Hundreds of households in Leeds to benefit from low carbon heat network

Hundreds more households will soon enjoy more affordable, reliable, and lower carbon heating with three tower blocks set to become the latest to connect to the city’s flagship Leeds PIPES district heating network.

259 council properties in Lovell Park Heights, Lovell Park Grange, and Lovell Park Towers will be set up to receive heat from the network within the next six months.

Private leaseholders of properties in the Little London tower blocks will also be able to benefit from the network if they opt to connect their homes to the system.

Households that are benefiting from the upgrade can expect to see the cost of heating their home reduce using Leeds PIPES, compared to their existing heating systems, and will also enjoy better reliability and control.

Meanwhile, Leeds Conservatoire (formerly Leeds College of Music) has become the thirteenth non-residential customer to have signed a contract to connect.

The new connections are expected to reduce the city’s annual carbon footprint by 279 tonnes, supporting efforts to end the city’s contribution to climate change by transitioning to ‘net zero’ emissions.

By using heat and energy recovered from non-recyclable waste at the Recycling and Energy Recovery Facility (RERF) to provide warmth and hot water to buildings in the city, the Leeds PIPES district heating project is helping businesses and residents to move away from costly fossil-fuel powered heating systems.

The council estimates that the network, delivered in partnership with Vital Energi, is helping existing customers to collectively save nearly half a million pounds (£490,000) in reduced energy costs this year alone.

The £62 million network continues to expand and is regularly connecting to new buildings. Leonardo & Thoresby student accommodation buildings and St James’s Hospital are the latest buildings to have begun taking heat from the scheme.

Leeds City Council is currently in discussions with dozens of potential customers. Buildings and developments located near the underground pipes can choose to connect at any time and can register their interest here.

Last year, the network of insulated underground pipes supplied 22,029 megawatt-hours of heating in total and helped reduce the city’s carbon footprint by 3,975 tonnes.

Councillor Mohammed Rafique, Executive Member for Climate, Energy, Environment & Green Space and Councillor Jessica Lennox, Executive Member for Housing, said:

“We are both delighted that hundreds more residents will soon be paying significantly less to heat their homes thanks to this latest expansion of the Leeds PIPES network.

“Residents in the Lovell Park estate will join the thousands of council tenants and hundreds of private sector renters already benefiting.

“Too many families in our city struggle to pay their energy bills—in part because the UK’s homes are some of the least efficient and most reliant on costly fossil fuel gas in Europe.

“Whether it’s by connecting homes to affordable low carbon heating like Leeds PIPES, or investing in energy-saving measures like insulation, this council is committed to helping households by making our homes greener and fit for the future.”

Mike Cooke, Vital Energi’s Managing Director (North and Scotland), said:

“Leeds PIPES continues to be the UK’s landmark heat network and we’re delighted to announce these new connections, which means more people will benefit from low-carbon, cheaper heat to businesses and residents, making a real difference in their day-to-day lives.

“We look forward to welcoming another 259 homes and Leeds Conservatoire to the fastest growing heat network and will work closely with the council to ensure they have the best possible customer experience.”