What energy source to choose to heat our home?

biomass pellets
Heating a home with PELLET is 18% cheaper than heating it with a heat pump

In the month of May 2024, the Spanish Biomass Association has carried out a comparative analysis of the prices of different solid biofuels such as ENplus® certified pellets, wood chips and olive pits and other energy sources available in Spain, and its behavior over the last 10 years.

To do this, data from EUROSTAT, IDAE, MINETUR and MIBGAS have been used, and the biomass price indices (IPB) prepared by AVEBIOM quarterly since 2012 for wood pellet, splinter and olive pit.

A comparison to make informed decisions

In a context of constant fluctuations in energy prices, Spanish consumers may encounter reasonable doubts when deciding which energy source best suits their needs and budget. Choosing the most appropriate energy source to heat our homes requires considering both the average cost per kWh and the stability of prices over time.

Paul Rodero, president of the European Pellet Council and responsible for certification at AVEBIOM, recommends to the consumer "seriously consider biomass as a source of energy for heating your home because, in addition to being an economical and stable option, it contributes significantly to environmental sustainability.”

Electricity, natural gas and C diesel, at the high end of prices

The price of the electricity for average consumption (2500 - 5000 kWh) is significantly higher than that of the rest of the energy sources, with a sustained increase over time and a significant peak of €30,71 cent/kWh in June 2022. Even when used to power a bomba de calor, and considering a realistic SCOP for the center of the peninsula of 2,5, it is located in the range of the highest prices for domestic heating, as the graph shows.

El gas natural offers various rates to meet the different needs of consumers. Both the TUR2, for consumption greater than 5000 kWh/year, and the TUR1, for lower consumption, have shown a general upward trend, with a maximum price of €18,55 cent/kWh for the TUR2 in December 2022. Considerable fluctuations over time, with large spikes and dips, especially in the last two years, can complicate cost planning for consumers.

As to diesel C, an option commonly used for heating in cold regions, has been losing market share in the last decade. The notable variability in prices over time, reflecting the uncertainty in fossil fuel markets, and the penetration of more sustainable alternatives for heating may be behind this situation. The average price at the end of 2023 was close to €10 cent/kWh, in line with the electric heat pump and natural gas.

Solid biofuels: the sustainable and economical alternative

The prices of energy for heating obtained from biomass, represented by pellets and wood chips and olive stones, are below those of electricity and fossil fuels.

The pellet distributed in tanks, with a price of €7,72 cent/kWh at the end of 2023, maintains a clear downward trend and, according to the IPB factory forecast for June 2024, is already close to the prices of the first quarter of 2022, at the beginning of the global energy crisis. Regardless of this exceptional circumstance, pellets have demonstrated great price stability since they entered the home heating market. With an average price of €5,71 cent/kWh and a very low deviation (0,14).

The same can be said for the olive pit distributed in tanks, with a price of 7.59 cent€/kWh in December 2023, it is gradually returning to normal. With 2,99 cent€/kWh at the end of 2023, Wood chips are the most stable solid biofuel that can be used for domestic heating.

IPB download:


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