Bristol City Council has agreed its first ever commercial connection to the Bristol Heat Network – the council’s own network of pipes providing low-carbon heat to businesses and homes in the city.

This new connection will serve 375 new homes as part of Bristol’s new Castle Park View housing development overlooking Castle Park and provide both  low-carbon and affordable heat to new residents once the building is completed in 2022.

The heat network will supply low carbon heat to buildings across Bristol through a network of underground pipes  from a number of energy centres including a new gas combined heat and power (CHP) plant. CHP plants integrate the production of heat and electricity into a single process, reducing carbon emissions and increasing efficiency. The council is also looking to install new zero carbon heat technologies including water-source heat pumps which capture heat from the floating harbour to supply hot water and space heating from the heat network.

Over time, new renewable alternatives, further reducing carbon emissions, will be installed, increasing the city’s resilience to fluctuating energy prices and reducing our reliance on gas.

The signing of the agreements follow the successful completion of the development’s CIBSE compliant design which is support by Central Government and sets minimum and best practice standards for the design and implementation of heating systems.  These high standards will result in low energy costs to end customers and a correctly sized heat network connection.

The council’s existing heat networks connect over 1000 social housing properties but this will be first commercial connection to a privately developed site, generating an income for the council whilst enabling the developers to harness a low-carbon source of heat for the building and helping to reduce fuel poverty.

Councillor Kye Dudd, Cabinet Member for Energy and Transport said: “It’s great to see the council working closely with developers to deliver some much-needed affordable housing as well as solutions to help our city achieve carbon neutrality. We’re in discussions with a number of new developers in the city centre and with supportive planning conditions in place we have high hopes that this connection will be the first of many.”

Businesses and developers who are interested in connecting to the council’s Heat Network can find out more by visiting our Heat Networks section.