11,000 residents to benefit from Heat Network Efficiency Scheme funding

£13.7 million has been awarded to local authorities, housing associations and private sector applicants in the first funding round of the Heat Network Efficiency Scheme (HNES).

Nearly £13 million will go to 24 projects to directly improve the efficiencies of heat networks serving over 4,000 residents.

Another £640,000 worth of funding has been awarded to optimisation studies to review the performance of their heat networks, identifying areas of improvement to ensure high performance and maximum efficiency. This funding will contribute to improving the efficiency levels of 31 separate heat networks, serving over 7,000 residents. 

Heat networks (aka district heating) supply heat from a central source to consumers, via a network of underground pipes carrying hot water. Heat networks can cover a large area or even an entire city, or be fairly local supplying a small cluster of buildings.

For example, Revenue Grant Funding was awarded to Leicester City Council’s District Energy Scheme, which serves almost 3,000 residents while another beneficiary was the private sector Williams Building heat network, which serves 10 residents.

Lord Callanan, Minister for Energy Efficiency and Green Finance, said: ’Families and businesses shouldn’t have to worry about whether they will receive a reliable heating and hot water supply. 

‘This funding means improvements will be made to old and inefficient heat networks, preventing further breakdowns and ensuring they use less energy. 

‘We’re investing millions to build new heat networks, reducing emissions and providing low-cost heating to communities across the country. But it’s equally important we upgrade and maintain existing systems so everyone benefits. 

The Heat Network Efficiency Scheme (HNES), which opened in February this year, forms part of the current support for heat networks, which includes the £288m Green Heat Network Fund. This supports the creation of heat network projects that use a low carbon heating source, such as heat pumps, solar or geothermal energy, to provide heat and hot water to connected homes and businesses.  

Projects to receive funding today include: 

  • Leeds City Council, which will receive more than £2.2 million to improve the efficiency of heat networks serving 837 residents through improving insulation levels, reducing heat losses and leakages; 
  • Great Places Housing Association, which has been awarded more than £1.6 million to improve the efficiency of the Richmond Park heat network in Sheffield, serving 299 residents. The funding will seek to correct high heat loss issues, bad insulation and old equipment; and
  • The Guinness Partnership, which has been awarded £2 million for the improvement of four heat networks serving almost 700 residents across sites in Aylesbury, Stockport, Gloucester, and Brixton. The funding will go towards reducing heat network costs and heat losses, improving insulation, and replacing outdated infrastructure. 


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