Woodsure, the UK quality assurance certification scheme for woodfuel, will take over the running of the government’s Biomass Suppliers List (BSL), on behalf of the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).
The BSL is a list of woodfuel that meets the eligibility requirements for the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme. It allows RHI participants to demonstrate to Ofgem, the government regulator for gas and electricity markets in the UK, that the fuel they are using in their biomass boilers meets the sustainability criteria needed to claim their RHI payments.
To be authorised to join the BSL, suppliers must be able to produce evidence that the fuel has been produced legally and sustainably. This includes demonstrating that the greenhouse gas emissions generated from the cultivation, processing and transport of their biomass fuel are at least 60% lower than the EU fossil fuel average for heat. Suppliers must also confirm that the wood has been legally felled and that the woodland has been sustainably managed.
Woodsure is working closely with the current contract holder, Gemserv, to make sure the experience is seamless for existing registered suppliers, with the new contract starting on 1 July.
Bruce Allen, CEO of HETAS and Woodsure, said: “We’re delighted and very proud to be taking on the BSL work on behalf of BEIS.
“Woodsure is dedicated to promoting responsible, sustainable woodland management practices and quality fuel, and our experience and knowledge in the sector makes this a natural step for the organisation to take.”
While BSL authorisation doesn’t necessarily guarantee the quality of fuel, Woodsure does make voluntary provision via a fuel quality certification scheme, which is used by many BSL suppliers. As of April next year, Woodsure will introduce the fuel quality policy element and is working closely with the advisory panel to deliver it.
Woodsure and HETAS have been working with BEIS and Gemserv as technical partners for the BSL since 2014, so they are both familiar with the scheme and highlighted they can facilitate a smooth transition.
“As we have such a focus already on sustainability and fuel quality here at Woodsure, we’re very well placed to run the scheme,” said Helen Bentley-Fox, director at Woodsure.
“We’re looking forward to working together with suppliers, many of whom we already know. While we’re not planning any immediate changes, we’re hoping to work with suppliers and other partners to develop improved processes in future.”