UK-wide heating network investment scheme launched


The Association for Decentralised Energy today welcomed the launch of the £39m Pilot Scheme of the Heat Networks Investment Project.

The investment aims to increase the number of cost effective, low carbon heat networks being built, while creating the right conditions for a self-sustaining heat network market.

The Pilot will consist of one single competitive funding round and will inform the design of the Main Scheme, which is expected to open in 2017 and run for four years.

Welcoming the launch, ADE Director Dr Tim Rotheray said:

“This investment in heat networks will bring about significant benefits for local authorities and their communities, helping to tackle fuel poverty and improve resident comfort, while helping the UK to meet its decarbonisation targets at least cost.

“As the Committee on Climate Change recently reported, the UK needs to act on heat energy and this funding is the right next step. The launch of this pilot is a cornerstone for attracting up to £2 billion of capital investment for new heat network infrastructure. More than 150 local authorities and a number of private sector property developers are working to deliver these infrastructure investments and build a foundation for a long-term district heating market in the UK.

“Well built and operated heat networks deliver for consumers. With Heat Trust now representing 25,000 heat customers and the continued strengthening of technical standards, the heat network industry is working with Government to support its deployment ambitions over the coming years.”

Notes to editors

In November 2015, the Government announced that it was making available £320m of funding to support investment in heat networks over the next five years. This is expected to draw in up to £2 billion of additional capital investment and lead to the construction of hundreds of heat networks in England and Wales.

About the Pilot Scheme

A Pilot Scheme is being launched now for applications this autumn, with first payments to be made by 31 March 2017. The budget available for the Pilot Scheme is up to £39m, split across two financial years (2016/17 and 2017/18). The Pilot will consist of one single competitive funding round and will inform the design of the Main Scheme, which is expected to open in 2017 and run for four years. The following criteria has been set out:

The Pilot Scheme is open to local authorities and other public sector bodies excluding central Government Departments, noting that there are some restrictions on the type of finance that some public sector organisations can accept.
Applicants can apply for grants or loans.
Any efficient heating and cooling networks in England and Wales – including those that also generate electricity – is eligible for support.
Eligible costs include the construction, expansion, refurbishment and interconnection of heat networks, including works to access recoverable heat and upgrade of heating systems inside some existing properties as well as commercialisation phase costs (where they are capitalised).
Multiple criteria will be used to score and rank applications with respect to their carbon savings, customer impact and social net present value.
The pre-qualification process for the pilot funding round will open on Tuesday the 18th of October.

The UK has just launched a large pilot project for investment in heat networks, worth 39 million pounds, or just over 43 million euros.

This project aims to increase the number of efficient and low-impact heat networks in the country, while creating favorable conditions for the development of a sustainable market for district heating.

A large-scale initiative, which starts with a first phase of funding, which should then become a four-year project.

Tim Rotheray, director of ADE, the British Association of District Heating, welcomed the news with satisfaction:

This investment in heat networks will bring a lot to local communities and communities, notably by helping to solve fuel problems and improving the comfort of residents. This will help the UK to achieve its decarbonization goals at a lower cost.

As the ADE reminds us, the UK government announced in 2015 an investment of 320 million pounds over five years, dedicated to support the heat networks.

This government investment is expected to attract nearly 2 million pounds of capital to the market, and to complete the construction of hundreds of networks.

Applications for the pilot project will be opened in the fall and the budget of £ 39 million will be spread over two years. The first payments are expected by March 2017.

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