UK government announces major expansion of heat networks in latest step to power homes with green energy

UK homes, university residences and public buildings will benefit from cleaner, more affordable heat and energy, thanks to £19 million government funding announced today to further expand Great Britain’s network of low carbon heating.

The £19 million investment will go towards setting up 5 new heat networks, 2 in Bristol, and 3 across Liverpool, London and Worthing, providing households and workplaces with more affordable, reliable heating that offers a low-carbon, more cost-effective alternative to installing individual, energy-intensive, heating solutions such as gas boilers.

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, like a giant central heating system serving many buildings, and supplies it through pipes to homes and businesses.

The £19.1 million funding announced today comes from the government’s £320 million Heat Networks Investment Project (HNIP), which supports the development of heat networks across England and Wales. Government-funded heat networks currently being developed include Leeds City County’s 16km district heat network, Cardiff Town Heat Network in South Wales, spreading across the Cardiff Bay area, and Newcastle University’s District Heat Network within their city centre campus.

As a proven, cost-effective way of providing reliable low carbon heat at a fair price to consumers, and as recommended by the Climate Change Committee, the UK government is working towards growing the heat networks sector, which provides roughly 2% of UK heat demand but could meet around a fifth of heat demand by 2050.

Minister for Climate Change 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.”

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