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Side view of PDHU
Information and future plans
PDHU, view from above

Pimlico District Heating Undertaking (PDHU):
Information and future plans

The Pimlico District Heating Undertaking (PDHU) supplies heat to over 3,000 homes across Abbots Manor, Churchill Gardens, Lillington and Longmore and Russell House, as well as  50 commercial premises, 3 schools and a post office. Owned and managed by Westminster City Council, it is the oldest district heating system in the UK. We are now looking at options for updating the system, and want to work closely with residents and businesses.


The PDHU was developed and built in the post-war period to help address poor air quality in Central London, it has been supplying affordable energy to residents for nearly 70 years. Originally, the PDHU made use of waste heat from the nearby Battersea Power Station. The heat was pumped through a tunnel under the Thames and was distributed to the homes within the district.

As the power station has modernised, so too has PDHU. It now produces heat using boilers located in the ‘Pump House’ situated in Churchill Gardens. The network has expanded over the years with almost 5km of underground pipes now transporting heat to homes across Pimlico.

Whilst repairs and improvements have taken place to the system over the years, more extensive works are now needed to ensure all users have a reliable, efficient, affordable and sustainable heating system for years to come.

We are working with specialists to look at a range of options for the future of the system and we are keen to ensure residents are involved every step of the way.  

Future options

The renewal and decarbonisation of PDHU will be a complicated project which will require in depth analysis to ensure we achieve the best long-term value.

The following options are being considered:

  • Refurbish the entire network and retain the existing gas boilers
  • Refurbish the entire network and install a Water Source Heat Pump at Churchill Gardens using the River Thames as a source of heat
  • Split the existing network into 2 separate parts, with Lillington and Longmoore taken off PDHU and provided with its own energy centre (heat source to decided), with all distribution pipework to be upgraded. The retained network would be sourced by a Water Source Heat Pump
  • Split the existing network into 3 separate zones (Churchill Gardens, Abbots Manor and Lillington and Longmoore Gardens) and provide each zone with a low carbon heat source (heat source to be decided)

Due to its age, the existing pipework is likely to need to be replaced under all options to continue providing a reliable source of heat. The project is currently at an early stage and each of the options will be subject to detailed assessment to determine their viability. The project team will also continue to consider other approaches to ensure we identify the best solution for a future network.  

Get involved

We have now launched a dedicated website for our future PDHU plans. If you are interested in finding out more about the plans, how you can get involved and have your say, please visit

The site will be update regularly as our plans progress in the coming months and years. You can also contact the team leading on future plans by emailing them at: [email protected].

The first PDHU newsletter for residents of Abbots Manor, Churchill Gardens, Lillington & Longmoore and Russell House was published in March 2024. Download a copy of the newsletter below.

PDHU Newsletter - March 2024 PDF, 950.31 KB, 3 pages