Proposals for a cost effective, secure and low carbon heat network have been launched.
That could help attract £2 billion worth of investment, according to the Association for Decentralised Energy (ADE).
The proposals call for an end to “punitive” business rates, a better sharing of investment risk to lower the cost of network infrastructure and an extension of the government’s heat network advice body.
These recommendations could help deliver a step change in district heating investment, drive down the cost of innovative infrastructure over the longer term and keep costs low for taxpayers, the ADE claims.
District heating is one of the cheapest ways to decarbonise heat in urban areas and helps consumers benefit from heat which is currently wasted, it adds.
Power stations, manufacturers and cities like London are said to waste more heat than is used by every home in the UK.
Tim Rotheray, ADE Director said: “When I speak to long term infrastructure investors from across Europe, there is an overwhelming desire to invest in UK heat networks, if we can get the right policy framework in place.
“If we can solve this puzzle, there is an enormous opportunity for UK cities, with billions of pounds in local investments to make the UK energy system more productive, more secure and lower carbon. Most importantly it will deliver for consumers, helping to keep their heating costs low.”