Kirklees Council is pressing ahead with an innovative scheme to heat and power its Huddersfield town centre buildings.

As part of its commitment to tackling the climate emergency, council chiefs agreed the next steps to take forward their ambitious Huddersfield Heat Network scheme.

The council has already carried out work to establish the economic viability of the Huddersfield network.

Now, thanks to funding from the Government’s Heat Networks Delivery Unit, the council can progress with works to develop the business case.

A heat network is a low-carbon enabling technology that features a system of insulated pipes, which distribute hot water to multiple buildings from a central heat generation plant.

This provides them with space heating and hot water, the system removes the need for the buildings to have individual boilers. The town’s existing Energy-from-Waste plant, which processes non-recyclable waste from homes across the district, could be a potential source of heat and power for the network.

Most effective in urban areas such as Huddersfield, the development of this heat network will offer many potential benefits to the town. These include a reduction in energy prices, future energy security and local economic benefits including the creation of employment opportunities.

The network would initially provide heat and hot water to the council’s own town centre premises as well as key external public and private sector partners in the area. The council hopes that this network would grow over time to include further partners and premises.

The Kirklees incinerator in Huddersfield

Clr Paul Davies, Cabinet Member for Culture and Greener Kirklees, said: “As a council, we have set an ambitious target for the district to be carbon neutral by 2038 and we know that to achieve this challenge, we will need to consider projects of a significant scale.

“The Heat Network is one such project and I am delighted to see this progressing – not just for the reduction in carbon dioxide emissions its offers, but also for associated economic benefits it will bring to the town and those partners who connect to the network.”

Clr Naheed Mather, Cabinet Member for Environment, said: “The council is committed to tackling the climate emergency and the possibility of using our own waste to generate heat and hot water is a fantastic way to do this.

“Not only are we removing waste from landfill but also we are reducing reliance on fossil fuels and the associated carbon emissions.”