New Devon public sector energy company launched

Posted on: 13 December 2016

A pioneering new energy company, designed to deliver more efficient heat and power in Devon, has been launched.

Dextco, whose shareholders comprise of Devon County Council, The RD&E, the University of Exeter, Exeter City Council and Teignbridge District Council, will develop ground-breaking sustainable projects.

The aim is to provide environmentally-friendly energy to homes and businesses across Exeter and the surrounding area.

Plans are already underway for Dextco’s first project, a revolutionary new ‘heating’ network.

Heat will be generated from a central hub based at the RD&E’s Wonford Hospital to be distributed to consumers across the city.

Feasibility studies for the project, which would increase energy efficiency, reduce heating costs and lower carbon emissions,   confirm that the scheme is achievable.

The project follows the recent success of Cranbrook and Skypark’s award winning district heating scheme,

Dextco is the first specifically City-based energy company since The Exeter Electric Light Company almost 70 years ago, and future projects include distributing heat from the Marsh Barton Energy Recovery Facility.

These schemes are now looking to attract further funding available from central government through national initiatives encouraging the roll out of heat networks in the UK.

Over the coming months Dextco will lead the procurement of a private sector partner. If this process is successful building work could start at the RD&E in 2018.

The Hospital and the University value both the cost savings and carbon dioxide emission savings which will be achieved by connecting to the heat network.

Councillor Andrew Leadbetter, Cabinet Member for Economy, Growth & Cllr Andrew Leadbetter2Cabinet Liason for Exeter said:

“Dextco is a win-win for everybody in the county. It will deliver low carbon energy projects, encourage inward investment, drive growth in the local economy, create skilled jobs and provide secure, low carbon energy at a competitive, transparent price.

“I welcome the formation of a new board and look forward to working closely with board members in the future.”

Dave Tarbet, the RD&E’s Development Director said:

“The heat network will enable the Wonford site to generate most of the electricity it uses on site which will help cut our energy costs and carbon dioxide emissions providing more resource for patient care.”

The Dextco Board of Directors will oversee the work of the company and is made up of: Dave Tarbet (Business Development Director) for RD&E, Phil Attwell (Director of Campus Services) for the University of Exeter, Howard Smith (Principal Project Manager) for Exeter City Council, Mel Sealey (Strategic Development and Infrastructure Manager) for Devon County Council, and Phil Shears (Deputy Chief Executive) for Teignbridge District Council.

6 comments on “New Devon public sector energy company launched

  1. Gill Wyatt says:

    This project is an excellent step forward for Exeter and all at Exeter Community Energy (ECOE) wish it every success. However, although ECOE’s projects are of a completely different scale – eight solar rooftop installations totalling 400 kWp – ECOE is the first city-based energy company for 70 years.

    ECOE, a social enterprise, run as a cooperative was established in 2014 to establish community-owned renewable energy projects across the city that would provide low-cost solar energy to the buildings. The income generated would finance a community fund for local energy projects to help with fuel poverty, pay a fair rate of return to the community shareholders and cover ECOE’s organisational costs.

    Our first installations at Shillingford Organics, Wonford Community and Learning Centre, Exeter Library and Great Moor House were all completed a year ago and then in September further installations were added at Exeter College, Pinhoe Road Baptist Church, Glasshouse Lane Medical Centre and the Beehive Community Complex.

  2. Dr George Watson says:

    What a great idea and I wish the scheme total success, but would it not be useful and democratic, to match the growing recognition of the importance of wider participation, for one of the Directors to be drawn from a household consumer?

  3. Mrs C A Bright says:


  4. David H says:

    Will it be of benefit for all homes in Devon and how will it work

  5. Mary J Chesney says:

    Well done. Just make sure any private company does not take over.

  6. Roger Hallett says:

    Cllr Andrew Leadbetter states that the Dexto development is a ‘win-win for everyone in the county’. How does it help those of us living in south-west Devon, a long way from Exeter? I can well understand that it will help those living in or near Exeter.

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