Renewable energy scheme to cut thousands of tonnes of carbon emissions in Southwark

23 March 2022

More than 2000 households in Southwark are set to benefit from a ground breaking renewable energy scheme; which will help keep homes warm and save thousands of tonnes of carbon dioxide from being released into the environment.

Southwark Council’s multi-million pound investment will see water source heat pumps retrofitted within an existing high temperature heat network, across three Southwark estates. This is the first time this has been achieved within London. The works are scheduled to complete before summer this year. They will help the council to achieve its climate change strategy and better protect the environment from polluting gases.

The carbon savings from the initiative equate to 3,848 people flying from Gatwick to Chicago every year, or an average car travelling 13,468,000 miles every year. It would allow 16,000 people to drive across the UK, from Land's End to John o'Groats.

79 per cent of the borough’s carbon emissions come from buildings. In addition to new heat pumps, the estates will benefit from improvements to district mains, boiler house works and electrical upgrades. 

Cllr Helen Dennis, Cabinet Member for the Climate Emergency and Sustainable Development, said: “Tackling the climate emergency is a top priority for Southwark Council and we are getting on with the business of delivering carbon-saving projects across the borough. These new estate-wide heat pumps will deliver a win-win for residents, keeping their homes warm whilst generating renewable energy and removing thousands of tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air.

“Greening our homes and buildings was identified as a top priority in Southwark’s Climate Strategy and Action Plan, and has also been highlighted by our Southwark Citizens’ Jury on Climate Change. The council is already making huge progress in this area, installing heat pumps and solar panels in libraries and community centres. I’m delighted to have recently announced additional funding to green Southwark schools and our Green Buildings Fund will also help us to go further, faster.” 

Cllr Stephanie Cryan, Cabinet Member for Council Homes and Homelessness, added: “We are working across the council to tackle the climate emergency that is facing us all. I am delighted that these works will further improve the quality of housing for our residents and also help us meet our ambitions for a healthier environment.”

The innovative energy scheme was designed and delivered by Vital Energi.

Rob Callaghan, Managing Director of Vital Energi for the London and Southern Division, said: “We are pleased to have worked with Southwark Council on this ground-breaking project which will benefit over 2,000 residents with a more resilient, efficient, low carbon heat supply. The scheme will also ensure the improvement of local air quality, helping the borough on its path to decarbonisation.”

Find out more about how Southwark’s new heat pump networks will operate.

Learn about the council’s progress in tackling climate change

Page last updated: 23 March 2022