Orchard Village - London Borough of Havering


SSE Utility Solutions has been awarded a prestigious contract to own and operate a district heating scheme for a major urban renewal project in the London Borough of Havering.

The new housing accommodation comprises high quality, low rise units and replaces decaying tower blocks. Every home is provided with energy efficient heat and hot water via an on-site Energy Centre.

Working with our client, Old Ford Housing Association, part of Circle Anglia, one of the UK's leading providers of affordable housing, we are delivering a solution which provides multiple benefits to residents. Less energy is required for heating, prices are competitive with traditional gas supply and with remotely accessed meters residents only pay for useful heat.

The Project Scope

Mardyke Estate, in the London Borough of Havering, was built in the 1960s, to help serve the nearby Ford Dagenham factory. However, as local employment opportunities decreased, the estate experienced some of the highest levels of social deprivation in London. The fortunes of the estate are now changing, following the residents’ decision to transfer to Old Ford Housing Association. The residents renamed the estate “Orchard Village” to symbolise the fresh start which the regeneration work has created and to reflect the positive elements of the area’s heritage.

Construction began following demolition of the old tower blocks. Phase one of the £80M regeneration project involves 121 new residential units in three high quality low-rise blocks. A further three phases will bring the total size of the estate to 555 new dwellings, which will include 1, 2, 3 and 4 bedroom homes. The first residents moved in to their new homes in February 2011.

The Technology Solution

SSE Utility Solutions has provided design-input for an on-site Energy Centre with a district heating network that provides low carbon heat directly to residents of Orchard Village. The Energy Centre is equipped with two 1300kW boiler units to provide residents with heat and hot water.

As the development progresses, a 310kWe Combined Heat and Power unit and an additional boiler will be installed. This solution will reduce the development’s carbon footprint by 20% over conventional gas and electric equivalents.

SSE has signed a contract with Old Ford Housing Association, to adopt the newly constructed Energy Centre and district heating network on the site and provide long term operation, maintenance and provision of full customer service for heat customers. As part of the agreement, SSE has provided design input and supervised installation of the Energy Centre and heat network to ensure that it meets required adoption criteria which minimises life cycle costs. SSE has also made a capital contribution to the cost of the scheme as part of the adoption of the infrastructure.

The Future

SSE Utility Solutions is responsible for operating and maintaining the Energy Centre and networks, up to and including the individual Hydraulic Interface Units (HIUs) and heat meters within each dwelling. As part of our ongoing commitment to this project, SSE will also be responsible for billing each resident for their heat usage, as well as maintaining the new SMART meters, HIUs and Energy Centre for the 25 year contract duration. Residents are assured of top-quality, reliable service and support from our award-winning customer service teams that manage over ten million energy and phone accounts in the UK. Moreover, SSE delivers heat prices that provide reliable savings over traditional heat from individual gas boilers.

SSE is committed to long-term involvement in the Orchard Village community, with a hands-on approach, and participation in resident discussions, training sessions and other local events.

Why SSE Utility Solutions:

  • financial investment
  • financial backing of the SSE Group - a FTSE 100 company
  • flexible contracting approach - we can design and build assets or adopt assets built by others
  • award winning customer service including guaranteed standards of performance for customers
  • a reputation for transparency and openness in our approach
  • responsibility for risks including energy prices, customer debt and heat demands following our due diligence
  • pride in delivering on time and to budget