Funding for research into heat network

Press Release: 23/09/2016

Winchester City Council has been awarded £25,125 by the Heat Networks Delivery Unit.

The funding, together with a £12,275 contribution from the City Council, will fund research into the feasibility of using a new local heat network to provide lower carbon and lower cost heating in the Bar End area of Winchester.

Heat, ideally from a renewable source such as a heat pump, heat recovery or wood fuel, would be supplied from a central source through a network of local pipes to buildings at Bar End.

The proposed new leisure centre, together with other proposed developments in the area, provide a prime opportunity to investigate the use of renewable energy sources to heat and cool buildings.

The City Council’s commitment to reduce the carbon footprint of new leisure facilities was one of Twelve Actions for a Lower Carbon Council announced by Winchester City Council in January this year, in the wake of the Paris Climate Conference.

Cllr Frank Pearson, the Council’s Portfolio Holder for Environment, Health & Wellbeing, said:

In Paris, each country made its own commitments setting out what it will do to keep emissions down, and now these are being formally approved. The Winchester District needs to do its share to meet the UK and global targets, and at the City Council we are determined to play our part.

The Council works in close partnership with Winchester Action on Climate Change, whose Director Chris Holloway welcomed the news saying: “River Park Leisure Centre is responsible for almost a third of the City Council’s greenhouse gas emissions, from gas used for heating and electricity for air handling and lighting. Clearly there will be opportunities to greatly reduce this in the design of the new Centre, wherever it is built. We’d be delighted if this study demonstrates that a renewable heat system at Bar End would make sense financially and environmentally, and showcase low-carbon technologies.

Minister of State for Energy and Intellectual Property, Baroness Neville-Rolfe, said:

It is very encouraging to see the plans Winchester City Council has to harness the power of low-carbon technology to bring bills down for local residents. Heat networks can bring warmer, greener heating to our towns and cities. That is why the government is supporting Winchester City Council to help them use their local infrastructure to give bill-payers more for their money.

The funding is for initial studies only. If this study shows that a heat network is realistic and likely to reduce heating bills and the carbon footprint of Bar End, the Council hopes to undertake the more detailed work needed to take the project further.