Turning up the heat: grant funding programme

The government has recently announced a new £6m grant funding programme that has been launched to help local authorities in England and Wales to develop new heating and cooling networks and expand existing networks. In order to be in with a chance of winning a share of the funding, local authorities will have to submit ambitious and innovative proposals to develop and deliver heat networks that draw their heat energy (as much as possible) from renewable, sustainable or recoverable sources. These sources could include waste heat from industry, energy-from-waste plants and biomass combined heat and power.

The fund will be managed by the Heat Networks Delivery Unit (HNDU) within the Department of Energy and Climate Change. HNDU has been established to help local authorities in England and Wales to achieve urban decarbonisation, local growth, improved energy efficiency and reduced fuel poverty through increased use of heat networks.

The primary purpose of the grant funding is to help develop business plans that are sufficiently robust to attract a range of finance options, including commercial investment. HNDU will favour those projects looking at more innovative heat sources, which will complement more traditional sources such as gas combined heat and power. The fund will meet two thirds of the estimated eligible costs of specialist consultants used to develop technical proposals and financial evaluations and applicants will need to contribute the remaining third…

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