Woman holding a device measuring her heating

Government boost for upgrading heat networks and reducing energy costs

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has announced that there is to be a cash injection to help with the production of cheaper, more sustainable energy.

The cash injection, amounting to £32 million, will help upgrade older and more inefficient heat networks with the goal of reducing the cost and carbon emissions that are involved in the production of energy. The upgrades will involve out of date equipment being replaced by pumps, pipe insulation and underfloor heating controls as well as cutting-edge data monitoring systems to check that everything is performing correctly.

Consumers in more than 100,000 homes are expected to be helped by this funding, with potential energy cost reductions coming at a crucial time for many around the country considering the cost of living crisis looks like it will continue well into 2023.

Lord Callanan, Business and Energy Minister, said:

“This £32 million boost will provide thousands of homes in England and Wales with cheaper, greener energy through upgrades these heat networks desperately need.

“We’re investing in new heat networks, but it’s just as important to maintain and refurbish existing systems to ensure all customers can benefit from reduced energy use and household bills.”

Operators of heat networks, such as universities, NHS Trusts and charities will have the ability to apply for funding by requesting an application form, with the funding coming from the Heat Network Efficiency Scheme (HNES) and being delivered in partnership with Gemserv. The Heat Network Efficiency Scheme forms an integral part of the government’s plan to support heat networks, alongside the Green Heat Network Fund which is worth £288 million. It also builds on the HNES Demonstrator, which ran for year and delivered improvements to 37 existing heat networks and supported 73 in the identification of cost-effective improvement measures.

Director at Heat Trust, the national consumer protection scheme for heat network customers, Stephen Knight said:

“At Heat Trust we sadly hear of far too many examples of inefficient and poorly performing heat networks. These can result in much higher energy costs for residents, overheating corridors and frequent breakdowns.

“The rise in gas prices over the last year has meant that inefficiency heat networks are now expensive for residents. The Heat Network Efficiency Scheme is therefore an important step in the right direction, and I would urge all those responsible for running heat networks to consider bidding for funding.”

The government has also published a series of guidance videos to set out the practical steps that operators of heat networks can take to improve their system’s performance.

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