UK fires up £19m cash boost for five new heat networks

Ofgem has been appointed as Britain’s heat networks regulator to ensure consumers receive a ‘fair price’ and reliable supply of heat

Big Zero Report 2022

The UK Government has announced a cash boost of £19.1 million to supply low carbon heating to thousands of homes and buildings across the country.

It will support the development of two new heat networks in Bristol and three across Liverpool, London and Worthing.

Heat networks supply heat from a central source to consumers, such as large rivers and heat from sewers via a network of underground pipes carrying hot water.

They offer a low carbon and more cost-effective alternative to installing individual, energy-intensive heating solutions such as gas boilers.

Heat networks provide roughly 2% of UK heat demand but could meet around a fifth of heat demand by 2050.

The latest funding is being provides from the government’s £320 million Heat Networks Investment Project (HNIP), which supports the development of heat networks across England and Wales.

Climate Change Minister Lord Callanan said:  “Almost a third of all UK carbon emissions come from heating our homes and addressing this is a vital part of tackling pollution, driving down bills and reducing our reliance on costly fossil fuels. Today’s announcement builds on our commitments made in the Heat and Buildings Strategy to regulate the UK’s heat networks, protect consumers and create opportunities for green jobs and investment across the country.

“This will allow thousands of households and businesses to feel the benefits of projects that are breaking new ground and making our villages, towns and cities cleaner places to live and work.”

Ofgem has been appointed as Britain’s heat networks regulator to ensure consumers receive a “fair price” and reliable supply of heat.

It will be responsible for enforcing rules and guidance on pricing and quality of service, whilst facilitating the growth and decarbonisation of the market.

Jonathan Brearley, Chief Executive of Ofgem added: “We welcome the government’s announcement that it will appoint Ofgem as the new heat networks regulator. Heat networks can play a key role in reducing carbon emissions from heating and helping to achieve the country’s climate goals.

“We will work with the government to design a regulatory framework which attracts the investment needed while ensuring heat network consumers, especially those in vulnerable circumstances, receive a fair price and reliable supply of heat for their homes as we make the transition to net zero.”

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