The new project, backed by £11 million from the government, will see Bolton residents keep their homes and businesses warm with waste heat from the town’s sewer. Energy will be extracted from both sewage and waste hot water from washing machines, bathrooms, and kitchens to fuel a new heat pump, as part of Bolton’s first district heating network, helping to keep bills low.
The move will provide a recycled heating source for the local community – including the University of Bolton and the Town Council – helping keep energy bills down. It is one of four innovative green heating projects to receive grants today from the government’s Green Heat Network Fund.
The projects in Exeter, London, and Hull will help cut carbon emissions from homes and businesses – and put the UK a step closer to reaching net-zero by 2050.
The funding comes alongside more than £8 million of government investment to improve 34 inefficient heat networks. The money will enable upgrades, creating a more reliable heating supply for more than 9,000 residents, hospital patients, students, and public sector workers, as well as keeping bills down.
Lord Callanan, Minister for Energy Efficiency and Green Finance, said: “These innovative projects will help drive down energy costs while also demonstrating why the UK has led the way in cutting carbon emissions.
“They show how energy sources can be found in the most unexpected places – as more homes and businesses will benefit from cleaner heating and lower energy bills.
“Our upgrades will also make sure our existing heat networks are upgraded – so customers can get the reliable heating supply they deserve.”
Other projects to receive a share of the £80.6 million from the Green Heat Network Fund include:
A new £8 million investment from the government’s Heat Network Efficiency Scheme will also support vital upgrades to 34 heat network projects across England and Wales. The scheme will enable network operators to replace inefficient or old equipment to offer a more reliable service and improved heating.
Projects to receive funding to improve heat networks include:
Stephen Knight, Managing Director at Heat Trust, the national consumer protection scheme for heat network customers, said: “At Heat Trust we sadly hear of far too many examples of inefficient and poorly performing heat networks. These can result in much higher heating costs for residents, overheating corridors and frequent breakdowns.
“The steep rises in gas prices over the last few years has meant that inefficient heat networks can be very expensive for residents.
“The government’s Heat Network Efficiency Scheme (HNES) is therefore an important step in the right direction, and we welcome today’s announcement of funding. I would urge all those responsible for running existing heat networks to consider bidding for this funding in future rounds.”
Sarah Honan, Head of Policy at the Association for Decentralised Energy, said: "Today's announcement takes us an important step closer to heat networks' ultimate role in decarbonising the bulk of heat across the UK's cities, towns and buildings. As we embark on the journey towards regulation, heat network zoning and the expansion of existing schemes, the ADE is very glad to see government supporting sector growth and high industry standards.
"Heat networks are a key solution in the mix of technologies that will make up the energy system of the future - not only will they be essential in decarbonising our homes and offices, factories and shops, but without them, the UK will not be able to build the truly resilient and flexible grid needed for the future."
If you'd like to keep up-to-date with the latest developments in the heating and plumbing industry, why not subscribe to our weekly newsletters? Just click the button below and you can ensure all the latest industry news and new product information lands in your inbox every week.