The heat is on

A major step towards delivering a new flagship heating system for thousands of homes and businesses in Leeds was made in March.

The £35m PIPES network officially launched by the city council and sustainable energy company Vital Energi, is set to connect 1,983 council homes and numerous businesses around the city centre, providing low carbon heating and hot water.

The network is set to bring major benefits to Leeds, with a projected annual cut of 22,000 tonnes in the city’s carbon dioxide emissions, improving air quality. The aim is for all homes to be connected by autumn 2020.

The network will connect to the Leeds Recycling and Energy Recovery Facility (RERF). Steam generated at the Veolia operated RERF will be converted it into hot water and distributing it along a 16.5km network of pipes.

New internal heating systems as well as a smart metering solution will be provided for 23 apartment blocks to give residents greater control over their energy consumption.

Being connected to the heat network is predicted to offer tenants annual energy bill savings of between 10 per cent and 25 per cent.

The project has received £4m funding through the £1bn Leeds City Region Growth Deal alongside £5.bm of European ERDF money.

Nick Gosling, group sales and strategy director at Lancashire-headquartered Vital Energi, said: “This project is a great example of how a heat network of this scale can be created for a major city, to recycle energy from the city’s waste recycling and energy recovery facility, and use it to bring a range of benefits to the community.”

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, the city council’s deputy leader and executive member for environment and sustainability, says this is just the start.

She said: “This phase of the heat network will connect 1,983 council homes and numerous businesses to low carbon, lower cost heat and hot water.

“But we have designed our network with the future in mind and this first phase of works is just the start.

“In the coming years I look forward to seeing the Leeds PIPES Network grow, making a real difference for the people and environment of Leeds.”

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