Launch of £288m Fund for Green Heat Networks Across England

Public, private and third sector organisations in England can access capital funding to help new and existing heat networks move to low and zero carbon technologies.

The Government has announced the launch of its Green Heat Network Fund (GHNF) to fund 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.

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. At present, there are over 14,000 heat networks in the UK, providing heating and hot water to around 480,000 consumers.

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, it is expected to reduce carbon emissions equivalent to taking 5.6 million cars off the road for a year.

The GHNF is a capital grant funding programme with a total budget of £288 million. Grant levels for individual projects will vary, however, there will be an upper limit of £1 million for commercialisation support. Funding requests will typically span across multiple years. In a given financial year (April-March), applicants must have carried out works up to the value of the grant awarded within that given financial year.

Applications are open to public, private and third sector organisations in England.

Energy Minister Lord Callanan said:

‘Heating in buildings forms a significant part of the UK’s carbon footprint, so changing how we warm our homes and workspaces is vital to meeting our world-leading climate change commitments.

‘Heat networks are an effective way of reducing carbon emissions and this fund will enable us to accelerate the roll-out of these cutting-edge and green technologies.’

The scheme opens its first application round on 14 March 2022, with a deadline for applications of 27 May 2022. This will be followed by quarterly rounds until the scheme closes in 2025.

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