Community heating specialist Switch2 has welcomed the government’s multi-million pound funding commitment to low carbon UK heat networks that could cut heating costs by as much as 30%.
The government has launched a £39m Pilot Scheme of the Heat Networks Investment Project – part of its £320m ‘central heating for cities’ funding package – which will be delivered over the next five years.
Kirsty Lambert, Director of Switch2 said: “This funding package will accelerate the growth of communal and district heating schemes that are so vital to decarbonising UK energy supplies and making heat more affordable. By building more heat networks using low carbon and recycled energy, the UK can take effective action on both climate change and fuel poverty.”
Announcing the first phase of funding, Minister of State for Energy, Baroness Neville-Rolfe said: “Heat networks can significantly improve the efficiency with which heat is provided to our towns and cities, as well as helping to develop local infrastructure and reduce carbon. The new scheme will help us to develop viable reforms to make the most of the heat we produce and use it effectively to bring bills down for people across the country.”
In its latest report ‘Next steps for UK heat policy‘, the Committee on Climate Change states that heat networks could provide 20% of UK heating by 2050, helping to achieve a 450% reduction in CO2 emissions from overall heat supplies by this key date.
Lambert added: “Around 50% of energy consumption stems from heating and hot water in UK Cities. The UK’s heat networks are already demonstrating the potential of district heating, but this funding boost is expected to unlock up to £2billlion of additional capital investment and lead to the construction of hundreds more communal energy networks.”
The initial £39m funding is open to local authorities and public sector bodies, who are invited to submit applications for their projects by the end of November 2016.
Further information: www.switch2.co.uk