Moving towards multi-utility solutions
It is only in the last decade or so that energy has become a major consideration for housing developers.
The same applies to business and society in general – in recent years businesses and individuals have taken more of an interest in how their energy is provided, and how they can use it more efficiently.
Energy is now an important aspect of the construction process that developers need to factor in at an early stage. The way in which new buildings are designed has evolved due to changes in legislation and now developers must show they can meet carbon emission targets in order to secure planning permission for new projects.
I’m very excited about a development we have been involved in recently, for which SSE Enterprise Utilities has delivered a true multi-utility solution for the first time.
Working with our client St James we designed and installed a low carbon energy centre which provides more than 800 properties at the Riverlight development on the south bank of the River Thames. SSE Enterprise Utilities will be responsible for delivering heating, cooling and hot water to residents. We will also own and maintain the gas and electricity networks, although the residents are free to choose their preferred supplier.
The multi-utility model works for large-scale developments such as Riverlight, with a single point of contact making the process easier to manage for the developer. In choosing SSE Enterprise Utilities, St James knew it was opting for a company with the track record, knowledge and expertise to deliver.
On-site energy production can also reduce CO2 emissions by as much as 25 per cent compared to more traditional methods, which result in energy being wasted.
The market to provide energy to new developments is evolving and energy produced on-site, in a purpose-built energy centre and supplied through a district heating network, is becoming an increasingly compelling proposition.