Government Publishes Heat Strategy

On 26 March 2013 the DECC set out the next steps to ensure affordable, secure, low carbon heating plays an important role in the nation’s energy mix in the publication: “The Future of Heating: Meeting the challenge”.

The actions identified for heat networks were:

  • Support local authorities in developing heat networks by establishing a Heat Networks Delivery Unit (HNDU) within the Department that will work closely with individual authorities’ project teams in England and Wales.
  • Provide funding over two financial years to contribute to local authorities’ costs in carrying out early stage heat network development. This will enable local authorities to bring forward projects to the stage where they are suitable for investment including loan finance from the Green Investment Bank or commercial lenders.
  • Work over the remainder of this year with the Low Carbon Innovation Coordination Group (which includes the Carbon Trust, BIS, the Energy Technology Institute, the Technology Strategy Board and the Scottish Government) to identify the key technological solutions that require innovation support to deliver the Government’s ambitions for heat network development out to 2020.
  • Explore the scope for extra financial incentives for renewable heat networks within the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) in 2014 and also access to a number of streams of capital funding provided by government.
  • Seek to endorse an industry-led consumer protection scheme for heat network users later this year, and encourage the heat networks industry to work with consumer groups in developing this practice.
  • Consult this year on options for requiring heat meters to be installed in heat network developments.
  • These actions build on the support we have already provided cities to develop heat network plans.

DECC is helping fund work in Nottingham, Newcastle, Manchester, Sheffield and Birmingham to determine the cities’ potential for heat networks. If the studies confirm the potential and the economics, the Green Investment Bank might be able to invest in development of heat networks in these cities.