Vital Energi, Leeds PIPES Heat Network

The award-winning Leeds PIPES network demonstrates how cities and towns can achieve substantial decarbonisation rapidly through an integrated heat network.


Leeds Pipes is a gamechanger for Leeds City Council and supports its ambition for Leeds to become the first net zero city in the country.

The £62m project is 26.5km network which runs right through the city, connecting 12 council and commercial buildings and 1,850 homes providing affordable and greener heat and hot water.

At full build out the project will save 16,256 tonnes of carbon per year which makes a strong contribution to the council achieving their net zero targets. As well as reducing carbon, this project was also designed to tackle the high levels of fuel poverty in the area. In 2019 over 16.8% of Leeds households were classed as being in fuel poverty and the Leeds PIPES plays a tangible part in combatting this by providing access to more affordable heat for council tenants in multi-storey flats.

The project takes 99% of its heat from the Recycling & Energy Recovery Facility (RERF) which means it is not dependent on natural gas. This has allowed the council to shield the connected residents from spiraling energy costs. The first phase of the project saw Vital Energi create two energy centres and connected 1,850 homes as well as the Leeds Playhouse. Phase two saw the network expand into the Leeds Headrow area and connect some of its most iconic civic buildings including: City Museum; Art Gallery; Central Library; Town Hall; St George House; Civic Hall.

The project recently received further Heat Network Investment Project (HNIP) funding which will expand the network by 2,500m. Planned connections include St James’s Hospital and Leeds Combined Court Centre and Leeds Magistrates’ Court.

Find out more about the Leeds PIPES project by visiting the dedicated website.

“I’ve had the heating for the last 2 months. It’s nice and warm and I’m really happy with it. I’m saving money too, before I was paying nearly £200 a month, now I’m saving around £150 a month.”

Said Dirir
Resident, Shakespeare GR