Heat network could reduce carbon emissions from Worthing’s civic buildings
Authorities such as Worthing Borough Council have pledged to work towards carbon neutrality by 2030.
One of the main challenges is to decarbonise heating for council buildings as this is responsible for 42 per cent of its annual carbon footprint.
It is exploring the possibility of a heat network, sometimes called district heating, which involves a distribution system of insulated pipes that takes heat from a central source to a number of different buildings.
The council has secured £93,400 of Government funding to carry out initial feasibility and study work around the possibility of a heat network for the Worthing Civic Quarter.
Consultants will explore opportunities to expand a heat network anchored at the civic quarter out into the surrounding area.
The gas boilers at Portland House and Worthing Town Hall are at the end of their life and are due for replacement.
The project would also extend to the Assembly Hall, Worthing Museum, and Ministry of Justice-owned County Court as well as the library, which is due to undergo refurbishment to create community hub by West Sussex County Council.
Meanwhile an integrated care centre is set to be built on the car park behind the town hall, providing GP, mental health, community and dentistry services. The £34million development would also include a multi-storey car park and see the existing central clinic site demolished.
According to an officers’ report: “They [heat networks] are one of the most cost-effective ways of reducing carbon emissions from heating, and their efficiency and carbon-saving potential increases as they grow and connect to each other.
“They provide a unique opportunity to exploit larger scale – and often lower cost – renewable and recovered heat sources that otherwise cannot be used.”
The results from the studies are due to be put before councillors in July.