The proposed district heating network would make a significant contribution to the achievement of net-zero for Bradford, and to the achievement of Bradford City Council’s sustainable development goals. It is estimated that the BEN could reduce emissions in Bradford by approximately 8,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e) per year in phase one. Local air quality would be significantly improved by reducing the emissions generated by buildings on the district heating network by around 85-90%.

District heating provides the most economical option available for decarbonising heating in Bradford, for the Council and the private sector, with costs being around 30% cheaper than the most economical alternative zero-carbon heating option available. This means that Bradford can achieve decarbonisation cheaper with the BEN, benefiting Bradford businesses, communities and citizens.

By providing this alternative heating method, and by offering a secure, local, heating source, Bradford can improve competitiveness to make the city more attractive to employers and to secure inward investment – boosting clean growth. The BEN will speed up the pace of decarbonisation as it is the simplest method of securing low carbon heating for buildings. BEL does almost all the work to connect the buildings to the BEN, and the method of connection is simple (alternate methods require each building owner to figure out how to decarbonise their building themselves).

The BEN will enable developers to meet the building regulations and local planning conditions at a lower cost, making it more attractive to build developments in Bradford than in other cities that do not have district heating.

The network would become a major pillar of Bradford as a ‘smart energy’ city, engaging developers, stimulating inward investment and enabling regeneration and would demonstrate Bradford’s credentials as the country’s leading clean growth district. The benefits of the BEN are also likely to prove attractive to potential new employers looking for an effective way to procure clean, reliable and cost-effective heating.

It is intended that apprenticeships would be created during the delivery and operations phases to deliver new skills into Bradford, and it is also intended that local jobs would be created during the construction and delivery phases.