Sustainable energy for homes and businesses at the Northern Gateway

Our flagship energy project sees the construction of a carbon-cutting, District Heat Network at Colchester Northern Gateway to supply heat and hot water to the developments’ homes and businesses.

Reducing our carbon emissions is an important part of meeting climate change goals and the Heat Network will significantly reduce carbon emissions caused by heating homes and offices and will generate a source of hot water to replace boilers in the new homes being built.

It also means better value for households as district heat networks offer competitive and stable energy prices over the long term.

Colchester Borough Council and Colchester Amphora Energy Ltd secured £3.5 million ‘Heat Networks Investment Project’ from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) for the development and construction of the low carbon district heating system – it was one of only nine projects in the UK to gain BEIS funding.

Benefits of a District Heat Network include:

Provides competitive and stable energy prices over the long term.

Supports Colchester Borough Council’s aim to become a greener place to live, work and play.

Attracts investment – the project secured a £3.5 million ‘Heat Networks Investment Project’ grant from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

Shows Colchester leading the way – this was one of only nine projects in the UK to gain BEIS funding in 2017.

How it works

Our District Heat Network extracts warm water from eighty metres below the ground via a series of boreholes. The abstracted water is directed through an electrically powered heat-pump within our Energy Centre. From the Energy Centre the water supply is directed through a hot water pipe network to directly supply homes and businesses.  Finally, water is put back into the aquifer via another set of boreholes.

Home and business owners will have a Heat Interface Unit (HIU) within their properties – rather than a traditional gas boiler. Hot water and heating is generated via a Plate Heat Exchanger in the HIU as and when required. The heat used is metered and paid for in the same way as gas or electricity.

District heating generates less carbon emissions than standard gas boiler systems and over its lifespan is much more cost and energy efficient.