Swaffham Prior, a village of around 300 homes in East Cambridgeshire, is to become one of the first villages in the UK to install a heating network into an existing community.
Swaffham Prior isn’t connected to the gas grid and 70% of homes rely on burning oil for heating. We consider this method to be environmentally unsustainable, very expensive and prices often fluctuate.
We have been working with Swaffham Prior Community Land Trust on a project to bring renewable energy to the village. The ambition is to:
- End fuel poverty
- Reduce dependence on oil
- Provide cheaper, renewable heating to as many homes as possible
Following a series of technical studies, we decided to use Ground Source and Air Source Heat Pumps to provide thermal energy, pumped through a community network, into homes in Swaffham Prior.
Over half the village have already outlined their intention to join the Heat Network, recognising the need for change and the Government’s plans to phase out gas and oil boilers.
Once we have built the Energy Centre and laid the heating network pipes in the village, we will connect homes over time. Our role then becomes that of the Energy Supplier.
Along with our technical partner Bouygues Energy Services, we are responsible for signing up customers to the Heat Network, managing the supply of hot water to the connected customers, reading their heat meters, issuing quarterly invoices for their energy usage and providing customer services.
We anticipate connecting the first homes in March 2022.
Find out more about Heating Swaffham Prior Network
Project funding and support
We have provided funding and support for this project, together with Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).