Green Heat Network Fund opens for applications

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Households and businesses across England are set to benefit from greener heating as the £288 million Green Heat Network Fund (GHNF) will open to public, private and third sector applicants in England on 14 March 2022.

Heat networks offer carbon emissions savings by supplying heat to buildings from a central source, avoiding the need for households and workplaces to rely on individual, energy-intensive heating solutions – such as gas boilers.

The GHNF funding will support the uptake of low-carbon technologies like heat pumps, solar and geothermal energy as a central heating source.

Energy Minister Lord Callanan commented on the announcement: “Heating in buildings forms a significant part of the UK’s carbon footprint, so changing how we warm our homes and workspaces is vital to meeting our world-leading climate change commitments.

“Heat networks are an effective way of reducing carbon emissions and this fund will enable us to accelerate the roll-out of these cutting-edge and green technologies.”

At present, there are over 14,000 heat networks in the UK, providing heating and hot water to around 480,000 consumers.

According to the government, the GHNF is set to be a key part of plans to reduce carbon emissions from heating homes and businesses by 2050 as it succeeds the Heat Networks Investment Project scheme as it closes this month.

The fund is expected to reduce carbon emissions equivalent to taking 5.6 million cars off the road for a year.

The Green Heat Network Fund is the successor scheme to the government’s Heat Networks Investment Project, which has provided more than £250 million of funding for schemes across England and Wales since 2018.

Lily Frencham, CEO of the Association for Decentralised Energy, also commented: “We’re delighted that the government is invigorating the transition to zero-carbon heating across the UK that uses good old-fashioned pipes and water to transport heat from green energy centres to homes and businesses.

“Heat networks offer the most cost-effective tried and tested way of decarbonising our towns and cities and it is great to see government’s continued support for the sector through the launch of the Green Heat Network Fund.

“Heat networks have a critical role to play in the UK’s net zero future – and 2022 will be a crucial year for the heat networks sector.”

The first application round of GHNF will be followed by quarterly rounds until the scheme closes in 2025.

More information about the GHNF and how to apply is available on the UK Government website.