Skip to content
Northern Powerhouse European Union

£9.4m to expand heat networks

The Department of Energy and Climate Change has revealed £9.4 million of new funding to develop low carbon heat networks across the UK.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has revealed £9.4 million of new funding to develop low carbon heat networks across the UK.
 
The funding is separated into two different schemes for local authorities and developers, with the aim of exploring opportunities for new heat networks and technologies.
 
Heat networks, also known as district heating, involve generating heat at a central source and then sharing it between buildings through insulated pipes, resulting in lower energy costs and carbon emissions than traditional isolated heating systems.
 
Local authorities
 
£2.4 million is being offered to 32 local authorities across England and Wales to support the development of investment-grade proposals for local heat network projects.
 
The funding is being delivered through the Government’s Heat Network Delivery Unit (HNDU), which was launched in September last year with initial funding of £7 million.
 
Among the successful local authorities in the North West are Bury Council, Chester West and Chester Council, Lancashire County Council and Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council. 
 
Developers
 
In a separate scheme, £7 million is being made available for developers across the UK to test and develop new heat network technologies, such as recovering industrial heat or energy from waste.
 
The aim of the new Heat Networks Demonstration Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) is to drive forward innovation by helping businesses to create new technologies that can address the cost and performance efficiency challenges related to heat networks.
 
The competition for the scheme opened on 2 October, with proposals accepted until 28 November.
 
‘Drive down bills’
 
Ed Davey, energy and climate change secretary, said: “Recovering waste heat from industrial plants or landfill sites means we can heat our homes and businesses more efficiently, as well as helping to drive down energy bills.
 
“Improving the way we heat our buildings and helping local authorities to fund innovative and more efficient ways of supplying lower carbon heat will also reduce our dependency on costly, imported gas”, he added.
 
DECC estimates that around 15 per cent of UK heat demand could be cost effectively met by heat networks by 2030, with over 2,000 networks currently in operation across the country.