£32m UK heat networks fund approved

Existing systems in England and Wales will be eligible for grants to upgrade and improve, bringing down energy costs and emissions. 

Overall, the UK Government’s Heat Network Efficiency Scheme could help more than 100,000 homes save money and lower their environmental impact. 

gold pipes

Across both countries, some infrastructure hasn’t been replaced or updated for more than 40 years, leading to inefficiencies. Meanwhile, rapid advancements in technology during that time also mean even networks that are functioning properly are now outdated. 

Replacement kit set to be installed including new pumps, pipe insulation, underfloor heating controls, and advanced data monitoring systems. The latter will ensure ongoing checks can easily be carried out to ascertain whether networks are performing correctly. Full details can be found here.

‘At Heat Trust we sadly hear of far too many examples of inefficient and poorly performing heat networks. These can result in much higher energy costs for residents, overheating corridors and frequent breakdowns,’ said Stephen Knight, Director at Heat Trust.

‘The rise in gas prices over the last year has meant that inefficient heat networks are now expensive for residents. The Heat Network Efficiency Scheme is therefore an important step in the right direction, and I would urge all those responsible for running heat networks to consider bidding for funding,’ he continued.

Applications are now open to public sector organisations, including NHS trusts, universities and government departments, and private sector organisations registered as companies which submit annual accounts. Third sector organisations such as registered charities and community investment companies that submit annual accounts are also eligible.

‘[We welcome] this extra funding to upgrade existing heat networks which are often inefficient resulting in increased CO2 emissions and higher bills for households,’ said Cara Jenkinson, Cities Manager at London-based climate solutions charity Ashden. ‘Households on heat networks have not received the same support on their energy bills as those with individual heating, so help to improve efficiency is overdue.’

Ashden is currently calling on submissions to its 2023 Ashden Awards, celebrating the best in UK sustainable energy and development. Previous winner, Guru Systems, harnesses smart technology to capture and analyse heat network data, and has led to reductions in energy use by up to 50%.

Full details of the awards and application information can be found here.

Last week, we highlighted a new joint report by a cross-party network of local UK leaders, What CANZ Be Done, which emphasises the need to combine solutions to net zero and air pollution

Image: Victor



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