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17.10.14

Fourth funding round opens for local heat networks

The fourth funding round of the DECC’s Heat Network Delivery Unit (HNDU) has been launched, with local authorities in England and Wales being encouraged to bid. 

Under the HNDU terms, councils can apply for funding to support several projects and/or project development stages. Support can be awarded for initial heat mapping when initially investigating opportunities, all the way to detailed commercial and legal work for more established projects. 

The HNDU was established in September 2013, and since its inception the Unit has awarded support to 122 projects in 91 local authorities and has provided just under £9m of grant funding. Round four funding opened on 16 October and closes on 27 November 2014. 

All bids are reviewed by a panel of engineering, financial and commercial experts with significant experience in heat networks development. However, HNDU grant funding of no more than 67% of eligible costs is provided to successful local authorities. 

During the third funding round, almost £2.4m in funding was offered to 32 local authorities across England and Wales to support the development of heat network projects. Successful councils were offered grants ranging from around £10,000 to £250,000 to kick-start heat network projects in their area. 

Energy and climate change secretary Ed Davey said: “Recovering wasted heat from industrial plants or landfill sites means we can heat our homes and businesses more efficiently, as well as helping to drive down energy bills. 

“Improving the way we heat our buildings and helping local authorities fund innovative and more efficient ways of supplying lower carbon heat will also reduce our dependency on costly, imported gas.” 

The Carbon Trust has provided support to local authorities applying for HNDU funding in the past, including Bristol City Council, Leeds City Region, Portsmouth City Council and Hull City Council. Helen Andrews Tipper, public sector manager at the Carbon Trust, stated that councils are the key to unlocking the potential for local energy generation and heat networks in the UK. 

“As wholesale energy prices continue to rise then the case for investing in efficient heat networks becomes increasingly compelling,” she said. “Through taking advantage of HNDU funding local authorities will be able to put in place projects that can save them money, cut their emissions and develop local areas.” 

To find out more about HNDU and the latest funding round, click here

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