Public sector organisations in England and Wales are about to benefit from £320M of support from the Government to decarbonise building heating systems. The Heat Networks Investment Project (HNIP) is due to enter its main funding phase in 2017 and Metropolitan, the leading independent district energy and multi-utility infrastructure provider, is using its expertise to meet this new demand for sustainable, low-carbon district energy systems.
Both the UK and Scottish Governments have made available funding for district energy systems through The HNIP in England and Wales and the District Heating Loan Fund (DHF) in Scotland. This means that local authorities and other public sector organisations, such as NHS Trusts and universities, are opting to incorporate district energy systems into new developments.
Metropolitan has a strong track record in this field having delivered the low-carbon energy centre for the landmark urban regeneration, Kings Cross Development in London, and is ideally placed to meet the needs of public- sector sustainable development. The company is committed to the highest standards of quality, service and customer protection. It was one of the first to register a scheme with the Heat Trust, the industry-led, self-regulatory initiative which recognises best practice. (For details of the scheme see Editors’ Notes below).
Metropolitan’s focus on the public sector will be led by Dom Barton, a recent key appointment as Business Development Director. Dom has a strong background in the district energy field and in his new role will be working predominantly with public sector customers. A chartered mechanical engineer, with experience gained at SSE and British Gas, he is well placed to understand the energy needs and challenges facing public sector developments.
“The public sector has an unprecedented opportunity to lead the way in low- carbon development”, commented Mr Barton. “The availability of funding, backed by active Government commitment, means that projects undertaken by public-sector organisations will in future incorporate the latest, most energy-efficient systems for the benefit of whole communities. Such systems not only deliver core services and complement new housing development but also create jobs.”
District energy increases efficiency and can ultimately lower the cost of energy, in addition to achieving UK Government carbon targets. It is low- carbon heat, energy and cooling which is produced locally from a central energy centre, typically fuelled by gas-fired combined heat & power (CHP) engines, electric heat pumps, fuel cells or biomass boilers and distributed via a district heat network. District energy networks, such as those developed by Metropolitan, provide sustainable, future-proof solutions for high density residential and mixed-use new developments and urban regeneration areas.
Metropolitan offers a one-stop service for its public-sector partners: designing, building, funding, co-owning and operating networks. As a multi-utility provider, Metropolitan can also deliver a full suite of utilities in addition to district energy networks including electricity, water, wastewater, ultrafast Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) and gas.
Dom Barton will be building long-term relationships with public-sector partners. “Metropolitan’s flexible models of co-ownership of the district energy networks it designs, installs and invests in, give our partners the reassurance of our long-term commitment to each project. We have an ongoing interest in the success of each development, continuing to manage customers’ needs long after the construction phases have been completed.”