The UK District Energy Association Full Member: Newcastle City Council

Newcastle City Council is committed to the development and promotion of alternative energy supplies and services.

District Heating

The concept of district heating has been well established in Northern Europe and, when run well, can be 85-95% efficient producing electricity through a combined heat and power engine. In addition to the high efficiency levels the systems heat source can utilise low grade fuel sources and thus be easily linked to carbon neutral fuels. As a result, residents and commercial organisations connected to the system will receive low cost, low carbon heating which will contribute towards meting targets and reduce fuel poverty.

Newcastle has major district heating schemes servicing Your Homes Newcastle (YHN) properties in Byker and Riverside Dene, plus a further 47 smaller group and sheltered schemes. The Energy Centre aims to encourage and facilitate the improvement/expansion of existing schemes and the development of new schemes.

Combined Heat and Power

Combined heat and power (CHP) is a fuel-efficient energy technology that, unlike conventional forms of power generation, utilises the by-product heat that is normally wasted to the environment. CHP can increase the overall efficiency of fuel use to more than 75%, compared with around 40% from conventional electricity generation. Furthermore, because it often supplies electricity locally, CHP can also avoid transmission and distribution losses. CHP is an important element in the Government's new energy policy, as set down in the Energy White Paper. In 2000 the Government set a target to achieve at least 10,000 MWe of installed Good Quality CHP capacity by 2010.

Defra published the Government Strategy for Combined Heat and Power to 2010 in April 2004. The Strategy incorporates the full range of support measures to support the growth of CHP capacity needed to meet this target, and lay the foundation for long-term growth in CHP.

There are currently four operational units in council buildings. Other CHP units have been mothballed after a ten year agreement with suppliers expired. This is due to high maintenance costs making the machines inefficient.

Renewable Energy

There are a number of examples of renewable energy technology installed on City Council commercial properties, contributing to reducing the City’s carbon emissions.

Kingston Park Primary School

PV panels were installed at Kingston Park Primary in August 2009.

Ouseburn Farm

The environmental training centre at Ouseburn Farm in Byker contains a number of sustainable and renewable technologies including solar water heating (co-funded by Clear Skies), a 5kW solar photovoltaic system (co-funded by the DTI), rainwater recycling and a green (sedum) roof.

Newburn Recycling Site

The office building at the green waste recycling site in Newburn is a sustainable building of timber construction, and incorporates an under floor heating system fed by solar thermal panels and a ground source heat pump (GSHP).

In the domestic sector, the potential use of renewable energy in Newcastle includes photovoltaics (the generation of electricity from solar energy), solar hot waterground and air source heat pumps, micro wind turbines, and biomass boilers connected to district heating. The Newcastle Warm Zone project will also look to work with its partners to facilitate the funding and delivery of appropriate domestic renewable energy technologies, particularly in those homes where fuel poverty will not be alleviated by traditional insulation/heating methods.

Newbiggin Hall Photovoltaics

The photovoltaic (pv) scheme, located on a block of YHN managed properties in Newbiggin Hall, was awarded a grant of £250,000 from the Department of Trade and Industry. In 2004, 25 solar arrays were installed on the roof of a block of 25 flats, with the capacity to generate 28,097 kWh of electricity per annum. It is estimated that the residents will save a total of £2,300 each year from their electricity bills and 13,000 kg of carbon per annum will also be saved. Further information on the Newbiggin Hall PV project.


Newcastle City Council 
Civic Centre
Barras Bridge
Newcastle Upon Tyne
NE99 2BN

Telephone: 0191 232 8520

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