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The University of Southampton
Sustainability

District Heating Scheme

The University of Southampton's District Heating and Combined Heat and Power (CHP) system is a groundbreaking scheme designed to provide an efficient way to meet the heating demands of our Highfield campus.

In a conventional system, a large amount of heat is wasted when fuel is burned to generate electricity. The CHP scheme utilizes this heat to meet over half of the heating demand on the Highfield campus, delivering financial savings and reducing CO2 emissions by reducing the need for normal boilers.

This £3.5m initiative was largely funded by the University, supplemented by a £0.8m government Grant. Over £1m of this money was spent on upgrading existing buildings, reducing operating temperatures and replacing old cast iron radiators to allow the overall system to work at its best efficiency. The scheme typically saves £500,000 and 3,000 tonnes of carbon per year, compared to the conventional boiler only system that it replaced.

"Utilisation and efficiency is everything. We operate a web based real-time heat and electricity metering system that allows us to closely monitor, on a half hourly basis, the cost of running the generators and the savings in money and carbon emissions they can be expected to deliver. Armed with this information, we can ensure that the generators are used in the most effective way to deliver the greatest financial and carbon saving".

Mark Turner, Head of Engineering Services

Our CHP scheme provides a national example of best practice. As such it may be used to pass knowledge on to other organisations, within and outside of the higher education sector, to facilitate the UKs transition to a low carbon economy. In 2006/07 the district heating system and CHP won the Green Gown award for energy efficiency. The Green Gown awards are the Higher and Further Education sector's prestigious annual award scheme to celebrate environment and sustainability excellence.

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