£7.2 million district heating extension approved in Leeds

Councillors in Leeds have approved plans to invest £7.2 million extending the city’s flagship district heating network by 2,500 metres so that more buildings can enjoy the benefits of reliable, affordable, and low carbon heating.

The £47 million Leeds PIPES network supplied 13,900 MWh of low carbon heat in 2021 and continues to grow. It is set to become one of the UK’s largest heat networks.

The council has identified at least nine sites that will be able to connect because of the five newly approved extensions—potentially using another 11,600 MWh of sustainable heat every year.

By using heat and energy recovered from non-recyclable waste at the Recycling and Energy Recovery Facility (RERF) to provide hot water to buildings in the city, the network offers a reliable and significantly lower carbon alternative to traditional fossil fuel powered heating systems.

The scheme currently supplies heat recovered from the waste of approximately 10,700 Leeds households saving more than 2,000 tonnes of carbon from being emitted in 2021.

Helen Hayden, Leeds City Council’s executive member for Infrastructure and Climate, said: “Our city’s waste-powered district heating network is a great example of an innovative scheme that supports our long-term net zero carbon ambitions whilst enabling residents and businesses to enjoy reliable and affordable heating now.

“Economically, the planned expansion is also a fantastic investment for the council as well as those privately connecting. As the wholesale price of gas rises and as more and more building managers and developers seek to reduce their carbon footprint, our district heating offer has become even more competitive.”

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