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Expansion of District Heat Network considered

8 December 2021

Councillors have approved proceeding with a feasibility study for the second phase of the town centre District Heat Network (DHN) at the Cabinet meeting held on 24 November 2021.

As phase one of the town centre DHN nears completion and with a number of new developments in the town centre progressing that could connect to an extended network, a prompt examination of the feasibility and business case for this potential second phase is required. This will allow a decision on possible future construction to be made.

Crawley Borough Council applied for Heat Network Development Unit (HNDU) funding to support the DHN phase two study.

The council has been successful with the funding bid, and HNDU has awarded the council £69,950 for the feasibility study. This needs to be matched with £25,000 from the council.

Phase two of the DHN could enable a further 700 homes to connect to the energy centre, including the Crawley Homes flats at Bridgefield House, which have been built to be DHN ready. There are also opportunities for Crawley College, Crawley Police Station and future developments on the West Sussex County Council owned former library site to join as well. 

The aim of the feasibility study is to identify new low carbon heat sources as well as confirming whether the expansion is commercially viable. The study is part of the council’s Climate Emergency Action Plan which outlines how Crawley Borough Council will meet its carbon reduction targets of 45% by 2030 and to zero by 2050.

The DHN will help significantly reduce carbon emissions for the council, residents and businesses connecting to it. The project is a key part of our plans to reach our target of becoming zero carbon by 2050. We’re ambitious to decarbonise as quickly as possible, so we’re excited to begin looking at the potential of using a more sustainable heat source for our DHN.

Cllr Gurinder Jhans

Cabinet member for Environmental Services and Sustainability

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