Small is Beautiful Stories: The case of an individual household switching to biomass


In 2006, Albrecht and Carmen Ulrich, living in Winterbach near Stuttgart, decided to switch from а fossil fuel heating system to а renewable one: "With the renovation of our house in view of improved energy efficiency, it was obvious for us that we would also switch from fossil fuel to renewables."

Thus, for the past decade, Albrecht Ulrich, Carmen, and their two children Jaclyn and Mario have benefited from the cost-effective, green heating use of biomass and solar energy. In order to heat their 150 m2 -semi-detached house, they decided to combine a pellet boiler of 9 kW installed capacity with а solar equipment of а surface of 12 m2. This choice was also encouraged by specific German state aids for households. ln fact, for а pellet boiler, the German export office provides а minimum financial aid of 2.400€, and additional bonuses are proposed if one opts for а combination with solar equipment. For the Ulrich family, the experience proved to have а very positive economic impact.

"We have had a very good experience with pellets. This system has been working for many years without any interference, and we have managed to save money up to 60-70% annually, thanks to the attractive price of pellets, good insulation and our solar equipment. Our yearly consumption amounts to around 2 tons of pellets".



About the Small is Beautiful coalition:

The Small is Beautiful coalition aims to unlock the benefits of small-scale, locally-owned renewable solutions and high-efficiency co-generation. Striking the right balance between centralised and decentralised business models will be a key driver for an inclusive energy transition, empowering European SMEs, cities and citizens, supporting Europe’s industrial leadership and the sustainable development of all European regions.

This campaign gathers 18 trade associations including AIE, Bioenergy Europe, COGEN EUROPE, EBA (European Biogas Association), EGEC Geothermal, Energy Cities, EHPA (European Heat Pump Association), EREF (European Renewable Energies Federation), the European Builders Confederation (EBC), EUREC, Euroheat & Power, OceanEnergy Europe, REScoop.EU, Solar Heat Europe, SolarPower Europe, WindEurope, the International Union of property owners (UIPI) and SMEunited (the European association of craft, small and medium-sized enterprises). This letter is also supported by smarten, the European association of digital and decentralised energy solutions.