Reading Borough Council is the only local authority in Britain to benefit from £100,000 worth of funding to develop an approach which will enable more innovative low carbon heating systems to be installed across Europe and save council tax payers money in future years, it has been announced.
‘Geo.Power is a European funded programme which enables partners to work together on the introduction of ‘ground source’ heat pumps.
This innovative low carbon method of heating buildings uses the constant heat which exists below the ground by capturing it, compressing it and distributing it to warm buildings. In Summer the process can be reversed, taking heat from the building and putting it in the ground. Considerable carbon, energy and financial savings can be made as a result.
Reading Borough Council has been selected as the only partner in the UK to benefit and is one of 12 partners spanning eight different countries – England, Italy, Greece, Bulgaria, Hungary, Sweden, Estonia and Belgium.
The funding is worth just over £100,000, and will help further develop Reading’s pro-active approach in playing its own part in tackling Climate Change.
The council already has ambitious targets to reduce carbon emissions while providing value for money for the local council tax payer. Now, over the next two years, it will be playing a leading role in the pioneering project which will eventually help cut carbon emissions across Britain and the Continent.
The innovative low carbon method of heating buildings has already been installed at the state of the art Avenue Centre, some council buildings and one of the buildings at Prospect School.
Reading Borough Council will now be working closely with the other partners on the two-year European funded programme to share technology and experiences of installing and using ground source heat pumps. At the end of the two years all the work will be pulled together to set out a way forward as to how more ground source heat pumps could be installed to help reduce carbon emissions across Europe and benefit from the new Renewable Heat Incentive from the Government to be announced next year.
Warren Swaine, Reading’s Lead Councillor for Environment and Sustainability, said: ‘Winning this bid shows that our Council is prepared to take a lead in developing a sustainable future - not just for Reading but for the rest of the country. Congratulations to the sustainability team for their hard work putting together this successful bid.’
Ben Burfoot, Sustainability Manager at Reading Borough Council, added: ‘This project gives us the opportunity to pave the way for using this technology in new and existing buildings in Reading, as well as enabling us to maximise the use of ground source heat pumps nationally to provide the low carbon heating systems of the future.”