A TOCKWITH-BASED wood fuel venture has completed a major expansion plan to bring clean green energy to more customers with the winter chill setting in.

VerdEnergy was set up in 2015 with the mission to become the north’s pre-eminent supplier of wood pellets for biomass boilers. Since then it has trebled its turnover, supplying over 500 customers with 15,000 tonnes of pellets across the North of England.

Now using £200,000 of funding from NPIF–Mercia Debt Finance, part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, the business has been able to buy two more specialised delivery trucks and create a new supply depot at Forcett, near Scotch Corner, adding to the company’s network of bases at Tockwith and Howden in the East Riding.

Mark Duncan, managing director of VerdEnergy, said: “This expansion will make us even more resilient.

“Our growth has vindicated our belief that there was a gap in the market for a good quality wood pellet supplier also offering a one-stop solution for customers including servicing and maintenance.

“Woodfuel is the world’s oldest renewable resource and allied to modern processing techniques and boiler technology it is experiencing a new dawn.”

The organisation said using woodfuel has been described as a virtuous circle.

Harvesting timber means woods can be more actively managed which is good for wildlife.

Jobs are created in the processing industry and greenhouse gases reduced compared to fossil fuels.

The new VerdEnergy trucks will be based at Howden and Forcett, using local drivers.

That’s a big advantage explained Mark Duncan.

He said:“During last winter’s bad weather we used all our local knowledge to cope and ensure fuel supplies got through.

“It also means that as a general rule we can guarantee that new orders will be fulfilled within 48 hours which provides users with the confidence they need.”

A recent trend has seen the conversion of wood chip boilers to use wood pellets.

Although wood chip historically has been cheaper, wood pellets offer a more consistent product which reduces service and maintenance costs.

They also require less storage space and have a higher calorific value.

The UK woodfuel market has consolidated into a few national players, but VerdEnergy said it is “bucking the trend and proving that customers prefer to deal with a local, family-owned business”.