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Local heat networks could be developed in South Gloucestershire

This news article was published more than a year ago. Some of the information may no longer be accurate.

Published: 07/12/2015

New homes could benefit from cheaper fuel bills and CO2 emissions could be reduced if local heat networks are installed at large scale developments such as the former Filton Airfield site, a study has revealed.

With support from central government, we commissioned an independent study which shows it is technically and economically viable to build an energy centre in the middle of a large scale housing development which would connect residential and business premises to a heat supply.

Moving away from more traditional energy supplies where individual premises have boilers and central heating systems could see a reduction in CO2 emissions as well as cheaper energy bills for residents.

The ground-breaking study has just been published and focuses on the Cribbs Patchway New Neighbourhood, which includes the former Filton Airfield, where 5,700 new homes are due to be built in the next 20 years. There may also be an opportunity to make a private wire connection to supply electricity to The Mall shopping centre at Cribbs Causeway.

Chris Sane, Head of Transport and Strategic Projects, said: “The results of the study are really encouraging for people wanting to invest in a new home which will be at the cutting edge of new technology and the way housing sites are developed over the coming years.

“Heat networks supply heat from a central source directly to homes and businesses through a network of pipes carrying hot water. This means that individual homes and businesses do not need to generate their own heat.”

Councillor Matthew Riddle, Leader of South Gloucestershire Council, added: “As a country it is estimated that we spend £32 billion a year on heating which accounts for a third of our greenhouse gases. With the eyes of the world focused on the United Nations Climate Change Conference taking place in Paris at the moment, it is important that we share our own knowledge and learning from this study in an attempt to combat the effects of global warming. In South Gloucestershire, we want to be at the forefront of developing local heat networks so that we can play our part in the move to low carbon heating and demonstrate our commitment to the environment.”

We are now encouraging developers and energy companies to get in touch to discuss the results of the study and potential for heat networks at their own sites. Contact us on 01454 863468 or email

Facts and figures

– Local heat networks are being pioneered in the South West with two similar size schemes already being built in Exeter. Heat networks are also being developed in Bristol city centre.

– Our Climate Change Strategy target is to meet 7.5 per cent of South Gloucestershire’s total energy demand through renewable sources by 2020. We are well on track to achieve this and local heat networks could help boost the target.

– The study investigated a range of different sized networks, the largest of which could be expected to save 7,338 tonnes of CO2 a year (a 59 per cent reduction compared to individual gas boilers in each property).

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