Bradford courts ink renewable energy deal in UK first

The Bradford Combined Court Centre and Magistrates Court will become two of the first court buildings in England & Wales to be heated by renewable energy, after inking a deal to connect to the city’s new heat network.

Over the course of the two-decade deal, the two buildings are expected to save 8,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide by connecting to the network.

The deal between HM Courts and Tribunals Service and Bradford Energy Network is being touted as the “most cost-effective way” for the courts to decarbonise their buildings.

The Bradford Energy Network is a £70m development which will become the UK’s largest low-to-zero carbon district heating network when it starts generating heat in 2026.

The deal comes as the government looks for heat networks to supply 20% of buildings nationally by 2050, up from 3% today.

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In July last year, it was revealed communities in West Yorkshire would benefit from grants of up to £50,000 to deliver projects that help their area become greener and more resilient to climate change.

In January this year, the government revealed that four heating projects will receive a share of £80.6 million from its Green Heat Network fund, including a Bolton-based scheme that could see nearly 2,000 homes and businesses heated with sewer power.

Marissa Granath, project director of the Bradford Energy Network for 1Energy, the company behind the Bradford Energy Network, said: “The Bradford Energy Network is a nationally significant project which will help to build the future of Bradford’s net zero infrastructure underneath the streets of the city centre.”

“Signing a 20-year deal to deliver low-carbon heating to two of Bradford’s largest buildings shows the faith and confidence HM Courts and Tribunals have in the Bradford Energy Network.

“There are only two options available to property owners and developers looking to decarbonise buildings in Bradford: a building-scale heat pump or connection our heat network. However, connecting to our network is by far the most economical way to decarbonise heat, with total whole-life costs around 30% cheaper than installing individual air source heat pumps on buildings.”

“We were thrilled that HMCTS were able to secure £3.5m of grant funding to enable Bradford Law Courts to connect to the heat network and we are excited about working with other building owners in Bradford to help them cut costs and cut carbon emissions.”

There are around 350 courts and tribunal buildings in England and Wales. The Bradford Combined Court Centre and Magistrates Court are set to be the eighth and ninth courts to connect to a heat network.

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