energy centre district heating network - Exeter and East Devon Growth Point

Energy Centre District Heating Network


The purpose of the Energy Centre is to provide the developments of Cranbrook and Skypark with a sustainable and reliable energy source that provides cost-effective and lower carbon heating to the residents and businesses who live and work there. 

  • Community energy schemes such as Cranbrook give residents a cost-effective and lower carbon way of heating their homes;
  • E.ON's energy centre will save 13,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year for the 2,900 homes built in the first phase - that's the equivalent of removing 5,200 cars from the road;
  • By bringing together five developers and the private and public sector we can look at housing, transport and employment opportunities across the whole of this new community - working towards the UK's 2020 climate change goals.


  •   Skypark is a new business park in east Devon and is located north of Exeter International Airport to the East of the M5 off Junction 29, near the small village of Clyst Honiton.
  • The Cranbrook Community is a new housing development located approximately one kilometer to the Northeast of Exeter Airport.
  • The Energy Centre is located on land at Skypark.


  •  Devon County Council, The Growth Point, Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), South West Regional Development Agency, St. Modwen, E.ON.


  • 3,500 residential units and a 1.4 million sq ft business park of commercial and retail units, a 107 acre Skypark, all connected to a district heating network via an Energy Centre, which can run on either gas or biomass.

Predicted investment value:

  • £210 million for the complete Skypark Development

Expected date of completion:      

  •   The District Heating Network and Energy Centre is operational and supplying both Cranbrook and Skypark with heat and hot water.

Job creation:                                

  • 6,500 jobs to be created at the Skypark business centre


  District Heating NetworkDistrict Heating Network




Cranbrook is the first mass open market low carbon development in the country, with a single energy centre providing heat and hot water through a district heating network to all residents.

The energy centre, constructed and managed by E.ON, is generating heat and hot water through its own combined heat and power (CHP) units and supplementary boilers.

The energy centre is located on the £120 million Skypark development and is supplying both the new community of Cranbrook and the Skypark business development, significantly reducing emissions across both and helping them reach higher standards of sustainability. 

Alongside the lower carbon heating solution, renewable microgeneration technologies can be added to the Cranbrook and Skypark properties to further meet low carbon targets in the future.


E.ON is responsible for the design and operation of the energy centre and the heat distribution network, including heat interface Units that will pipe heat into the individual homes and commercial premises.

The low carbon heat source will change as the developments grow; initially gas fired boilers being supplemented by by  gas-fired combined heat and power (CHP) and later by biomass CHP with. 

The energy system will provide heat and hot water to customers 24 hours-a-day, 365 days-a-year. 

The anticipated peak heat demand of the entire development is 16MWth, however the system will be designed to 19MWth giving an additional tolerance for changes in heat loads throughout the development process.

The building is now complete, for more information click here.

Phase One

Cranbrook has over 750 occupied homes in the first phase of construction and work is well underway on phase two of the new community, specifically the main road and the education campus.

Updated 31/10/14