The Government has announced a new £270 million Green Heat Network Fund (GHNF) to support low-carbon technologies like heat pumps, solar and geothermal energy. The scheme is supporting the rollout of the next generation of heat networks, enabling more towns and cities to take up this established technology from 2022.
Heat networks supply heat to buildings from a central source, avoiding the need for households and workplaces to have individual, energy-intensive heating solutions - such as gas boilers.
The scheme will incentivise new and existing heat networks in England to move away from high-carbon sources, as well as exploiting waste-heat opportunities while bringing down costs for consumers. During the programme’s lifetime, an estimated 10.3Mt of total carbon savings are expected to be made by 2050; the equivalent of taking 4.5 million cars in England off the road for a year.
The GHNF is a capital grant funding programme. It will have a total budget of £270 million. Grant levels for individual projects have yet to be stipulated.
Applications will be open to public, private and third sector organisations in England.
Energy Minister Lord Callanan said:
'Finding a mix of innovative solutions to how we heat our homes in the most affordable way is going to be vital as we support people to gradually transition away from gas boilers over the next 15 years.
'The Green Heat Network Fund will also allow us to drive forward the new, cost-effective and low-carbon technologies we need to kick-start new industries and support new jobs in the low-carbon technology sector as we build back greener from the pandemic.'
The scheme will open for applications in April 2022. It is anticipated to run until 2025.