The Byker District Heating System provides heating and hot water to all of the homes and many other buildings on the Byker estate.
The system was installed when the estate was built in the 1970’s and delivers heat and hot water through a network of mains pipework across the estate.
When the Byker Community Trust (BCT) was formed in 2012 upgrading the system was a priority.
A 1 mega watt biomass boiler and 1 mega watt combined heat and power boiler have been installed at the main heat station and this has made the system more economical to operate. The benefits of this has been passed on to the residents of the estate and there have been no increase in heat charges since BCT was formed. This is quite an achievement given the huge increase in gas prices over the same period.
Due to the age of the system it was in need of a major overhaul and in 2014 work began to upgrade the network. This has involved:
- Replacement of 5.6 kilometres of underground secondary mains pipework.
- Replacement of all of the heat transfer stations (13No.)
- Extending the network to 228 homes previously served by obsolete gas boilers.
- Replacing the BMS (building management system) that controls the operations of the system.
These works completed in Summer 2019 and contribute to making the energy generation and distributions more efficient, reliable and economical. The next stage of the process involves the internal improvement of the domestic controls in homes so tenants and residents have greater control over their heating and can help to save energy.
Between June 2018 and 2021 internal heating improvements works will be carried out to all properties on the system These will include:
- Installation of programmers to control the heating system;
- Installation of thermostatic radiator valves and room thermostats to control internal temperatures within each room;
- New control valves to the hot water cylinders;
- Replacement of obsolete radiators, tanks and pipework as required to bring all properties up to a modern standard.
In addition to all these improvements, BCT is also reviewing options to install an additional biomass boiler or combined heat and power boiler. This has the potential to bring significant benefits to Byker and opportunities for grant funding are being investigated at present.
If you would like further information about the Byker District Heating System please contact BCT by calling Freephone 0800 5335 442 or in person at the BCT office.