Bradford, 25th March 2024 – The Bradford Combined Court Centre and Magistrates Court will become two of the first court buildings in England to be heated by renewable energy after signing a landmark deal to connect to the city’s new heat network.

HM Courts and Tribunals Service has signed a 20-year agreement to connect the city’s courts to the pioneering Bradford Energy Network, a new £70m development which will become one of the UK’s largest low-to-zero carbon district heating network when it starts generating heat in 2026.
Over the course of the two-decade deal, taking heat from the network is expected to save the two buildings 8,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (tCO2).

The Government believes heat networks are vital to making net zero a reality in the UK, as they are often the lowest cost, low carbon heating option for high density urban areas which includes cities like Bradford.

The Government’s ambition is for heat networks to supply 20% of buildings nationally by 2050, up from 3% today.

Bradford Council granted planning permission for the Bradford Energy Network last September. In its initial phases, it will include 8 km of underground pipework that will supply up to 30 major buildings in the city centre.

The Network will be one of the largest in the country to use air source heat pumps. An 8 MW heat pump will be housed in a new energy centre, being built at the junction of Thornton Road and Listerhills Road. The pump will generate the equivalent of enough heat to supply roughly 10,000 homes.

When the network first becomes operational, gas boilers will accompany the heat pump, providing additional heat on the coldest days of the year and acting as back-up and resilience. However, as part of a commitment to make the Network net zero carbon by 2030, the boiler heat will be replaced by alternative low-carbon heat within four years.

According to the World Green Building Council, buildings are currently responsible for 39% of global energy related carbon emissions. When the Bradford courts connect to the Bradford Energy Network in 2026, the use of back-up gas boilers in the energy centre means that carbon emissions related to heating will be reduced by 75%. However, these emissions be eliminated entirely when the network becomes net zero four years later.

Directors of 1Energy, the company behind the Bradford Energy Network, say that connecting to the network will be the most cost-effective way for organisations in Bradford city centre to decarbonise the way they heat their buildings.
To help cover the costs of connecting to the heat network,1Energy and their technical partners, Fairheat, supported the HM Courts and Tribunals Service to secure a £3.5m grant from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme.

The Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme is delivered by Salix Finance and is run by the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero.

Bradford is the first of several British towns and cities where 1Energy are developing heat networks with subsequent schemes already in progress in Rotherham, Exeter, and Milton Keynes.

Marissa Granath, Project Director of the Bradford Energy Network for 1Energy, said: “The Bradford Energy Network is a nationally significant project which will help to build the future of Bradford’s net zero infrastructure underneath the streets of the city centre.”

“Signing a 20-year deal to deliver low-carbon heating to two of Bradford’s largest buildings shows the faith and confidence HM Courts and Tribunals have in the Bradford Energy Network.

“There are only two options available to property owners and developers looking to decarbonise buildings in Bradford: a building-scale heat pump or connection our heat network. However, connecting to our network is by far the most economical way to decarbonise heat, with total whole-life costs around 30% cheaper than installing individual air source heat pumps on buildings.”

“We were thrilled that HMCTS were able to secure £3.5m of grant funding to enable Bradford Law Courts to connect to the heat network and we are excited about working with other building owners in Bradford to help them cut costs and cut carbon emissions.”

Salix Director of Programmes Ian Rodger said: “We are delighted to be working alongside HM Courts and Tribunals Service on their innovative decarbonisation journey.
“This is an exciting project and demonstrates the value that local collaboration and partnerships can have in delivering on our net zero goals.”

There are around 350 courts and tribunal buildings in England and Wales. The Bradford Combined Court Centre and Magistrates Court are set to be the eighth and ninth courts to connect to a heat network.


Press Contacts

Bradford Energy Network

+44 (0)79 4358 1680

About 1Energy

1Energy is the leading independent developer of Low-to-Zero Carbon (LZC) heat networks in city centres throughout the UK. Our team members collectively have decades of experience in delivering and operating over 50 separate heat networks. 1Energy has secured several million pounds of funding to develop a series of low-to-zero carbon heat network projects across the UK.

For more information, check out our website.