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University of Leicester signs up to Leicester District Energy Scheme managed by Cofely, a GDF SUEZ company.

24 Nov 11 The University of Leicester has now joined the Leicester District Energy scheme that provides low carbon heating and power across the City of Leicester. The scheme is operated and managed by Cofely, the energy and environmental efficiency services company of GDF SUEZ, on behalf of Leicester City Council.

Dr Emma Fieldhouse, Environmental Manager at the University of Leicester explained: “We have maintained a close relationship with Leicester City Council for nearly 10 years, exploring opportunities to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions. We had considered installing our own CHP plant but joining the city-wide scheme is considerably more cost effective, freeing up funds for teaching, learning and research. It also gives us a bigger electrical and heating capacity than if we had installed our own plant, making a greater contribution to minimising our carbon footprint”.

The University of Leicester has the challenging target of achieving a 60% reduction in its carbon footprint by 2020, compared to 2004/2005 figures. The use of Combined Heat & Power generated heating is expected to contribute 12-15% of this and there are many other initiatives under way, including the application of Passivhaus* principles to new buildings.

Work on connecting the University’s buildings to the district heating network will be carried out during summer 2011, with the assistance of Salix/HEFCE funding.

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Simon Woodward, Managing Director of Cofely, commented: “Cofely is delighted that the University of Leicester has now signed up for the scheme, as they have been actively involved in the planning for a long time. The development of a large scale district energy scheme in Leicester has been a long term vision of the City Council and its partners and the University’s involvement highlights the long-term partnerships that have been achieved.”

* Passivhaus is the new design principle which involves designing a building almost fully air tight with no air change unless required.

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