Dom Barton, of Metropolitan Infrastructure Limited, explores the national challenge to deliver sustainable, affordable and secure energy solutions
With heating accounting for 40% of the UK’s carbon emissions and over 2 million UK households in fuel poverty, the challenge to provide sustainable, affordable and secure energy supplies has never been greater. It directly affects the lives of individuals and their communities now and underpins the continued provision of their vital support services – including healthcare, social care, education and housing.
District energy and multi-utility solutions
Metropolitan is the leading independent district energy and multi-utility infrastructure provider in the UK. We are the only company combining all the traditional utility networks and future-proof district energy schemes as part of the complete solution for new build and regeneration sites nationwide.
We design, build, fund, own, and operate networks for decentralised and traditional energy and have delivered some of the UK’s highest-profile, lowest-carbon new communities.
Our district energy networks provide sustainable, affordable and secure energy solutions for:
- High-density residential and mixed-use commercial new developments;
- Urban regeneration areas;
- Combined regeneration and new development schemes;
- Retrofit of existing residential and commercial buildings.
We bring genuine choice in the delivery of district energy and multi-utility solutions, and their long-term economic operation, without the need for intervention from incumbent utility providers.
From network, adoption to fully constructed and financed options, our investment models provide maximum flexibility with customers choosing the route that best suits their needs and objectives.
The only partner you need for all your energy and utility assets, Metropolitan provides solutions for:
- District energy;
- Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH);
- Water and wastewater;
What is district energy?
District energy reduces total carbon emissions and creates more affordable energy for all. Most importantly, it provides the opportunity to drive down fuel poverty. District energy networks allow different sources of low-carbon heating such as Combined Heat and Power (CHP), heat pumps, energy from Waste (EfW) or fuel cells to supply heating through a network of insulated underground pipes to individual properties.
We provide solutions that are flexible, scalable and designed to evolve with the needs of the development serving the growing number of people living and working there. Once the initial part of a district energy network is operational, there are often opportunities to extend it into adjacent areas as a retrofit solution. This brings improved carbon performance to an entire area.
Alongside energy networks, we deliver other enabling infrastructures, such as electric and fibre networks. These networks ensure that the provision and usage of energy are as efficient as possible while ultrafast Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) networks bring life-changing benefits to consumers’ personal and professional lives.
Heat Trust guarantee
Metropolitan was one of the first to register a scheme with the Heat Trust, and as members, we commit to abide by the scheme which serves to protect and safeguard the interests of all heat customers.
We are committed to obtaining Heat Trust status for all our networks, to offer independent reassurance to residents that our heat tariffs are always fair. Customers connected to our electric or fibre networks have complete freedom to choose their supplier and service package.
Public sector funding
Both the UK and Scottish governments have active strategies to promote the decarbonisation of heating for buildings and have dedicated funding available to enable district energy projects.
Funding is not limited to just local authorities and could be used to connect new loads to existing heat networks within other public sector organisations, such as NHS buildings and universities. We can incorporate such funding within our solution.
Models to reduce energy costs
Public sector organisations can choose to progress schemes themselves or look for partners in the private sector to realise their objectives. Metropolitan have proven and flexible Energy Services Company (ESCo) solutions and partnership models which allow for the separating of supply and distribution. We will also ensure scheme delivery is phased to match overall development investment timelines.
An ESCo is a commercial operation providing efficient and cost-effective energy to the development. We welcome the opportunity to share ownership of the ESCo to ensure community needs are being met both now and in the future.
With the option to sell any excess power generated back to the market, the ESCo model ultimately creates an efficient, secure and reliable community-based energy solution with reduced energy costs for residents.
Kings Cross, London
Metropolitan is already delivering one of the largest regeneration projects in the UK, at Kings Cross in London. Eventually, there will be 2,000 new homes of which 330 are affordable housing alongside commercial premises, underpinning the creation of over 5,000 jobs in high-value knowledge sectors.
Our district energy network at King’s Cross uses a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant with natural gas driving the engines, as well as plans to install a 1.4MW fuel cell to meet the increased heat demand for future phases.
The efficiency statistics speak for themselves:
- Carbon: 50% saving in carbon emissions based on traditional utility solutions.
- Electric: 80% efficient compared to 30% in the conventional UK electricity supply.
- Heat: An energy centre meets almost 100% of heat demand and 80% of power demand.
A fully managed ESCo is part of the solution for the local delivery of de-centralised energy, and this includes providing professional metering and billing services to the householder. The ESCo is a joint venture with Metropolitan and Argent, who maintain a stake in its long-term success and the ongoing interests of the King’s Cross residents.
Metropolitan Infrastructure Limited
Please note: this is a commercial profile