Applications Open for Heat Network Efficiency Scheme (HNES) Demonstrator

Grants are available to public, private and third sectors organisations in England and Wales to support performance improvements to existing district or communal heating projects.

The Heat Network Efficiency Scheme (HNES) Demonstrator has been set up to support performance uplifts to existing heat network or communal heating projects where outcomes for customers and operators are sub-optimal.

Heat networks supply heat from a central source to consumers, via a network of underground pipes carrying hot water. They can cover a large area or even an entire city, or be relatively local, supplying a small cluster of buildings. This avoids the need for individual boilers or electric heaters in every building.

The programme has an overall budget of £4.175 million. Applicants can apply for either revenue or capital grant funding. The scheme can provide up to 100% of eligible project costs for revenue grants and up to (but not including) 50% of eligible project costs for capital grants.

The budget for revenue grants is up to £375,000, to fund procurement or mobilisation of external support to carry out Optimisation Studies. These studies will assess heat network projects to identify causes of sub-optimal performance and recommend costed intervention or improvement measures.

The budget for capital grants is up to £3.8 million, to part-fund the delivery (installation) of eligible intervention/improvement measures. There is no upper or lower limit for capital grant funding bids; however, each application will be assessed on its own merits, and funding awards will be made subject to budget availability.

Applications are welcome from public, private and third sector organisations in England and Wales that are responsible for operating or managing existing district heat networks or communal heating systems, under either public, private or third sector ownership/operation. Applicants must be legal entities, with authority to sign-off investment decisions for the heat network they are responsible for.

The deadline for applications is 31 October 2021 (23:59 BST).

(This report was the subject of a GRANTfinder Newsflash.)