Business hots up for Cornish company as biomass take-up grows
installer of biomass boilers has increased its turnover from £150,000 to
£1.2 million and trebled its staff numbers in the last 12 months.
Wendron Biomass cites the introduction of the Renewable Heat Incentive
(RHI), which offers financial rewards for investing in renewable heat,
as the trigger for this steep growth.
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 company has reported significant growth among Cornwall’s small
businesses, with commercial clients including St Agnes’ Rose in Vale
Country House Hotel and Courtlands Care Home, near Penzance. Wendron
Biomass is increasingly responding to interest from Devon and Dorset and
is aiming to build its client base across the South West region over
the coming months.
The business is preparing to open a new showroom at Water-Ma-Trout
Industrial Estate, Helston within the next two months. This will offer
an additional showcase for its products and is heated by a biomass
Wendron Biomass Director Nathan Ward said: “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
Nathan Ward continued: “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 naitonal level, we will
continue to be passionate about the environmental benefits of moving to
biomass and about offering good honest value to our customers.”