Design of Green Heat Network Fund under consultation

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The government is seeking views on how the proposed £270m Green Heat Network Fund scheme, which is expected to be a focal point of the forthcoming Heat and Buildings Strategy, should be designed.

The Green Heat Network Fund is a capital grant funding programme which is intended to help new and existing heat networks to move to low and zero carbon technologies in England and Wales.

Heat networks supply heat from a central source to consumers, via a network of underground pipes often carrying hot water. They can cover a large area, such as an entire city or be fairly local supplying a small cluster of buildings.

There are currently over 14,000 heat networks (12,000 communal and 2,000 district) in the UK, providing heating and hot water to approximately 480,000 consumers.

The scheme aims to:

  • achieve carbon savings and decreases in carbon intensity of heat supplied
  • increase the total amount of low-carbon heat utilisation in heat networks (both retrofitted and new heat networks)
  • help prepare the market for future low-carbon regulation and ensure compliance with existing regulations (such as the Heat Network (Metering and Billing) Regulations, Heat Network Market Framework and the Future Homes Standard)

This consultation covers the major components of the scheme including:

  • the application criteria
  • the sources of thermal energy supported
  • the types of heat networks in scope and the eligibility criteria
  • finance and the supply chain

The consultation is open to everyone, but views are especially welcomed from organisations including heat network operators, energy companies and network operators, energy investors, local authorities, heavy heat users, housing associations and other social housing providers and Energy Service Companies (ESCOs).

The funding is expected to open for applications in April 2022 and is anticipated to run for three years, to 2025.

This consultation runs until 11.45pm on 29 January 2021.

More information about the consultation and how to apply is available on the government website.