The Green Heat Network Fund will support low-carbon technologies, such as heat pumps, and deliver emissions savings equivalent to taking 5.6 million cars off the road for a year. Schemes that will deliver clean heating to homes, offices, commercial and public buildings will be able to apply for grants to the Green Heat Network Fund over the next 3 years, allowing more towns and cities across England to take up tried and tested low carbon technology.
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. Funding will support the uptake of low-carbon technologies like heat pumps, solar and geothermal energy as a central heating source. Applications for grants can be made from 14 March.
“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” said Energy Minister Lord Callanan. “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.”
The scheme is also expected to fund the delivery of an estimated 9.7 million tonnes of total carbon savings by 2050 with the independent Committee on Climate Change estimating that, with continued support, heat networks could meet nearly 20 percent of overall UK demand for heating by 2050.
CEO of the Association for Decentralised Energy Lily Frencham added 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 and that heat networks offer the most cost-effective tried and tested way of decarbonising the country’s towns and cities.
“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” Ms Frencham said.
The Green Heat Network Fund is the successor scheme to the government’s Heat Networks Investment Project (HNIP), which has provided more than £250 million of funding for schemes across England and Wales since 2018.
More than 20 heat network projects have received HNIP funding, including two innovative schemes in the North-East of England, which source their heat from water in abandoned mine shafts and a community-led project in Cambridgeshire, which could be a model for other rural communities seeking to decarbonise their heating.
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