THE North Yorkshire company behind the installation of renewable energy technologies at York's new John Lewis store has secured £5 million to help businesses switch to biomass.

Harrogate-based Think Renewable Energy has received the funding to operate a free business biomass scheme for companies across Yorkshire.

Under the scheme businesses will be able to apply for a fully funded biomass system to enable them to manage their energy costs and reduce CO2 emissions.

Think Renewable Energy, which also completed a 700kW renewable energy project at Fridlington Farms in York, will project manage the installation from build to commissioning and will be responsible for servicing, maintaining and monitoring the system for 20 years.

Anthony Barrett, chief executive of Think Renewable Energy, said the free business biomass scheme has the potential to fund 7 MW of biomass installations and reduce the region’s CO2 emissions by 65,000 tonnes over the term of the scheme.

He said: "Many small and medium sized businesses are under increased pressure from their supply chain to establish and report carbon reduction targets. Biomass provides an excellent opportunity to achieve C02 savings without any capital cost.

“In addition to the C02 savings, there are considerable financial benefits of switching from traditional heating sources such as oil, LPG, electricity. Our customers are achieving up to 50 per cent fuel savings from the switch to biomass which makes the scheme very attractive for any commercial organisation."

The new scheme will cover the entire cost of each biomass system and includes a free feasibility study to determine the most effective solution for the business, its buildings and operational needs.

Mr Barrett added: “The biomass fund will enable businesses that are concerned about carbon management and the rising cost of energy to introduce biomass now rather than having it as a long term objective.

"Those companies that have already earmarked capital for biomass can now apply for free biomass and use the money for investment in other areas of their business.

“The fund has the potential to put businesses in a strong position by protecting it from volatile energy markets and facilitating future growth.”