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University of Reading plan to decarbonise its heating system

The University of Reading has secured £100,000 of government funding to decarbonise its heating systems. 

The grant will be matched by the University and the money will be used to support design work to introduce a large heat pump at the University’s existing Whiteknights Energy Centre. 

The Energy Centre, which opened in 2015, provides heating to 16 buildings on campus through a 3.3 km underground heating network. 

The introduction of a 1.1-megawatt heat pump could provide up to 40% of the heat output each year, cutting carbon emissions by over 12,000 tonnes by 2030. 

grey metal pipe on brown concrete wall

The development of a small district cooling network will also be considered, this would provide the cooling needs of the University’s science buildings. This will help boost the efficiency and overall cost-effectiveness of the scheme, as well as helping to further reduce carbon emissions.

Dan Fernbank, Energy and Sustainability Director at the University said: ‘Decarbonising our heating systems is a key part of our plans to reach net-zero carbon by 2030. This grant will enable us to progress a very significant opportunity to begin decarbonising our campus heating, setting us on the right path for the years ahead.’

This is the fifth major grant the University has secured since November 2020 in pursuit of its Net Zero Carbon goal for 2030. A further-BEIS funded project through Salix Finance is currently looking at opportunities to replace gas heating on the Earley Gate side of Whiteknights campus with low carbon alternatives.

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