Government seeks views on delivering heat network zoning in England

It proposes in a heat network zone, all new buildings, large public sector and large non-domestic buildings – as well as larger domestic premises which are currently communally heated – would be required to connect to a heat network within a prescribed timeframe

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The government is seeking views on its proposed approach to deliver heat network zoning in England and to identify areas where heat networks are the most appropriate solution for decarbonising heating.

It proposes in a heat network zone, all new buildings, large public sector and large non-domestic buildings – as well as larger domestic premises which are currently communally heated – would be required to connect to a heat network within a prescribed timeframe.

Exemptions could be sought where it would not be cost-effective to connect, compared to an alternative low carbon solution.

A low carbon requirement would also be introduced to ensure new heat networks built within heat network zones are compatible with the government’s net zero commitments.

The consultation, at this stage, is inviting views on the broad principles for how heat network zoning should be designed, including the methodology for identifying and designating heat network zones and the roles and responsibilities of different parties involved in the zoning process.

Heat network zoning is an example of how the government intends to support and empower local communities to take action and support the journey to net zero.

The government’s proposals expect central and local government working with industry and local stakeholders to identify and designate areas within which heat networks are the lowest cost, low carbon solution for decarbonising heating.

Lord Callanan, Business, Energy and Corporate Responsibility Minister said: “The proposals in this consultation are the first step in delivering this Energy White Paper commitment to implement heat network zoning by 2025, ensuring that heat networks are deployed where they are most appropriate.

“Our proposals are for central and local government, industry and local stakeholders, to work together to identify areas where heat networks are the lowest cost, low carbon solution for decarbonising heat. Identifying these areas and developing heat networks within them will help move us towards the potential levels of heat network deployment indicated by the Climate Change Committee.”

The consultation is open until 19th November 2021.

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