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Over £3 Million Allocated by Government in Latest Funding Round for Heat Network Upgrades




The latest iteration of the Heat Network Efficiency Scheme (HNES) marks a substantial advancement in the government's ongoing efforts to revamp existing heat networks nationwide. Today, an announcement detailed the allocation of over £3 million in funds to 33 distinct projects aimed at boosting the efficiency and reducing the carbon footprint of existing district heating systems.


In this fifth round, £3.2 million will be distributed among various projects throughout England and Wales. Direct efficiency enhancements are set to reach nearly 2,000 residents, while an additional 6,500 individuals residing in hospitals, universities, and other public sector buildings will benefit from comprehensive optimisation studies.


According to government sources, these studies are designed to pinpoint further opportunities for reducing energy expenses, cutting down on consumption, and enhancing overall system reliability. These projects could also facilitate a transition towards large-scale heat pumps, which could significantly decrease emissions and operational costs for the heat networks involved.


A notable project in this funding round includes an optimisation study for a heat network that services the Ministry of Defence's Wellington Barracks, which aims to elevate its efficiency standards.


The projected outcomes of these upgrades are impressive. The anticipated emission reductions are comparable to removing 938 diesel cars from the roads annually.


Louise Singleton, the principal consultant at Gemserv, which oversees the HNES, emphasised that this round of funding is a critical milestone for the initiative. Several projects are investigating the feasibility of transitioning heat network operators from fossil fuel-based sources to large-scale heat pump systems, which would contribute to complete decarbonisation.


"As of today, HNES has awarded over £30m to existing heat networks in England and Wales to optimise their efficiency levels so they're fit for decades to come. Not only this, but today's announcement is the first to show how HNES-funded revenue studies can then lead to tangible improvements funded through capital applications.


"Optimisation studies, unlocked by revenue grant funding, are crucial to help identify and inform heat network operators of the opportunities that exist to improve a heat network's efficiency levels. We are delighted to be supporting projects all the way through from study to implementation."


For instance, Lancaster University has received £560,387 to enhance its heat network's infrastructure, making it 'Heat Pump Ready'. This project includes installing more efficient pumps and meters, upgrading the central building management system, and improving insulation across the network, setting a new standard in sustainable heating solutions.


Lord Callanan, Minister for Energy Efficiency and Green Finance, said: "From Lancaster University to the British Army's Wellington Barracks, heat networks are playing an important role in reducing energy use and cutting the UK's emissions. It's fantastic that over 8,000 residents will now see improvements to their heating and hot water supply thanks to support from our Heat Network Efficiency Scheme, with over £30m now awarded."


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