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Funding of £6m available to help councils develop innovative heat networks

Local authorities in England and Wales can apply to a £6m grant funding programme to help develop heating and cooling networks where innovative projects such as energy-from-waste plants will be favoured.

The Heat Networks Delivery Unit (HNDU) within the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) manages the fund. HNDU’s aim is to have council’s draw heat from renewable, sustainable or recoverable sources.

It is encouraging applications from projects with technologies involving waste heat from industry, energy from waste plants and biomass combined heat and power (CHP).

DECC said the primary purpose of the funding is to help develop business plans that are sufficiently robust to attract a range of finance options.

The bidding process to apply for grant funding starts today (20 September) and will continue for 18 months through a series of six bidding rounds.

Bids will be assessed on the potential for commercial development, contribution towards low carbon and energy reduction objectives, compatibility with wider low carbon and growth agendas and commitment to robust project management and governance.

DECC will offer advice on how to improve applications for the next round of bidding to local authorities whose applications fall short of the threshold for funding, but which are still considered realistic commercial propositions.

Energy and climate change minister Greg Barker said: “Thanks to the coalition Government’s support, many UK buildings have already made the switch from traditional fuels to low carbon heat sources. This new grant funding programme builds on these successes by helping local authorities develop more commercially viable low carbon heat networks.”

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