Energy Accelerator

The LEP’s Energy Accelerator was an innovative programme designed to help low carbon and energy efficient projects become a reality where they may otherwise not have been completed due to a lack of capacity, expertise and funding.

The Energy Accelerator is the only programme of its kind anywhere in the UK and is funded by the Leeds City Region Growth Deal and the European Investment Bank’s European Local Energy Assistance (ELENA) programme.

It offered support and funding for low-carbon projects in Leeds City Region, enabling at least £120 million worth of capital investment and helping the City Region achieve our aim of being a net zero carbon economy by 2038 at the latest.

It also provided technical, commercial and legal services to the public, private, academic and community sectors to develop low carbon projects in four key sectors:

  • the installation of commercial and domestic retrofit technologies onto buildings that will improve energy efficiency, decrease energy demand and/or use renewable energy
  • integration of renewable energy sources into buildings such as solar thermal collectors and biomass
  • upgrading street lighting and traffic signals
  • renovating, extending or building new district heat and cooling networks using renewable heat sources to reduce carbon emissions and increase carbon efficiency.

Project overview


Project Lead West Yorkshire Combined Authority
District / Area Leeds City Region

3.5 million Euro from European Investment Bank

Project Status Activity 7: Closed
Start and end dates September 2018 – August 2021
Delivery partners None
Other funders

£0.820 million Leeds City Region Growth Fund

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Eligibility criteria

  • Minimum project value of £150,000
    (if less, projects could potentially be aggregated with other similar smaller projects)
  • Must reach Point of Delivery 31st July 2021
  • Every £1 of Energy Accelerator support must leverage at least £20 capital investment

Case studies

Beckfoot Trust: Energy Efficiency Retrofit (Energy Efficiency)

The Beckfoot Trust is comprised of a number of primary, secondary and special educational need schools in Bradford. The Trust uses a total of over 13.5 million KWh of gas and electricity per year and aims to significantly reduce its running costs for its buildings by implementing a range of energy conservation measures to improve energy efficiency, reduce carbon emissions and save money. The retrofit measures are expected to save 1.38 GWh of energy, 300 tonnes of CO2 and £95,000 per year.


Leeds Pipes Phase 2

Building one the first phase of the Leeds Pipes district heat network, the second phase will provide low cost, low carbon heat to the city centre including Leeds Museum, Leeds Town Hall and the Civic Hall.


Bradford City Council: Street Lighting Replacement

This project is an upgrade of the district's street lights to new smart LED technology which will deliver significant energy, environmental and financial benefits. The project will deliver the replacement of over 59,000 lights and replacement of 17,000 lampposts and will reduce power consumption by 65%, and carbon emissions by at least 4,720 tonnes per year.

The new LED lighting will provide better illumination than traditional street lights, making it safer for cyclists, drivers and pedestrians and controlled by a Central Management System (CMS) that will allow the Council to dim, and switch off individual/groups of lights. An expected savings of £2 million is expected to be made in energy costs per year.

York Teaching Hospitals Solar Car Park

Phase one of this project consists of installing electric car chargers as part of the Hospital Trust’s plan to install a rapid charging infrastructure, that is estimated to reduce 65 tonnes of CO2 per annum and encourage visitors and staff to use less polluting vehicles and improve air quality.


Leeds City Council Building Portfolio Energy Efficiency Measure

Leeds City Council are seeking to carry out detailed energy audits at seven Council owned sites, from the Energy Accelerator. The scope of this project will provide the Council a comprehensive view of current energy efficiency measures of the identified buildings by assessing each property’s current carbon footprint and reviewing the building operability amongst other technical checks.

Given the Council’s recent declaration of a Climate Emergency, the energy audits will include renewables solutions where possible to assist with achieving its commitment to carbon neutrality by 2030 and include suggestions of measures of how renewable / clean tech energy sources can be implemented into the buildings.

This project is expected to provide an estimated energy savings of 466 tonnes of carbon per year and expected savings of £161,000 per year.

This page was last updated in Q1 2022/2023

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