4 FAQs About District Heating

October 8, 2021

A Village in Cambridgeshire is aiming to become the first in Britain to have 100 per cent of heating provided through a district heating system.

The £9 billion project at Swaffham Prior near Newmarket aims to achieve the landmark using 130 boreholes dug 200 metres into the round to source the heat from under a field, ITV News reports.

In addition, an industrial air source pump from Denmark will pump heated air into the system, helping to produce hot water for the village.

Half the village has now signed up to the scheme and the Swaffham Prior Community Land Trust, which has devised the plan, hopes more still do so before the system becomes operational next March.

Emma Fletcher from the trust said:  “It means you're heating a community not just one single home.” She and husband Mike, who has worked with the air source heat pump technology before when employed by a Danish firm, are both directors of the trust.

They hope that the scheme will not only provide heat for Swaffham Prior, but could inspire other villages to copy their example.

By installing district heating systems, residential areas may benefit from major reductions in heating bills at a time when energy costs are soaring.

The last fortnight has seen a huge surge in gas prices and with the government refusing to lift the energy cap that exists to limit the size of price hikes consumers face, a number of smaller energy firms have gone bust, the latest to do so being Green Supplier Ltd and Avro Energy.

Britain’s gas shortages stem partly from the fact that the UK ceased to be self-sufficient in the fuel around 15 years ago. Since then it has had to rely partly on imports, such as gas pumped through the Langeled Pipeline from Norway since 2007.  

However, such concerns may be far from the minds and bank balances of Swaffham Prior residents from next year.

Design

Supply of pre-insulated pipework