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Decentralised energy

Decentralised energy (DE) or district heating is a method of providing heating and hot water in a more cost-effective and sustainable manner, reducing fuel poverty and environmental impact, as well as improving energy security. The council is committed to promoting decentralised energy directly through its own heat networks and also by encouraging its expansion through the planning system.

Connection guidance

Islington’s Core Strategy and other Local Development Framework (LDF) documents strengthen London Plan policies to promote DE in the borough. The Council are committed to working with partners to promote and develop DE networks, with a particular focus on areas of the borough with the greatest potential for networks. Existing networks will be protected and their expansion supported. All development will be required to contribute to the development of DE networks, including by connecting to them where there is one in proximity to the development.

In order to assist with this process, we have produced guidance for developers, building owners and building service designers on connecting to heat networks:

Existing DE networks

The London Heat Map provides information on existing and potential heat demands, supplies and networks across London. There are several networks already operating in the borough, including:

Bunhill Heat and Power is located in the south of the borough. It provides heat to around 1,200 homes, two leisure centres and a school through a mixture of gas CHP and heat pump recovering heat from the London Underground. The network and energy centres are wholly owned and operated by Islington Council. For further information, please see a map of the network or email

The Citigen Heating and Cooling Network is located on the southern boundary of the Islington. The scheme serves numerous City of London buildings including the Guildhall, the Barbican Arts Centre, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, the Museum of London and London Central Markets (Smithfield) as well as other major commercial customers. It produces heat and chilled water that is delivered to premises.

The King’s Cross Heat Network is located in Camden, on the west boundary of Islington. As part of the King’s Cross Central Development, a district heating system was installed to serve every building at the site. An Energy Services Company (ESCO), Metropolitan King’s Cross Limited (MKC), was created as the vehicle to design, finance, install, operate and maintain the low carbon heating system for King’s Cross Central. 

The Shoreditch Heat Network is located in Hackney, to the south east of the Islington. It is a combined heat and power system that will initially serve 464 dwellings across three housing estates - Wenlock Barn, Cranston and Fairbank.

Future DE networks

Since creating its first decentralised energy strategy in 2010, the Council has carried out several studies on the feasibility of new heat networks in different parts of the borough. The 2014 Energy Master Plan identifies areas where there is a high opportunity for district heating networks to be developed or for connection to existing networks.

Email for more information

Find out more on latest heat network GreenSCIES.

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