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Jersey Opera House redevelopment (FOI)

Jersey Opera House redevelopment (FOI)

Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by Government of Jersey and published on 01 March 2023.
Prepared internally, no external costs.


With reference to the following article which quotes:

Jersey's Minister for Culture, Deputy Kirsten Morel says: "This planning application is an important milestone for the redevelopment of Jersey Opera House. The plans demonstrate that once the refurbishment is complete we will have a fit-for-purpose, state-of-the-art facility long into the future.

'Flagship' plans to restore Jersey Opera House while preserving historic features unveiled (ITV News Channel)

In respect of the approved Carbon Neutral Roadmap please advise:


What fuel type is proposed for the space and water heating to the refurbished Opera House?


If the proposals are to use fossil fuels, then please explain the reasons for doing so, as the Government of Jersey  should lead by example and transition to low-carbon heating systems as mentioned within the Carbon Neutral Roadmap.


If using fossil fuels, then please advise the age and condition of the current systems, when they may require replacing together with the approximate cost of doing so, on a like for like basis at today’s prices and who will be responsible for these costs.


If converting to low-carbon space and water heating in the future, then consideration must be given to all equipment that will need replacing to allow low-carbon fuel usage and should be reflected in costs at today’s prices. Note: This calculation should have already have been carried out as part of your proposals, therefore, please confirm it has been considered and publish the expected costs to convert to low-carbon space and water heating.


Are there to be any renewable systems installed, for example heat pumps, solar Photovoltaic and so on and if so to what percentage capacity of the entire systems?


What low energy measures are being proposed and how will they be managed?



The existing primary heating fuel is gas. Space and water heating is derived from two gas fired boilers. While this will be maintained, consideration is being given to compartmentalise certain areas of the building to use alternative fuel supplies.


The current project budget addresses maintenance in connection to the existing gas fired heating system. Opportunities are being considered, within agreed budget, to compartmentalise certain areas of the building to use alternative fuel supplies.

Systems date from 1998/99 (c.24 years old). Due to other Government pressing issues since then, fixed Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing (MEP) services in the building have not been maintained as well as would have been liked. Parts have been replaced where components have failed. Some pipework and ductwork should have another 15 to 20 years life. Other components (pumps, plate heat exchangers, some controls and valves, air handling plant) are coming towards the end of their expected life and will be factored into the ongoing capital maintenance cost that formed part of the agreed business case for the refurbishment of the building.

The current cost plan includes for maintaining operation of the existing systems, with some component replacement and rewiring provided.

Where systems and components are considered for full replacement (rather than just maintained operational), they will need to comply with current bye laws and brought up to current standards. There may be instances where ‘like for like’ replacement may not be recommended and upgrading of some systems as described in the Decarbonising Budget Cost should be considered by the Jersey Opera House Refurbishment Project Board through normal value engineering processes.

The Jersey Opera House Refurbishment Project Board is considering all options to decarbonise much of the space and water heating and reduce dependence on the gas fired boiler system, within agreed overall budget, including compartmentalising certain areas of the building to use alternative fuel supplies.

Works to improve the building fabric is also being considered as part of decarbonising measures. This may be difficult to achieve in many areas, as much of the building is listed and this element of work requires a costing exercise to establish likely costs and benefit in connection.

The Jersey Opera House Refurbishment Project Board will continue to consider any practical and reasonable alternative to existing energy systems, as part of the value engineering process, within existing agreed budget.

In terms of renewable systems, there are no south facing roof pitches on the building to maximise use of a Photovoltaic (PV) panel system. Mounting PV panels on North East and South West pitches is possible, but the cost benefit analysis is not justified.

Opportunities are being considered, within agreed budget, to compartmentalise certain areas of the building to use alternative fuel supplies. For instance, consideration is being given to have standalone electric water and heating systems in the green rooms and shower facilities. A management plan will be put in place once a final decision has been made. 

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