Biomass Suppliers List - Another IT fiasco for the British government

The Biomass Suppliers List (BSL) is badly broken. It is supposed to list those companies near you who supply the biomass fuel that you need in a sufficiently sustainable way to meet the requirements of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).

In practice, many of the main wood pellet supply depots haven't been approved yet. And the list of approved sites for any postcode is complete nonsense. You can enter your postcode and choose your fuel to get a list of approved suppliers, ranked by proximity to your location. But that list is complete gobbledigook. Anyone who buys their fuel based on recommendations from the BSL is likely to be getting a bad or mad deal.

I put in a postcode near Slough, and chose to get a list of wood pellet suppliers. Here is the first page that the BSL returned:

BSL pellet suppliers near Slough map 1

BSL pellet suppliers near Slough list 1a

BSL pellet suppliers near Slough list 1b

Comfortably the closest pellet depot in reality is Forever Fuels' depot in Maidenhead. But Ofgem haven't approved that yet (even though they have approved many of FF's other sites), so the biomass buyer gets a list of also-rans.

The first three entries are LC Energy depots, with three different distances even though two of them are identical addresses! It's hard to see how GU5 9QA can be 23.5 and 44.6 miles from Slough.

The next entry (Verdo) is (according to the BSL) an identical distance to one of the LC addresses (but further away than the other version of the same site). By no stretch of the imagination is Verdo's site the same distance as LC's sites. Indeed, Verdo's site is more than 10 miles further than the system says it is, regardless of the comparison with LC.

The next site is one of Forever Fuels', the same distance as Verdo's site. Presumably that's their approved operating base at Verdo's factory, but it's listed as their site in East Kilbride, south of Glasgow, which is 44.6 miles from Slough, apparently.

The next site (Forest Heat Energy) is on the south coast, around 71 miles from Slough, but is listed as 48.9 miles away, barely two miles further than Guildford and Andover supposedly are.

The next one is Balcas's site in Essex, over 100 miles from Slough, but 78.4 miles according to the BSL.

And so on. I struggled to find one that was listed accurately. The rest of the results are shown below, for your amusument.

This is commercially prejudicial, and misleading to the customer. It is not fit for purpose. It should be withdrawn until (a) Ofgem have approved the backlog of sites they are assessing, and (b) the system works properly. This time, it should be subject to some proper bug-testing by members of the industry, and only re-released when everyone is happy that it is comprehensive and functioning correctly.

BSL pellet suppliers near Slough map 2

BSL pellet suppliers near Slough list 2a

BSL pellet suppliers near Slough list 2b


BSL pellet suppliers near Slough map 3

BSL pellet suppliers near Slough list 3a

BSL pellet suppliers near Slough list 3b


BSL pellet suppliers near Slough map 4

BSL pellet suppliers near Slough list 4a

BSL pellet suppliers near Slough list 4b


BSL pellet suppliers near Slough map 5

BSL pellet suppliers near Slough list 5b




The Greater Bureaucracy has been busy blaming everything but itself for the faults with the system. What are the chances of things getting fixed quickly when they can't even admit they are responsible?

Add new comment

Filtered HTML

  • Insert Google Map macro.
  • HTML tags will be transformed to conform to HTML standards.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Enter the characters shown in the image.