More than 700 homes in Sutton will soon have low-carbon heat and hot water pumped in via a network of underground pipes.

The Sutton Decentralised Energy Network (SDEN) will capture heat from the newly built Energy Recovery Facility (ERF) and existing landfill gas engines in Beddington, which will then be transported in highly insulated pipes to provide low-carbon heat and hot water to the affected buildings.

This is all part of Sutton Council's plan to reduce the borough’s environmental footprint.

Councillor Jayne McCoy said this was a "huge step" towards making Sutton a zero-carbon borough.

"Unlike other decentralised energy networks, we are not using fossil-fuels powering high-efficiency energy plants, but instead capturing low carbon heat from an independent source," she said.

"That heat is then being delivered through our own pipes to an independent developer.

“This is a unique arrangement, requiring a mutual commitment to delivering renewable energy with Sutton Council as the key facilitator and investor."

The first phase is set to go live later this year and will initially supply energy to around 725 homes, a care home and a supermarket at the new New Mill Quarter in Hackbridge – a David Wilson Homes and Barratt London development.

Paul Kitchingman, operations director for David Wilson Homes, said these this project came at a crucial time.

“There has never been a more crucial time to find sustainable energy sources and we are pleased to work with Sutton Council and SDEN to use this important, innovative scheme," he said.

“We’re proud of our efforts to create a sustainable new community at New Mill Quarter, and hope that the work contributes to the reduction of carbon emissions and supports the borough councils ‘One Planet’ initiative.”