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Councils' £2m boost for district heat networks

Funding to help 26 councils across England and Wales develop plans for new heat networks has been confirmed by the Energy Secretary.

Ed Davey

Ed Davey (left) announced the award of £2m for low carbon networks including the use of energy-from-waste (EfW) and heat taken from landfill.

The Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC)’s aims to provide more efficient heat to buildings and potentially lower heating bills via its Heat Networks Delivery Unit.

Estimates show that 14% of UK heat demand could be cost effectively met by heat networks by 2030 and around 43% by 2050.

There are approximately 2,000 heat networks in the UK, supplying heat to 210,000 dwellings and 1,700 commercial and public buildings. A further 150 schemes are under development by local authorities.

These newly funded council projects are in the first wave of successful bidders to be announced and they will receive grants ranging from £15,000 to £250,000 to kick-start their projects.

Councils will also be given commercial and technical help to develop business plans and attract commercial investment.

“This cash boost and support for local authorities will help supply low carbon heat to a whole range of buildings such as multi-story apartments, office buildings and social housing – not only providing more efficient heat to buildings, but potentially bringing heating bills down too,” said Davey.

The remaining pot of grant funding, worth £7m in total, will be allocated through subsequent funding rounds, running to March 2015. The successful second round of local authorities will be announced by the end of March 2014.

The first authorities to be funded are:

  • Birmingham City Council
  • Brighton and Hove City Council
  • Cardiff City Council
  • Cherwell
  • Cheshire East
  • City of Bradford
  • Crawley Borough Council
  • Doncaster Council
  • Halton Borough Council
  • Hampshire County Council
  • Liverpool City Council
  • London Borough of Ealing
  • London Borough of Haringey
  • London Borough of Islington
  • London Borough of Merton
  • London Borough of Sutton
  • Manchester City Council
  • Nottingham City Council
  • Oxford City Council
  • Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames
  • Runnymede Borough Council
  • Salford City Council
  • Swansea City Council
  • Wycombe District Council
  • Royal Borough of Greenwich

The 26th council will be announced by DECC next week.

Readers' comments (1)

  • I note that £2m does not actually go very far when it comes to CHP networking costs. As the Government says in Paragraph 136 of the EfW Guide: "If heat is a major output then it is essential that customers for the heat are relatively close by. On average one kilometre of heat pipework can cost about £1m to install. Heat offtake is not common in the UK, unlike many other European countries. In the Nordic counties, for example, energy from waste plants are often sited in urban areas connected directly to the local heat grid. Several plants may feed into one grid to avoid problems with supply during downtimes. In the absence of these heat grids, co-location with industrial or commercial heat users offers a potential alternative solution."

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