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Launch of Leeds heat network



March saw one of the UK’s largest heat networks, the Leeds PIPES Network, officially launched by Leeds City Council, Vital Energi and The Co-Operative Academy.

PIPES is a new flagship heat and hot water system for thousands of homes and businesses in Leeds, connecting some 1,983 council homes and numerous business around Leeds City Centre to the Leeds Recycling and Energy Recovery Facility (RERF). The £35M network, has been developed in partnership between Leeds City Council and energy company Vital Energi.

The project sees steam generated at the Veolia operated RERF, converted into hot water and distributed along a 16.5km network of district heating pipes. The heat network will connect homes and businesses in Leeds to a new, environmentally friendly source of heating and hot water.

Major benefits are predicted for the city, with a projected annual cut of 22,000 tonnes in the city’s carbon dioxide emissions. By cutting these emissions, the heat network is set to improve air quality around the city, whilst bringing major local employment opportunities, including 30 work experience placements and apprenticeships. Heat is scheduled to be available for Spring 2019, with all homes connected by autumn 2020. Once in operation the network will provide low-carbon heating and hot water across the city.

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 energy bill savings of between 10% and 25% per year, helping to tackle fuel poverty and reducing bills of vulnerable residents.

The Leeds District Heating Network has received £4M funding from West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) through the Leeds City Region Growth Deal – a £1Bn package of Government investment to accelerate growth and create jobs across the Leeds City Region. An additional £5.8M of European Regional Development Funding has been received to assist to connect 1,080 council homes in the Lincoln Green area.

Cllr Lucinda Yeadon deputy leader of Leeds City Council and executive member for environment and sustainability, explained: “The Leeds PIPES Network will revolutionise the way that heat and hot water is delivered around Leeds, taking advantage of Leeds City Council’s previous investment in the Recycling and Energy Recovery Facility.

“This complements our work on air quality – taking old gas boilers out of commission will have a big impact on background NoX.

“Once complete, Leeds PIPES will save thousands of Leeds residents and businesses a significant amount on their energy bills every month.

“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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