CHP connectivity and a "fair deal" could be lasting Olympic legacy

The Greater London Authority (GLA) will develop a technical standard for district and combined heat and power (CHP) in the capital as well as rules to ensure customers get a “fair deal” for heat.

The GLA's London Energy Partnerhsip (LEP) project manager, Ross Hudson, confirmed that the Authority were at “early scoping stages” of some work on technical standards as well as standards for the provision of heat for customers. “In the London context were want to be sure that, when a new plant comes on line, we can connect it with existing or waste heat. The technical feasibility of this needs to be ensured.

“And we need to look at standardising the provision of heat for customers so that they are getting a fair deal as does the local authority or registered social landlord entering the contract on their behalf.” The GLA is working with the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) on the standards.

The development is important because CHP systems rise or fall on the amount of people able to join; balancing nine-to-five and off peak loads is crucial to their commercial viability.

Miranda Pennington, sustainability consultant for Old Street-based Metropolis Green and member of not-for-profit Central London Energy Management Group (CLEMG) said: “The Olympics has been the catalyst for this. Unless there is a standard if you are a private company, you are having to do everything yourself to be connected.”

Casey Cole of low carbon consultant, Fontenergy, said the unregulated nature of heat has led to some "questionable practices" and needed outside regulation: "Both a technical standard for heat networks and a customer charter for heat are very welcome developments and we'll be helping LEP with their work alongside the CHPA.

"While many buildings in London are now "district heat ready", to date there's been no common standard to ensure these schemes are actually able to connect to each other. In addition, rules for the provision of heat will give greater protection to customers and hopefully unify the many disparate methodologies in use at the moment."

The ODA is planning London's largest combined cooling heap and power (CCHP) scheme which is to be gas fired.