Kensington and Chelsea Royal Borough Council

09/12/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/12/2023 09:37

Green heat network takes a step closer in North Kensington

A new heat network for greener energy in Notting Dale is a step closer, after the Council confirmed contractors to design, build and maintain the infrastructure.

The heat network will provide renewable energy to homes on the Lancaster West Estate, Kensington Aldridge Academy, Kensington Leisure Centre and Baseline Studios in phase one. Commercial customers should be able to link up to the network by the end of next year, with housing blocks joining the network from spring 2025.

Funding has already been secured to develop a business case for a phase 2 expansion which could expand the network further into the Notting Dale ward, providing renewable energy for more homes. This is the first time a heat network is being installed at the same time as a major retrofitting and refurbishment project in social housing.
The Council has set itself the ambition to be carbon neutral across its operations, including council housing, by 2030.

Cllr Sof McVeigh, lead member for housing management, housing safety and building new homes said:

"Lancaster West will be a model eco-neighbourhood by 2030 and we want our Council operations to be carbon neutral.

"Now we have contractors in place, work can begin on designing and building our new heat network for greener homes.

"We have residents co-designing the project which makes all the difference because they know their homes and neighbourhoods better than anyone. A price promise will protect people until 2030 so they do not pay more than they would for gas."

The Leadership Team approved a decision to appoint contractors recommended by officers in July, and the procurement has been finalised after a legally required stand still period. The contractors are:

  • Vital Energi Utilities Limited for design and build, operations and maintenance for the primary heat network and plant. This includes the heat pumps, warm water stores, and electric boilers.
  • Conergist Limited for design and build for secondary and tertiary works, which includes the heat interface units, radiators, and smart thermostats in residents homes.

What is a heat network?

A heat network, sometimes known as district heating, supplies heating from a central source to customers.

In Lancaster West, properties are currently served by gas boilers which are coming to the end of their usable life. The new network will use renewable energy from an air source heat pump to provide energy to homes and businesses.

What will it mean for Notting Dale residents?

The renewable heat network will mean they get an efficient energy supply to their homes which does not rely on gas. What's more, residents have helped to co-design a price promise. This ensures that tariffs will be set no higher than the cost of gas until 2030.

How is the heat network set up?

Councils do not usually design, build, operate and maintain 21st century heat networks. That's why Notting Dale Heat has been established as a company to manage the project. It has been co-designed with residents, with residents on the board and with the input of industry expertise. By establishing Notting Dale Heat, a heat network budget is ring-fenced to ensure an excellent customer experience remains at the forefront of the programme. Notting Dale Heat can also sell heat to commercial customers to generate additional revenues, to spread the benefit of clean, green heat to the ward and borough as a whole.