Bruno Berardelli, Managing Director at HWEnergy
When I co-founded HWEnergy in 2003 with just 15 customers, I couldn’t have imagined that one day we would become a leading biomass heat business. During the last 17 years there have been many landmark moments for both the business and biomass heat, and our rebrand to AMP Clean Energy marks an exciting milestone in our journey.
From our origins installing biomass heating installations in Scotland to offering an all-encompassing managed heat service across the UK today, we’ve brought the benefits of low-cost renewable heat to private and public sector organisations including hotels, offices, schools and housing associations. Today we provide maintenance and heat supply services to around 1,000 biomass boilers and we’ve installed over 400 biomass heating systems across the UK, from 50 kW to 5MW. We’ve grown from a team of two to 65 staff today.
Looking back, we’ve also been pioneers in the biomass heat industry. In 2010 we were amongst the first businesses in the UK to introduce heat supply contracts, taking care of a customer’s complete heat needs from fuel supply, service and maintenance to remote monitoring. We were also the first business to successfully accredit a biomass boiler under the RHI scheme in Scotland. The RHI funds received from this boiler – located in our Fort William HQ – were ring fenced and allocated to the highly successful HWEnergy ‘Community Fund’ which has provided over £40,000 of small grants to local community, charity and sports groups.
Joining AMP Clean Energy in 2017 was the natural next step in our development, providing the opportunity to expand into England and Wales. Now three years later we complete this journey with a rebrand to AMP Clean Energy. For our customers this brings many benefits, not least that we can provide quality fuel supply and expert service and maintenance wherever they may be. It also enables access to a much wider range of fully funded low carbon services including solar PV.
At a personal level, I’ve taken on a new role of Head of Asset Services, bringing together our fuel supply and operation and maintenance offerings. I’ll have oversight of all our low carbon heat and power assets from biomass heat to our flexible electricity Urban Reserve plants. For our customers this means that we can offer a fully joined-up and seamless service.
These changes come at a time when the ongoing pandemic continues to impact on the way we live and work. For our customers COVID-19 has affected them in different ways. For some, such as schools, leisure centres and hotels, it has meant taking the unprecedented step of turning off their boilers for periods of time. For others, such as care homes and hospitals, it has put a greater emphasis on the need for 24/7 heat and impressed upon us our responsibility to deliver this.
Looking forward I would like the UK to follow the footsteps of our European neighbours who have really embraced biomass as a source of meeting their renewable heat goals. As a proven and reliable technology, I believe we should incentivise the growth of biomass heat – particularly in the shorter term – if we are to stand any chance of meeting our net zero heat targets. As part of AMP Clean Energy, I’d very much like to do my bit to help meet that challenge and bring the financial and environmental benefits of biomass heat to many more organisations.