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Biomass boiler installer enjoys 10-fold growth in 12 months

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: September 01, 2014

By Olivier Vergnault, WMN Business Editor, Twitter: @OliVergnault

Wendron Biomass team

: members of the Wendron Biomass team with Director Nathan Ward

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The sun is shining on a Cornish installer of biomass boilers after it grew its turnover 10 fold in a year.

Wendron Biomass has seen its turnover rise from £150,000 to £1.2 million over the past 12 months.

The Helston-based company cites the introduction of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), which offers financial rewards for investing in renewable heat, as the trigger for its steep growth.

Wendron Biomass was one of the UK’s first biomass businesses when it launched 12 years ago as a new venture for Helston-based Wendron Stoves.

Driven by director Nathan Ward’s enthusiasm for the technology, the company started bringing high quality biomass boilers from Germany and Austria to homes and businesses in Cornwall in 2002.

Having installed around 80 biomass boilers in Cornwall in the past year, the family business has increased its staff numbers from four to 12, as well as expanding its pool of freelance plumbers.

The business is now preparing to open a new showroom at Water-Ma-Trout Industrial Estate, Helston within the next two months.

mr Ward said the new showroom will offer an additional showcase for the firm’s products and is heated by a biomass boiler system.

He added: “My family’s business has been selling and installing wood burning appliances for nearly 27 years. We are proud of our history and reputation and we’re hugely passionate about the quality products and service we offer.

“When we expanded into biomass, we were at least five years ahead of the game. I saw what was happening in the German and Austrian markets and with the growing concerns about fossil fuel running costs here in the UK, I could see real potential for these system here as well.”

The RHI is a financial support programme that rewards businesses and individuals for heating their buildings with renewable energy.

The Government introduced the non-domestic RHI nearly three years ago, while the programme was opened up to homeowners through the launch of the domestic RHI in April 2014.

Those who join the scheme and abide by its rules, receive quarterly payments for seven years for domestic and 20 years for commercial installations based on the amount of clean, green renewable heat their system produces.

Sales director Gary Hawkins said: “With so many of us being off-grid, Cornwall is a growth area for biomass. Many of our clients are driven by wanting to be free from fluctuating oil prices, as well as being attracted to the benefits offered through the RHI.

"We work a lot with farmers, holiday lets and small businesses, but despite the growth we’ve seen over the last year we still feel there is a lack of awareness of the RHI and the benefits of biomass among homeowners.

“People may be put off by the up-front investment, but many of clients will get their money back within four or five years and then start to see significant savings.”

Mr Ward added: “The future growth of the UK’s biomass market will be very much dependent on Government incentives and future fuel prices.

"The RHI is encouraging more businesses and individuals to consider biomass, but we will always look at what is best for each client for the long-term.

“Whatever happens at a national level, we will continue to be passionate about the environmental benefits of moving to biomass and about offering good honest value to our customers.”

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