Customer Energy Village

Key Facts

Client: Northern Gas Networks
Sector: Residential
Services: Project Management & Employers Agent
Office: Wakefield

Energy Village Ariel View

Wainwrights have been appointed by Northern Gas Network to act as Project Manager and Employers Agent for the development of their new Energy Village. This innovative development will provide a testing facility to research ways of decarbonising energy use in existing houses.

Known as The Customer Energy Village, this is a truly pioneering project that when complete will be the first of its kind in the world.

The Challenge

Phase 1, a world first, piloted the technology through the design and construction of two new build Hydrogen Powered Houses. Whilst this was an innovative step in the testing of green fuel technology, it was restrictive to one particular house type and only when building from new. The challenge was how this technology could become available to all and be introduced across the UK’s existing housing stock.

The Solution

The answer has been to design and provide a testing facility to see how hydrogen power can work inside domestic properties from different eras. Once complete and in use, it will provide a real-world example of the decarbonisation challenges faced by the UK.

The Village reflects the 85% of homes that have already built in the UK and will still be in use in 2050. It provides a ready-made environment to develop and demonstrate technologies linked to the green economy such as hydrogen ready appliances, hybrid heat pumps etc. all linked to utility infrastructure which enables the latest thinking around smart technologies.

The Project

The project aims to directly answer the challenge of how we retrofit decarbonisation for the millions of existing housing stock in the UK.

The Energy Village consists of several properties from the 19th and 20th Century that are constructed using the specific construction methods of that particular era. The buildings are designed in this way to investigate the suitability and effectiveness of decarbonisation options across the different property types to understand and investigate the future retro fitting of hydrogen power into the UK’s housing stock. The purpose of The Energy Village is to provide a live test bed for specialist engineers to experiment and see how the use of Hydrogen Power would work in a live property, for the testing of boilers, heating systems, cooking appliances etc. The properties will be fed green electricity to underpin the sustainable and green ambitions of the facility, which also has future for scale demonstration of 100% hydrogen for domestic heating and cooking.

At a time of an Energy and Carbon Crisis, The Energy Village will support research and innovation into the energy systems transition, vulnerabilities and new digital technologies, to deliver solutions, skills and growth in support of the UK Governments Net Zero 2050 Strategy.

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