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Communities in Plymouth, Yorkshire and London are to benefit from nearly£5m funding awarded to four councils under...
Communities in Plymouth, Yorkshire and London are to benefit from nearly £5m funding awarded to four councils under the government's Community Energy programme. They are among 11 organisations to receive a share of £6.7m funding in the third round of the programme.

The £50m programme, managed by the Energy Saving Trust (EST) and Carbon Trust, delivers cost savings and emissions reductions by supporting the refurbishment and installation of community heating schemes across the UK. Community heating substantially reduces carbon dioxide emissions by using a heat network supplying more than one building or customer.

Speaking at an event in Pimlico to announce the third round bids, sustainable energy minister Lord Whitty said: 'The key aims of the programme are: to contribute towards the reduction in harmful greenhouse gases, by saving carbon emissions and creating a better environment for us all, and to help those on low incomes by providing affordable warmth. The successful schemes that I have announced will benefit all sorts of people in many communities, including the elderly and schoolchildren.'

The successful councils are:

Plymouth City Council (Devonport) has been awarded £2,150,000 to develop a new community heating network on an MoD site as part of the Devonport Regeneration initiative. More than one thousand households will benefit from the scheme, helping to lift nearly 600 of these out of fuel poverty. In addition, seven MoD-owned buildings will also be served by the scheme.

The network will be served by two 1.4 MWe CHP units and top up boilers. Electricity from the scheme will be exported using existing private wires within the MoD estate. Overall carbon savings from the scheme are estimated to be 2818 tonnes per annum. Public sector cost savings are expected to be more than £17,000 with tenants' fuel bill savings over £141,000 per annum.

£613,975 funding will enable Kirklees MBC to expand a heat network to encompass seve n buildings including the town hall, library and a sports centre. The scheme will provide additional CHP capacity of 11MWe and save nearly 4500 tonnes of carbon per year. The council is expected to save more than £45,500 per annum on its annual fuel bill.

Westminster City Council plans to expand and connect the Pimlico District Heating Undertaking to include two 1.55 MWe CHP units with funding of £1,200,000. The scheme will serve more than 3,000 households, providing affordable warmth and helping to lift over 1,000 homes out of fuel poverty and three public sector buildings, two of which are schools. Residents and the environment will benefit from carbon savings of nearly 1850 per annum. Westminster City Council is expected to save over £3,000 per annum. Residents will benefit from a total annual fuel bill saving of nearly £104,000 per annum.

£956,052 funding will enable Lambeth LBC to refurbish an existing central boiler-fed community heating network to include an innovative 625 kWe condensing CHP unit. It will serve more than 400 purpose-built residential flats in nine seven-storey blocks and is expected to achieve carbon savings of over 500 tonnes per year. This represents a total annual fuel bill saving to residents of nearly £170,000.

Lord Whitty announced the extension of the Community Energy programme to 2005. The programme aims to stimulate the market for community heating and help deliver the government's target of producing 10,000MWe of installed good quality CHP by 2010.

Energy Saving Trust chief executive Philip Sellwood said: 'Following the success of the previous two rounds of Community Energy, we are delighted with today's announcement. Plymouth City Council's innovative scheme has been awarded the

largest grant to date by the programme. It is particularly exciting to see local authorities placing community heating at the heart of their energy and environmental strategies. We look forward to receiving more high quality applications from local authorities in future rounds.'

Carbon Trust chief executive Tom Delay said: 'Community heating is an expanding and important part of the government's agenda for energy efficiency and tackling fuel poverty. The four schemes receiving capital funding are of a very high calibre, and will provide affordable warmth to over 4,000 homes. They play a vital part in helping Britain deliver sustainable energy solutions and reduce carbon dioxide emissions.'

Combined Heat and Power Association director David Green said: 'Community Energy delivers affordable warmth to local communities and today's announcement takes us a step further towards ensuring more communities can get the benefits of sustainable energy. We now need to build on this for the long term.'

In addition to capital funding, the programme provides development funding and handholding support to help with early stage planning phases. Funded by Defra, Community Energy is managed by the Energy Saving Trust and the Carbon Trust with support from the Combined Heat and Power Association and others. It operates in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The other successful third round bids are:

Perthshire Housing Association £39,798

Perthshire Housing Association is to develop a new community heating network with an 11 kWe unit. The scheme will serve a four-storey single block of 32 flats. Carbon savings of eight tonnes are expected on a yearly basis. Residents will benefit from a total annual fuel bill saving of nearly £1,200.

Cloch Housing Association £27,520

The scheme involves the installation of community heating in a residential home consisting of 15 units. It will involve innovative under floor heating to meet special needs. 10 tonnes of carbon per annum are expected to be saved. The scheme will provide residents with total fuel bill savings of more than £4,700 per annum.

University College London (UCL) £140,304

The UCL plans to install a new 400 kWe CHP unit. Th is will provide heating to 270 study bedrooms in the halls of residence and a medical research building. Carbon savings are expected to be 288 tonnes per year. The university will realise savings of £44,750 on its fuel bill per annum.

Warwick University £500,000

Following a successful bid in the 'Pathfinder' (first) round of Community Energy, a third 1.4 MWe CHP unit will be added to the existing heat network to connect the western side of the main campus. An estimated 710 tonnes of carbon will be saved per year. This represents a total annual fuel bill saving of more than £37,000.

University of East Anglia £210,000

The university plans to upgrade and expand the existing individual cooling loads to form a network. This will include absorption chilling using heat from the existing CHP and serve three groups of teaching and research buildings. Overall carbon savings will equate to 384 tonnes a year. The University of East Anglia will save more than £19,000 on its annual fuel bill.

Plymouth University £55,000

The existing CHP scheme will be upgraded to produce 400 kWe additional capacity. This will involve improved controls, some network refurbishment and absorption chilling. Carbon savings of 161 tonnes and fuel bills savings of more than £11,500 are expected per annum.

Southampton University £830,545

The university has been awarded funding to support the refurbishment and linking of two existing heat networks. Two 1.4 MWe CHP units will be installed and allow the scheme to serve four academic buildings and a sports centre. This will bring carbon savings of more than 1500 tonnes per year. The university will realise cost savings of nearly £148,000 per annum.


1. The 11 schemes will:

- serve nearly 5,000 homes, lifting more than 1,800 homes from fuel poverty

- save approximately 13,000 tonnes of carbon a year

- provide annual fuel bill savings of nearly £650,000

- cost £26 million to build

- generate 22,616 kWe of additional CHP capacity

2. Community Energy is jointly managed by the Energy Saving Trust and the Carbon Trust. It applies to England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

3 The Energy Saving Trust was established by the UK government as part of its response to the 1992 Rio Climate Change Convention. EST is the UK's leading organisation working towards the sustainable and efficient use of energy by households and small organisations, working with a wide range of partners including energy suppliers, manufacturers, retailers, local authorities, installers, NGOs and trade associations.

4 The Carbon Trust was established in 2001 by the Government in response to the needs of the business community and the public sector and with a clear brief from the Prime Minister to 'take the lead on low carbon technology and innovation in this country, and put Britain in the lead internationally'.

5 The Community Energy programme continues to work closely with industry through the CHPA and others.

6 A recent DEFRA-funded report, 'The Potential for Community Heating in the UK', outlines heat demand across the UK and calculates the potential for community heating schemes using CHP. It found that community heating could deliver savings on fuel bills to more than 5 million UK homes, 200 hospitals, 750 schools and 80 universities (see

7 Community Energy grant funding comes from the Capital Modernisation Fund. A total of £50m has been allocated from the Fund for the period 2002-2005. The Community Energy programme aims to stimulate carbon savings of 0.08 MtC per annum by 2010.

8 Applications for the next capital bidding round must be submitted by 31 July 2003. Applications are assessed by an independent advisory panel with final decisions made by Defra ministers. The assessment criteria include:

a. Environmental benefits - reductions in carbon emissions over the life of the scheme.

b. Social benefits - cost savings for households over the life of the scheme.

c. Economic benefits - cost savings for the public sector and public service organisations (other than public sector housing) over the life of the scheme.

9. Development grants are available from a dedicated £2m fund for option appraisal, feasibility studies, business planning and tendering work. Development applications can be submitted at any time and will either be assessed as they arrive by the programme team (less than £25,000 grant) or by the advisory panel on a quarterly basis (more than £25,000 grant).

10. For programme or application information, contact the Community Energy team on 0870 850 6085 or

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