Social housing providers tour district heating schemes

Social housing providers tour district heating schemes

Social housing providers recently took a look behind the scenes of one of the UK’s most successful district heating schemes in Sheffield. The free half-day tour and seminar was being hosted by the heat network owner and operator Sheffield City Council together with its service partner Switch2 Energy and The Association for Decentralised Energy (ADE).


Sheffield’s award winning district heating scheme provides reliable and affordable heat to 6,000 homes and commercial buildings. It is supplied by 135 plant rooms fed by low carbon energy generated from the city’s non-recyclable waste, together with gas and biomass generators.


In 2013 the council appointed community heating specialist Switch2 Energy to install smart meters and prepayment systems to all residential properties, as well as bulk meters into the 135 plant rooms. This is resulting in an average cost saving of 38% on heating bills and is ensuring compliance with the latest heat metering regulations.


Sheffield City Council’s Richard Hawson outlined how the city’s heat scheme is achieving high levels of efficiency, reliability and affordability – to meet the needs of its residents and reduce the city’s carbon footprint.


Ian Allan, Head of R&D at Switch2 Energy, explained how the huge metering and billing project was managed and communicated across the entire heat network. He discussed the principles of best practice in designing, developing and operating heat schemes that meet customer needs and deliver reliable, affordable warmth.


Lily Frencham, Senior Policy Manager for the ADE joined the panelists to provide an update on heat network delivery and the latest steps to improve customer protection and heat network build and operation standards, while reducing investment risk.


Ian Allan said: “This was a rare opportunity for social housing providers who are interested in developing or improving community and district heating schemes to see best practice in action. Delegates are now more confident about how to plan build and operate a successful heat network that is focused on meeting the needs of residents, who are the people who ultimately pay for and use the facility.”



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