Over £3m awarded to improve heat networks across England and Wales

  • 31st May 2024

Over £3m worth of funding is being awarded through the Government’s Heat Network Efficiency Scheme (HNES) to enhance heat networks across England and Wales.

The funding, allocated in Round 5 of the scheme, will improve the efficiency of heat networks for the benefit of 8,492 residents and various private and public-sector organisations, including a number of educational institutions.

The funding awarded in this round brings the total awarded by HNES to over £30m, with an additional 6,500 residents, hospitals, universities, and public-sector institutions set to benefit from optimisation studies in round 5.

These studies will unlock additional areas for improvement that reduce energy bills, reduce energy consumption, and minimise customer detriment.

Lord Callanan, Minister for Energy Efficiency and Green Finance, said: “From Lancaster University to the British Army’s Wellington Barracks, heat networks are playing an important role in reducing energy use and cutting the UK’s emissions.”

And Louise Singleton, principal consultant at energy consultancy, Gemserv, added: “As of today, HNES has awarded over £30m to existing heat networks in England and Wales to optimise their efficiency levels so they’re fit for decades to come. Not only this, but today’s announcement is the first to show how HNES-funded revenue studies can then lead to tangible improvements funded through capital applications.

“Optimisation studies, unlocked by revenue grant funding, are crucial to help identify and inform heat network operators of the opportunities that exist to improve a heat network’s efficiency levels.

“We are delighted to be supporting projects all the way through from study to implementation.”

Capital grant funding will go directly towards covering the cost of operational works to improve the efficiency of existing heat networks. In this round, over £2.7m will directly improve the efficiencies of heat networks serving 1,966 residents.

Projects which have successfully secured HNES funding in Round 5 include Lancaster University, which has been awarded £560,387 for the Lancaster Campus District Heat Network.

Funding will go towards upgrading infrastructure across the network and allow it to be ‘heat pump ready’.

The project includes the installation of more-efficient pumps and meters, improving the central building management system and enhancing insulation throughout the network.

HNES funding will be crucial in achieving the university’s pledge to reach carbon net-zero for carbon emissions from electricity and heating by 2030.

In addition to capital grant funding, projects in Round 5 have also been awarded over £443,000 of revenue grant funding to undertake optimisation studies to review the performance of their heat networks and identify areas for improvement.

Successful applicants include the University of East Anglia and the University of Warwick.

HNES can provide up to 50% of eligible project costs for capital grant applications and up to 100% of eligible project costs for revenue (optimisation study) grant applications.


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