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Exeter Energy Recovery Facility (ERF)

Plans have been unveiled for a new energy efficient heating network, powered by waste, which will cut the emissions produced by a new housing development by up to 70%.

This £23m initiative is being backed by Teignbridge District Council, Exeter City Council and Devon County Council. The low-carbon heat will be produced from unrecyclable waste in the nearby Viridor Exeter Energy Recovery Facility (ERF) which is put to work to generate heat and power. When compared to natural-gas boilers, this heating system will provide at least 2,500 tonnes of carbon savings per year. It is five times more energy efficient to directly export heat from the ERF than it is to use the heat to generate electricity.

These plans respond to the idea from many of you through our ‘Call for Evidence’ to make use of the heat produced by the ERF.

May 2021 Update: The housing developers involved in the South West Exeter development have concluded that it is not viable for them to connect the homes to district heating, despite funding of £3,000 per property from the local authorities.

How is this helping Devon reach net-zero?

Action 1.7: Appraise the potential for low carbon heat networks in new development to make best use of existing heat producers e.g. the Energy from Waste facility in Exeter, and as a retrofit opportunity in off-gas areas.

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