Leeds District Heating Network
The Leeds PIPES District Heating Network (DHN) delivers low carbon, sustainable energy to residents and businesses of Leeds including key Leeds City Council buildings. Almost 2,000 properties have now been connected, along with Leeds Civic Hall, Leeds Town Hall, Leeds Museum and Leeds Art Gallery/Central Library along with council-owned St George House.
With a drive to reduce carbon emissions in the city as part of the council’s aims to become carbon neutral by 2030, district heating provides a means of removing old and inefficient gas boilers and replaces them with low carbon heat from a centralised source.
What has been delivered?
Leeds has delivered phase 1 of the flagship £40million programme which successfully provides affordable, waste-powered heat and hot water to homes, businesses and other buildings across the inner city, including Leeds Playhouse. Funding was secured from a variety of European, national and regional sources in addition to significant investment from the council itself. The second phase of the project was enabled by a grant from the Heat Network Investment Project, matchfunded by further supported prudential borrowing.
Despite the challenges including the COVID-19 pandemic, working alongside partners such as Vital Energi the work on council house connections in Lincoln Green has had a significant impact with almost all of the 1,983 flats now completed.
Phase 2 of the network has enabled connection of the four key council buildings listed above. Construction commenced in September 2019 and the effective partnership with the Connecting Leeds project has helped to minimise overall disruption to residents and businesses. There continues to be good progress with pipe installation and phase 2 has now completed construction and heat is available for customers. The council is in the process of removing gas boilers from the five aforementioned buildings during 2021, and replacing with DHN heat exchangers.
What was the impact/next steps?
Throughout the construction and development of the city’s DHN, Leeds has become a national flagship for new heat networks. The profile of the city’s network has been steadily rising, with the team having a growing presence in industry and government working groups as well as providing ongoing support to other local authorities looking to develop their own networks.
- The network has connected to nearly 2,000 properties and key public buildings
- The network has supported more than 400 jobs
- A number of key Leeds City Council buildings are also connected
- The network has a capacity of 33MW and can in theory provide up to 175GWh of low carbon heat per annum.
- Not only does it serve to decarbonise the city’s energy use, but by virtue of this it improves air quality, supports the city’s economy through job creation and also reduces fuel poverty for LCC tenants. Further expansion is planned into the South Bank, with a final vision of a fully connected network with multiple energy centres.
- Through this investment, we are providing a spine which enables the development of a low carbon city centre for decades to come.