The Association for Decentralised Energy’s annual awards recognises and celebrates the people and projects in the sector which have developed truly innovative solutions designed around the needs of the user. The awards showcase innovation, best practice and notable achievements across heat, efficiency, power and flexibility. The winners will be announced at the ADE’s annual gala dinner, hosted every year at the Hurlingham Club in central London on Wednesday 14th June 2023.

We are delighted to announce that FairHeat has been shortlisted in the Decentralised Energy Awards 2023 for two awards.

Shortlist 1: Enabler Award – FairHeat Technical Specifications

FairHeat Technical Specifications have been shortlisted for the Enabler award, which recognises innovative projects, research, and solutions that promote collaborative working, impactful journeys, modern outlook, excellent customer outcomes, and meaningful contributions to the just energy transition. The Technical Specifications have been developed over the past five years to standardise the approach to high-performing heat networks and have been adopted by multiple developers and ESCOs in the UK.

The Technical Specifications include three supplements: Energy Strategy Supplement, Design Supplement, and Contractor Supplement. The Energy Strategy Supplement provides a framework for undertaking Energy Strategies using low-temperature heat networks, setting out a clear, risk-based decision process on how to design central generation plant to deliver compliance while de-risking its technical complexity and lifecycle costs. The Design Supplement, used by over 20 housing developers, influences the design and specification of over 30,000 homes on heat networks every year. It has resulted in improved resident outcomes and network performance. The Contractor Supplement supports stakeholders throughout the design, construction, commissioning, and handover phases to ensure that specification is met, performance outcomes are achieved, and both capital and lifetime operating costs of heat networks are minimised.

FairHeat’s Technical Specifications are regularly assessed and updated according to the latest research and innovations. Multiple sections of the Technical Specifications have now been implemented as industry standards, such as Acceptance Testing and lowering domestic hot water temperatures and optimising delivery times.

The team collaborated with multiple house builders across private/public sectors as well as ESCOs to develop the Technical Specifications. All of the supplements are based on client-specific decisions regarding technology, resident experience, and performance requirements, the impacts of which are discussed during a series of technical workshops allowing for informed and aligned decisions.

FairHeat believes the industry’s sustainability goals can only be achieved if all stakeholders work together. FairHeat’s commitment to sustainability and raising industry standards is evident in their approach to stakeholder engagement, research projects, and industry engagements.

Gareth Jones, Managing Director at FairHeat, comments:

“One of the key issues in the industry is that there becomes embedded ways of doing things, often based on old paradigms and standards, that are no longer fit for purpose, but which continue as industry norms. It can be really hard to overcome the inertia in the industry. To do that, we must to bring together a critical mass of stakeholders, build the case for change, supported by research to convince them intellectually, then drive quickly through to actual implementation. What this does is makes it that people get why they need to change, can understand the technical basis for what is being proposed, and then can actually see that it works and it’s ok to make that first step. This was the exact challenge faced when FairHeat initiated the BESA HIU Steering committee. Fast-forward a few years, the revised technical note produced was the genesis for the CIBSE DHW Guidance note and refenced extensively in the CP1 Heat Networks: Code of Practice for the UK (2020)”

Gareth Jones, Managing Director at FairHeat

FairHeat have received very positive feedback from clients regarding implantation of all three of FairHeat’s Technical Supplements. For example, Selene Molina, Head of Engineering at Vattenfall, commented:

“FairHeat’s support validating and setting our District Heating standards has been priceless. Every member of the team we have worked with has gone the extra mile to answer our questions and generate healthy debate. We are looking forward to continuing working together.”

Selene Molina, Head of Engineering at Vattenfall

Talking to the impact of the FairHeat innovations in testing processes, Tessa Barraclough, Head of Technical at One Housing Group, said:

“The Contractor Supplement allows us to drive the conversation with consultants and partners and sets out our technical requirements in a way that is clear for us to track in, and we firmly believe will deliver a better system for us and our residents. The tools, processes and checklists FairHeat have provided under this specification facilitate greater focus on Quality Assurance and give greater transparency to our contractors on what to expect when delivering our networks.”

Tessa Barraclough, Head of Technical at One Housing Group
HNES Capital Works

In conclusion, the FairHeat Technical Specifications has revolutionised the approach to specification, design and construction of heat networks. The tools, processes and checklists FairHeat have provided under the FairHeat Technical Specifications facilitate greater focus on Quality Assurance and give better transparency to housing developers and contractors on what to expect when delivering networks. Furthermore, by sharing the knowledge of FairHeat’s Technical Standards with the industry, FairHeat have contributed to upskilling the supply chain and improving the skills gap; which is essential to the UK’s 2050 Net Zero Carbon goal.

Shortlist 2: Rising Star Award – Lucy Sherburn

Lucy Sherburn, Consulting Engineer at FairHeat, has been nominated for the Rising Star award in 2023. The award recognises individuals who have shown outstanding talent, vision, and drive in their field and have already made a significant impact. Lucy has been with FairHeat for just three years and has already established her presence and influence in the industry.

Lucy’s role at FairHeat involves working on the design and operation of new-build heat networks to deliver cost and energy-saving improvements. In just three years, she has worked on over 25 heat network projects and has excelled in every engagement. She has grown from a fresh, keen Graduate Engineer to an experienced Consulting Engineer who is now championing heat networks.

During her graduate programme at FairHeat, Lucy completed many high-standard research projects that have contributed to and changed the company’s processes. For example, she carried out a review of optimal plate heat exchanger sizing for heat networks, which is now used as a standard in FairHeat’s design guidance.

In 2021, Lucy was awarded the CIBSE ASHRAE Graduate of the Year Award, recognising her innovative thinking, hard work and skills as a graduate engineer. Through this opportunity, Lucy attended the ASHRAE winter conference in Las Vegas, where she presented on inspiring future generations into the industry. She was also invited to present at ASHRAE Building Decarbonisation conference in Athens on how hybrid heat networks can help decarbonise dense urban environments.

Lucy is an active member of the industry, contributing her time, experience, and knowledge to various technical and networking groups, including CIBSE YEPG committee member (webmaster), BESA National Conference, and STEM Ambassador. She manages to combine strong technical ability with excellent communication skills, making her a valuable asset to the industry.

Although she is still relatively new in her career, Lucy has had an impact across an impressively diverse range of projects, from managing complex delivery projects to taking the lead on developing technical standards in certain key areas, through to providing support to industry initiatives, such as the BESA HIU Test Regime. Her engagement with the wider industry has also been impressive, as a champion for heat networks, young engineers, and women engineers.

In 2022, FairHeat was appointed by BEIS as ‘Technical Author’ for the Heat Network Technical Assurance Scheme (HNTAS) working to develop a technical quality assurance scheme for heat networks, which will form part of regulatory requirements in the future. Lucy is part of the delivery team, leading on the technical stream of the project, which is determining the technical requirements and performance indicators in relation to the network and work done designing, building, commissioning, operating, and maintaining the network.

Lucy’s determination and dedication to contributing to a better future for the UK Heat Network industry is exemplary. She is a true rising star and a role model for young engineers, particularly women in the industry. It’s great to have individuals like Lucy making a significant impact in their field, and we wish her all the best in her future endeavours.