Government awards £24m funding for low carbon heat networks

New government funding to help develop clean and efficient heating systems has been awarded to 13 local authorities across England, climate change and industry minister Nick Hurd announced.

Nine of the winning authorities will receive a share of just over £24 million of capital funding to support the building of their projects, with around £200,000 in early stage funding for a further four authorities to develop their plans. This will build a pipeline of high quality projects ready to compete for future rounds of capital funding.

Winning entries at the building stage include four projects in London, two in Manchester and one each in Sheffield, Crawley and Colchester. Support was won at the planning stage by projects in Trafford, Islington, Buckinghamshire and Middlesbrough.

Hurd said: “Energy innovations like heat networks can cut costs for households and reduce carbon emissions, as almost half of the energy we use goes towards heating our homes and buildings. The £24 million in government funding awarded to these projects will help deliver low carbon energy at competitive prices for local consumers.”

The £24m is the first tranche of the government’s £320m fund to invest in low carbon heat networks. The first part of the fund was only open to local authorities and public sector bodies. The total value of the fund over five years is £320m and in future years this will be opened up to a wider set of applicants. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy aims to launch the main funding scheme by the end of 2017.

Tim Rotheray, director of the Association of Decentralised Energy (ADE) said: “The Government’s £320m commitment over this Parliament is vital to develop this new UK industry, and will secure hundreds of millions of pounds in local infrastructure investment and new skilled jobs. Alongside this commitment, industry is developing new compliance requirements to ensure the highest standards in building and operating networks.”

He added: “The industry has also recently launched a new expert Task Force to come up with proposals that will help enable network investments and ensure customers always get a great deal.”

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