A city heating network has been awarded £1 million to help cut energy bills and provide cheap power to thousands of homes across the UK’s oil and gas capital, Aberdeen.
Aberdeen Heat & Power Ltd will expand the network to non-domestic properties with commercial heat sales revenues ring fenced to heat households in the city.
The system already supplies around 2,000 council flats in 26 multi storey blocks, low rise sheltered housing complexes as well as 13 public buildings.
The combined heat and power scheme captures heat when electricity is created. Once channelled through underground hot water pipes and pumps, heating and hot water is pumped out to homes.
The funding comes from the Scottish Government’s District Heating Loan Fund, which has awarded a total of £2.7 million to 12 projects across Scotland.
Social Justice Secretary Alex Neil said: “This significant funding will help Aberdeen Heat and Power in its drive to deliver reduced bills across the city, at a time when many people are struggling due to rising energy prices.
“Tenants have reported that their typical fuel costs have been reduced by up to 50 percent over the previous heating system. Carbon emissions from these buildings have also been reduced by 45 percent.
“The heating system is delivering reduced levels of fuel poverty and eliminating damp conditions, which creates improved health conditions and homes that people now want to live in.
“Last year, the District Heating Loan Fund was increased to £8 million and I would encourage organisations with district heat projects, at all scales, to apply for funding.”
Ian Booth, General Manager, Aberdeen Heat and Power said: “We are delighted to be able to accept this loan from the District Heating Loan Fund.
“It will help our drive to increase the capacity of the district heat network to deliver affordable heat to domestic and non-domestic properties, and to continue to alleviate fuel poverty and reduce the carbon footprint of the city.
Aberdeen City Council’s Communities, Housing & Infrastructure convener, Councillor Neil Cooney, said: “Our combined heat and power scheme is a real success story, with many residents who once had old and inefficient heating systems now enjoying lower bills and warmer homes.
“As the network grows, so do the benefits it provides. Significant savings are being realised on heating costs for several public buildings and the city’s carbon footprint is being cut.
“AH&P has won national acclaim and awards for its pioneering work to reduce fuel poverty.
“The creation of a subsidiary company to work with the private sector will generate additional monies, which will be used to increase the reach of district heating across Aberdeen and befit even more of our citizens.”