With the war in Ukraine continuing, energy costs are being driven up by an increased reluctance of western nations to use Russian gas. While this is hoped to have an economic impact that will force President Putin to end the invasion, it is putting ever more pressure on household bills through higher wholesale gas prices.
Britons may gain some relief in the short term as the warmer spring weather means radiators and fires won’t be needed much, but this will just be a temporary reprieve as the problem is set to return in the autumn.
The homes that may be best shielded from the problem are those with district heating. There are many projects like this around the country and it might be that a lot more arise to help cut energy costs, particularly new-build developments. These can have such heating installed under their floors and sealed in using quick drying screed in London and other major cities.
In Hull, councillors are considering a new £22 million district heating scheme that will use rubbish burned in incinerators to heat water for a district heating system in the city centre, Hull Live reports. The scheme would connect up 51 buildings, including civic buildings the Guildhall and Hull New Theatre, as well as Hull College, the Royal Infirmary and planned new riverside housing.
The report noted how Hull had been slower than Leeds in getting a district heating system, but it is not the case that these are only available in big cities. As the John O’Groat Journal reports, around 200 homes in the Pulteneytown are of Wick, as well as Caithness General Hospital and the Assembly Rooms, have been benefitting from a scheme based on burning biomass fuel.
So successful is the Wick scheme that power plant owners Ignis Wick and the Highland Council have expressed interest in the possibilities of expanding the scheme.
If places as different as Hull and Wick can use district heating, it may be more developments in London soon will too.