forest cover by 19% by 2050.

4. Trees are the ultimate renewable resource – we can grow them right here without having to worry about global market price fluctuations.

5. Moving from fossil fuels to Balcas Energy’s locally produced wood pellets results in a 100% reduction in carbon emissions.


How we make our wood pellets?

We sustainably manufacture our wood pellets in our two plants located in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, and Invergordon, Scotland.

We make them with renewable energy and high quality material. So our operations are powered by green electricity. We generate this on site thanks to the co-products of all Balcas saw-milling activities.

Please click below to see a quick animation presenting our manufacturing process:

How it’s made – Wood Pellets

Why do people use wood pellets?

use of wood pellets

The use of wood pellets depends on the objective. Pellet fuel can be used for various reasons: from 100% carbon neutral heating (home and/or business) to horse bedding, for example. For clarification, we wrote an  article on what wood pellets are here.

If wood pellets are manufactured from sustainable sources, with proper technology, and delivered on short distances from local storing depots, they represent a zero carbon heating option for any home or business.

This is the main reason we at Balcas Energy are promoting the sustainability story of our pellets, as we make them in lour two local plants in Northern Ireland and Scotland, from wood obtained from our local sustainable forests. Using green energy for manufacturing the pellets is another factor that contributes to the carbon neutral benefit. You can read about the entire manufacturing process in Balcas Energy* here.

Climate change is a real threat to our planet and it’s one of the most important reasons why home owners and businesses opt in for renewable energy. Using pellets as a renewable fuel can benefit the climate thanks to a two-fold displacement effect:

  • First, energy is produced from biomass when it would otherwise have been produced by fossil-fuel energy, so significant emissions are avoided by keeping those fuels in the ground.
  • Additionally, the alternative fate of wood residue would most likely be to rot and decay, emitting greenhouse gases as it did so.

While the action of burning wood waste itself creates CO2, the net effect is beneficial because of these displacement effects.

 

The triple carbon benefit of forest biomass:

Trees sequester carbon as they grow.

Carbon is locked away in timber products that displace carbon-intensive products.

At end of life, forest products can be converted into carbon neutral energy and used for heating and generating electricity.

 



*Balcas Energy is the largest manufacturer and distributor of wood pellets in the UK and Ireland. We manufacture the fuel and deliver it all year round. Online ordering is available 24/7.