Mersey Heat Energy Centre Coming to Liverpool City Centre
In a significant development for Liverpool, work has officially commenced on the Mersey Heat Energy Centre, a multi-million-pound project at Liverpool Waters. This ambitious endeavour, spearheaded by Peel NRE, represents a step towards a greener future for the region.
Let’s see how this affects the Liverpool property market going forward!
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How Many Properties Does the Mersey Heat Energy Centre Serve?
In February 2021, Peel NRE secured planning consent to construct this state-of-the-art energy centre at Great Howard Street.
Its primary purpose is to provide an impressive 20GWh of low-carbon heating and hot water, benefitting thousands of homes and local businesses.
The Mersey Heat Energy Centre’s initial focus is on serving the housing and commercial requirements within the Liverpool Waters project itself. Currently, there are 1,158 apartments within the development, with an additional 263 homes in the immediate pipeline. Furthermore, Princes Dock hosts several office buildings that would benefit from this energy source.
The venture should eventually reach up to 6,700 homes within the Liverpool Waters area, covering 1.3 million square feet of commercial space. This is made possible through a district heat network, a concept well-established in countries like Denmark but still gaining momentum in the UK.
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Will the Mersey Heat Energy Centre Help More Liverpool Properties in the Future?
The Mersey Heat Energy Centre has been thoughtfully designed to support the ambitious expansion plans of the future. With existing planning permission, the facility is poised for growth, potentially generating 45GWh of heat and hot water, extending its reach to approximately 17,000 homes.
Peel NRE’s district heat network specialist, Ener-Vate, is at the heart of this initiative. The project features one of the UK’s largest water source heat pumps, extracting heat from the nearby Leeds/Liverpool Canal. This innovative approach is set to be a pioneering example of sustainable energy solutions in the region.
Peel NRE has teamed up with renewable energy company Vital Energi to bring the Mersey Heat Energy Centre to life. The centre is expected to be fully operational by September 2024, with significant financial support amounting to £13 million from the Merseyside Pension Fund.
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Heat Pumps and EPC Already at the Forefront of Buy-to-Let Investor
Heat pumps have been a talking point since the government announced plans to raise EPC requirements to reach the net zero by 2050 pledge.
However, Rishi Sunak reneged on those EPC regulations in September 2023, citing cost-of-living costs as a reason why many landlords could not upgrade their homes in time for the deadline.
New tenancy properties would need to reach an EPC rating of ‘C’ by 2025. All properties would need to reach that minimum score by 2028. However, those measures have been put on hold without mentioning when they will come back into play. The UK Property Investment market is seeing steady growth during 2023, especially with ECO and other developments.
The government also announced that help buying a property’s heat pump would increase from £5,000 to £7,500, enabling more landlords to improve EPC ratings. This measure came into effect on Monday, 23 October.
The introduction of the Mersey Heat Energy Centre will go some way to helping buy-to-let landlords exist in a housing market where energy efficiency is becoming a big selling point for tenants and could become a requirement again in the future.
For more insights into the property market, keep an eye out for the latest RWinvest blogs and guides!