Council wins prestigious industry award for low carbon heat network

Leeds City Council has scooped up a prestigious industry award for the success of its flagship low carbon district heating network.

The council and its network partners, Vital Energi and Ener-vate, were revealed as the winners of the ‘Heat and Efficiency: Operational’ trophy earlier this week at the ADE’s Decentralised Energy Awards.

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 Leeds PIPES district heating network offers a reliable and affordable lower carbon alternative to traditional fossil fuel powered heating systems.

Last year the £47 million network of insulated underground pipes supplied 13,900 megawatt-hours of heating and helped reduce the city’s carbon footprint by more than 2,000 tonnes.

Currently stretching more than 26km in length, the network continues to expand and is regularly connecting to new buildings.

It is set to become one of the UK’s largest heat networks in the future. Nearly 2,000 homes, commercial and public buildings have already been connected.

Leeds Teaching Hospital Trust recently announced new plans to connect more of its own buildings to the network as part of a wider package of decarbonisation and efficiency measures using government funding. The Trust successfully connected the Beckett Wing of St James’s University Hospital earlier this year.

Commenting on the award, Councillor Helen Hayden, Executive Member for Infrastructure and Climate, says: “The Leeds PIPES district heating network is an innovative success story for the city, and I am thrilled that our award-winning project is getting the recognition it deserves.

“This award is testament to the tireless work of council officers and partners, especially the more than 400 workers and apprentices in the low carbon sector who in just a few years have successfully turned our bold ambition into an exciting reality.”

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