Funding to help 26 local authorities develop plans for heat networks (or district heating projects) has been announced by DECC. The Energy Secretary, Ed Davey, has awarded £2m in grants to these local authorities to develop such low carbon projects which may utilise heat from energy from waste plants or landfill sites.

If you have been awarded a grant, are submitting/have submitted an application for future awards, or have an existing project then this article may interest you or colleagues.   

The current grants range from £15,000 to £250,000 each and are aimed at helping to kick-start heat network projects which are designed to provide more efficient heat to buildings and potentially lower heating bills. Estimates show that cost-efficient heat networks could meet 14% of UK heat demand by 2030, and around 43% by 2050.

It is the first wave of funding to promote the development of heat networks through DECC’s new Heat Networks Delivery Unit. The remaining part of the £7m total pot 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 audience at our recent Energy Efficiency and Generation seminar in January showed widespread support for local authority heat network/CHP projects. This new announcement is going to help these fortunate authorities get their projects off the ground.  If you would like to receive copies of the slides from our January 2014 seminar or attend similar sessions that we have planned for the coming year, please contact our Events Team.  
 
We are involved with a number of heat network, district heating and CHP projects across England and Wales involving a range of energy sources including EfW, biomass, unconventional gas and fossil fuels. This includes advising local authorities, housing associations and NHS Trusts, as well as key private sector organisations including waste contractors, developers, heat off takers and funders.

Areas we could help you with include: 

  • Procurement 
  • Joint working arrangements with public sector organisations (including other councils) 
  • Creation of Energy Services Companies (ESCOs) 
  • Commercial issues – risk v reward 
  • Commercial contracts, including documenting the heat supply arrangements 
  • Integrating energy generation with your energy efficiency plans. 

We will also be providing updates on legal developments in this sector as part of our monthly publication, Energy Eye.  If you would like receive this, please subscribe here.