Sewer power to heat homes and businesses as new project recieves funding

sewer power

Nearly 2,000 homes and businesses could be heated with sewer power, as a new green heating project receives a share of £80.6m from the government.

A government statement said that the project, backed by £11m funding, will see Bolton residents keep their homes and businesses warm with waste heat from the town’s sewer. Energy will be extracted from both sewage and waste hot water from washing machines, bathrooms and kitchens to fuel a new heat pump, as part of Bolton’s first district heating network, helping to keep bills low.

The move will provide a recycled heating source for the local community, including the University of Bolton and the Town Council. It is one of four green heating projects to receive grants from the government’s Green Heat Network Fund.

The projects in Exeter, London and Hull will help cut carbon emissions from homes and businesses, it noted, and put the UK a step closer to reaching net zero by 2050.

The funding comes alongside more than £8m of government investment to improve 34 inefficient heat networks.

Lord Callanan, Minister for Energy Efficiency and Green Finance, said: “These innovative projects will help drive down energy costs while also demonstrating why the UK has led the way in cutting carbon emissions.

“They show how energy sources can be found in the most unexpected places – as more homes and businesses will benefit from cleaner heating and lower energy bills.

“Our upgrades will also make sure our existing heat networks are upgraded – so customers can get the reliable heating supply they deserve.” 

Other projects to receive a share of the £80.6m from the Green Heat Network Fund include: the Exeter Energy Network, the Hull East District Heat Network and the Greenwich Peninsula ESCO District Heating Network in London.

Projects to receive funding to improve heat networks include: Newport City Homes Housing Association, Bristol Heat Networks, and the University of Plymouth.

Stephen Knight, managing director at Heat Trust, said: “At Heat Trust we sadly hear of far too many examples of inefficient and poorly performing heat networks. These can result in much higher heating costs for residents, overheating corridors and frequent breakdowns. 

“The steep rises in gas prices over the last few years has meant that inefficient heat networks can be very expensive for residents. 

“The government’s Heat Network Efficiency Scheme is therefore an important step in the right direction, and we welcome today’s announcement of funding.  I would urge all those responsible for running existing heat networks to consider bidding for this funding in future rounds.” 

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