Lochaber biomass business invests for the future

A leading biomass heating specialist based in Lochaber has invested in a major new IT system to support the company’s growth thanks to Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).

A leading biomass heating specialist based in Lochaber has invested in a major new IT system to support the company’s growth thanks to Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).

From their original roots in Torlundy, near Fort William, Highland Wood Energy (HWEnergy) has designed and installed over 250 commercial scale wood fuel biomass heating installations across Scotland, and provides service and maintenance support to some 300 sites.

HWEnergy has been supported by HIE which is investing £99,000 in a grant to support the business to further develop its ambitious plans. Amongst other improvements, this includes a robust IT platform for the service and heat supply operation of the company which has seen huge growth in the past year.

For over 11 years, HWEnergy has been helping commercial and public sector organisations, schools, colleges and individuals to achieve significant cost and carbon emission savings through installing and operating biomass heat systems.

With its network of engineers and local fuel supply depots the company which employs over forty staff offers a complete heat supply service anywhere in the country. With larger companies and local authorities looking to reduce their energy bills and under the obligation to reduce carbon emissions, HW Energy is able to offer clients attractive solutions.

Operating as energy suppliers, HWEnergy take on all service, maintenance and fuel supply and the client only pays for the heat produced by the biomass boiler at an agreed fixed rate. This is supported by performance guarantees.

Energy and renewable energy in particular is a key priority for HIE which recognises the substantial economic opportunities it brings to the region.

Ian Philp from HIE, said: “The company has grown considerably over the years and there is now a need for them to invest in the appropriate infrastructure to support a nationwide operation. There are many opportunities arising from the region’s growing biomass sector and HWEnergy are well-positioned to maximise these. Their ability to offer a comprehensive service to clients with differing needs gives them huge potential to grow in the sector.”

The company has been able to offer Andrew Macdonald a permanent role within the team at HWEnergy. He is a previous graduate placement employee - a programme which is managed by HIE and it also supports Lyndsey MacGillivray's placement with the service team.

Managing Director of HW Energy Bruno Berardeli, said: “We are seeing more and more organisations which want to adopt a heat supply contract as it means we take care of everything, guarantee heat at a fixed price and back up our service with performance guarantees. For our clients that means certainty of cost and performance. Our new IT system will also help us continue to provide first class levels of customer care and ensure quick response times. The grant from HIE will help us to continue to expand that operation across Scotland and the north of England.”

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