Sutton council could become first in UK to adopt unique waste burning scheme in Beddington
A unique plan to create cheap heat from rotting rubbish moved a step closer this week when councillors agreed to form a task force to consider whether to invest in a heat network for the local area.
The scheme, a UK first, involves capturing heat from engines that convert methane into electricity at the Beddington Lane landfill site and piping it as hot water to nearby homes and businesses.
According to Sutton Council residents could save as much as £200 a year if they sign up to the network.
Should the council invest in the scheme it would use any profits to expand the network and help address issues of fuel poverty and fuel security.
Councillor Colin Hall, deputy leader of the council, said: "This is a very, very exciting project which could bring real benefits to residents.
"With savings of up to £200 a year it would be a significant step in tackling fuel poverty which is a growing concern. Only last week consumers were warned of yet another wave of energy price rises from traditional energy providers.
"The project could also bring hundreds of jobs to the area. Firstly, in construction of the network and secondly in the complementary energy conservation work we would promote.
"There would also be significant environmental benefits as we would use less fossil-fuels for energy production - enabling us to move a big step closer to becoming zero carbon."
Currently methane generated at the landfill site is burnt to produce electricity but the heat from that process is allowed to escape to the atmosphere.
The homes and businesses in the Felnex development would be the first to benefit but many others could be added as the network is extended beyond Hackbridge to St Helier, Beddington and beyond.
If the scheme is given the go ahead it could be up and running by the time the first residents move into the new Felnex development in two years' time.