Plans for renewable energy network heat up after cash injection from government

Published: Thursday 6 January 2022

A renewable heat network will deliver affordable and cleaner energy for residents in North Kensington. Kensington and Chelsea Council has received funding from the government to design and deliver a renewable heat network to help reach their goals to be a carbon neutral Council by 2030.

The Council has been awarded over £1.1 million through the government’s heat networks investment project (HNIP). Large air source heat pumps and an electric boiler will be able to provide renewable heating and hot water to 826 existing homes in North Kensington and several buildings and businesses. The scheme is expected to save 1,400 tonnes of carbon per year savings over the first 15 years of operation.

Around 80% of the homes that will connect to the network are currently heated by two heat networks which are over 40 years old, and the remainder use individual combi boilers. By using air source heat pump technology the Notting Dale heat network will be zero carbon from 2030, supporting the Council’s plans for the borough to become net zero carbon by 2040.

Cllr Kim-Taylor Smith, lead member for Grenfell, Housing and Social Investment, said:

“It’s important as a Council we continue to put residents first and provide a better quality of life now and for future generations. We’re making great strides in our progress to decarbonise all of our services and the borough as a whole, but we know homes can be one of the biggest carbon emitters.

“It’s fantastic to be able to further our plans for a zero-carbon heat network, which we have co-designed with local residents. This will allow us to provide affordable heating and hot water in an environmentally friendly way, whilst tackling fuel poverty.”

The Council hopes the Notting Dale heat network will act as a blueprint for the rest of the borough, with funding already secured for a £150,000 research project which will find additional renewable energy sources available to the Council to generate clean, flexible and locally generated energy for social rented homes.

The ultimate aim is to expand this renewable energy network across the entire borough helping decarbonise its housing stock of just over 9,000 homes as well as public buildings such as schools and leisure centres.

Minister for Climate Change Lord Callanan said:

“Changing the way we heat our homes and workspaces is key to tackling pollution and today’s investment into the Kensington and Chelsea’s heat network will put the Royal Borough at the heart of London’s green industrial revolution.

“This network of air source heat pumps will deliver affordable, low-carbon heat and energy across the borough’s homes and business units, opening up job and investment opportunities in the area, all contributing to making the UK’s capital city a greener place to live, work, and visit.”

In October, Notting Dale was announced as one of the Mayor of London’s Future Neighbourhoods and will receive £1.35m funding to help achieve the Council’s ambition for it to become the UK’s largest eco-neighbourhood. The funding will be invested by the Council in projects to support the environment and develop the skills needed for the green jobs of tomorrow, including:

•    support schools to improve air quality for children with new monitoring equipment

•    create a new Green Skills Academy to provide apprenticeships and training for the community

•    improve green spaces, access to nature and enhance the habitat for urban wildlife.