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Metropolitan has been awarded the 40-year ESCo contract to adopt, own and operate the district heat network and hot-water systems serving London Square Bermondsey. This £220 million new neighbourhood will transform a former industrial site, once home to Crosse & Blackwell’s Branston Pickle factory. All the homes in London Square Bermondsey will benefit from underfloor heating, with heat and hot water generated by the site’s energy centre, powered by CHP.

Metropolitan will also be responsible for managing the ongoing operation and maintenance of the heat network, building long-term relationships with residents and providing billing services. As with all Metropolitan projects, the development will come under The Heat Trust industry self-regulatory customer protection scheme. Metropolitan’s sister company, Power On Connections, will be installing the electricity infrastructure for the development.

London Square Bermondsey occupies a 4.7acre site and, when completed in 2021, will consist of 406 new homes, including affordable homes being offered by Peabody; 17,000m2 of commercial space configured as workspaces for small businesses, gallery space and studios for local charity Tannery Arts, which works with emerging artists; as well as garden squares and walkways, opening up the site for the first time. The development is part of the Old Kent Road Area Action Plan which will bring thousands of new homes as well as jobs, schools, two new underground stations, parks and public spaces to the neighbourhood.

With the selection of district energy to supply heat for the development, London Square Bermondsey joins the growing number of communities being served by low-carbon, local-heat networks. Already more than half a million customers in the UK obtain their heating from this source and it is predicted that 17% of heating needs in the UK will be met by heat networks by 2030. This would equate to eight million heat network customers and a reduction in carbon emissions of 2.2 million tonnes p.a.1

District energy networks not only reduce carbon emissions but are also a flexible, future-proof solution to heating needs. Gas-powered CHP engines have been the most common generating plant for heat networks. Metropolitan now uses heat pumps as the heat source. This is a good example of how heat networks evolve to deliver lower carbon emissions.

London Square is delighted to enter into a heat agreement with Metropolitan which builds upon our established relationship with Power On Connections. Metropolitan’s streamlined ESCO contract enabled a quick, straightforward contract close. We look forward to working with Metropolitan in the coming months to set up for our first residential customers.

Tony Kavanagh, Utilities Manager, London Square