Thousands of council tenants across Leeds are to benefit from significantly cheaper energy bills as part of a transformational new programme to improve council housing and cut the city’s carbon footprint.
As part of the council’s commitments to invest in green technologies it has gone out to tender for a provider to design, develop and deliver six new district heating networks that will reduce carbon emissions, help residents save money and improve the wellbeing and comfort of those living in council properties.
The council is exploring a range of green technologies to power the six new networks, including the potential use of ground and air source heat pumps or biomass systems, to provide residents with more sustainable and affordable heat. The £24 million investment follows the success of Leeds’ first district heating network, which will provide low carbon waste-powered heat to 1,983 homes by the end of 2020.
In Leeds, around a quarter of the city’s carbon emissions come from the energy used to provide heat and hot water in our homes. By connecting residents in 1,485 properties to greener technologies, the programme will save around 950 tonnes of greenhouse gases every year while also helping tenants save a typical 10% on their energy bills. The programme will also benefit employment and create local apprenticeship opportunities in the green industries.
Councillor Debra Coupar, Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Communities said:
“Earlier this year, I met with council tenants already experiencing the benefits of being connected to Leeds’ first low carbon district heating network.
“Thanks to this major new investment in six new district heating networks thousands more residents will soon be able to stay warm for less too, which we know can make a real difference to our physical and financial wellbeing.
“Not only will this investment directly benefit many residents for years to come, it will also help decarbonise more of the city’s homes—and cut the council’s own carbon footprint—as we lead by example and work towards becoming a carbon neutral city.”
Neil Evans, Director of Resources and Housing said:
“As the largest social housing provider in West Yorkshire, we know that council homes have a significant impact on the city’s carbon footprint and we take that responsibility seriously.
“The average Leeds City Council property is already more energy efficient and cheaper to keep warm than its private sector counterpart and we will continue to invest in our buildings to help our tenants and reduce our environmental impact.
“This major new investment in green technologies and district heating networks is a great example of that and builds upon actions that we are already taking to improve energy efficiency, such as retrofitting older council homes and requiring new build council homes to meet a minimum B rating.”
District heating networks distribute low carbon heating from central heat sources instead of individual boilers. The heat is transported from the centralised source to individual buildings through a network of insulated underground pipes.
The district heating clusters project includes £24 million of investment which will benefit residents in 26 high rise blocks across Leeds.