Tag Archives: heatpumps

In our lifetimes, cities will smell like the countryside

21 December 2020: Opinion piece by Greg Jackson, chief executive and founder of super-innovative energy supplier, Octopus Energy (and also provider of the Mayor’s London Power supply offering) in this morning’s City AM. Greg writes about the potential of heat pumps to not only help decarbonise heating in our homes, but also help drive down pollution, stating that existing “Gas boilers are responsible for over 20 per cent of all the nitrogen oxides in urban areas. These gases are deadly, contributing to asthma, lung cancer, and other serious health problems.” Heat pumps are at present significantly more expensive that conventional gas boilers to install (somewhere between 4-5 times the price) – but I agree with Greg’s following comment that “Octopus’s analysis shows that these costs too can be driven down. A heat pump is really only a fan, a motor and a few pipes with heat-transfer fluid. That is so much simpler than the complexities required for combusting gas. As soon as we’re manufacturing at volume, heat pumps will plummet in price.” Read the full article at City AM here. The analysis referred to would be interesting to see but doesn’t appear to be published on Octopus Energy’s website …as yet?

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Plans for fossil free Canada Water development

11 December 2020: Article in Building magazine (and here) reporting that major developer British Land has said its £3.3bn mixed use Canada Water scheme will be fossil fuel free to help meet its target for a net zero carbon property portfolio by 2030. Encouragingly British Land’s Head of Development, Philip Tait, states that “improvements in heat pump technology meant it was easier for buildings to be all electric than when the buildings were designed four years ago.” Tait goes on to say that “Site-wide heat networks are a popular choice for large developments but Tait said he was wary about adopting one at Canada Water. Tait said: “It’s easy to say go for a centralised heating network. We don’t know if this is exactly the right thing to do yet. We want to keep things open and flexible to do the right thing as technology changes.

The Canada Water scheme will eventually turn 53 acres of rundown land in south-east London into a new town centre and 3,000 homes. In February, it overcame the last major planning obstacle when London Mayor decided not to call it in. Further information on the energy strategy to be adopted for the site is set out in the Southwark Planning Committee report on the development from September 2019 – available here (see agenda item 5.1 main report) or directly here (see page 211 onwards).

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New Funding for Southwark Heat Networks

13 August 2020: Press release issued by Amber Infrastructure, fund manger of the Mayor’s Energy Efficiency Fund (MEEF) announcing that £7m funding has been arranged for a new ‘water source heat pump’ project in the borough to provide heat to 2,000 homes. Read the full release here.

Vital Energi have been procured by Southwark Council to design, construct and operate the scheme. Further information on Southwark Council’s work around the use of water source heat pumps can be seen here.

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Nine Elms District Heating Progress

February 2016:  “SSE Enterprise Utilities has delivered a low carbon multi-utility solution for a new residential and commercial development on the banks of the Thames.
Hundreds of properties at the Riverlight development will be served by an energy centre housing a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) unit, gas fired boilers and ground source heat pumps. Installation and ownership of the water, gas and electricity networks on site means that SSE Enterprise Utilities is providing a true multi-utility service.” Read full SSE news release here. A case study on the project is available here and video here.

Also just released is news from  district heating provider Vital Energi that they won a contract at Nine Elms Point, which will see them install a CHP energy centre, connecting a  further 645 homes to a heat network at this major regeneration site. Nine Elms Point is being delivered in partnership with Sainsbury and Barratt London and Vital have won the contract to perform the installation of the main Energy Centre, Chiller Plant Room and Heat Substations, in addition to all the works to residential and commercial properties, including Hydraulic Interface Units, Cooling Interface Units and Heat Meters in a contract worth £8 million.”

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