Around 28,000 homes and businesses are set to benefits from shared, low carbon heating projects that have collectively been granted a total of £54m funding today from the government, which said those connected to the planned heat networks would be shielded from soaring fossil fuel costs.
The four projects securing funding – located in London, Bedfordshire and Woking – are set to harness low carbon heating sources such as heat pumps and energy from waste to warm properties, meaning more homeowners and businesses will be able to their boilers and cut their energy bills, according to the government.
It said the funding was earmarked for helping the projects develop and complete construction of the heat networks that will service homes as well as commercial sites such as shops, offices and public buildings, in a move expected to carbon savings equivalent to taking 5,500 cars off the road.
“These projects will transform how tens of thousands of households and businesses keep their properties warm,” said Business and Energy Minister Lord Callanan. “By investing in cutting-edge low-carbon heating technologies we are helping to secure a lasting move away from using fossil fuels and protecting consumers from the costs that are driving up energy bills at a time of high global prices.”
A heat network is a distribution system of insulated pipes that takes heat from a central, renewable source, such as large-scale heat pumps or waste heat recovered from industry, and delivers it to a number of domestic or non-domestic buildings in order cut down on bills and emissions.
The funding announced today, which is being distributed through the government’s £320m Heat Networks Investment Project, includes £27.8m for two separate heat networks by Haringey Borough Council planned in North London, one in Tottenham Hale and the other in Wood Green.
Collectively, the two Haringey heat networks are expected to supply heat to almost 10,000 homes once completed, harnessing waste heat piped over from the Edmonton Eco Park waste-to-energy plant.
In addition, Vital Energi has been awarded £16.9m to develop a heat network that uses waste heat from the Rookery South energy from waste plant near Stewartby in Bedfordshire, which could eventually provide low carbon heating for up to 12,000 homes and domestic buildings.
And Thamesway Energy has secured over £9.4m to deliver a major expansion to an existing heat network that supplies public sector, commercial and residential customers in Woking town centre. The investment in new infrastructure at the site is expected to enable up to another 3,450 new homes to be supplied with low carbon heating in the areas, the government said.
Announced separately, a smaller project in the Bedminster area of Bristol has also won £1.7m funding from the program for the city council to develop a new heat network utilizing a large heat pump system, either harnessing heat from a nearby sewer system, or from ground or air sources.
Kieran Sinclair, heat policy manager at the Association for Decentralised Energy (ADE), welcomes today’s funding announcement.
“These projects represent thousands of homes and businesses that have moved from high carbon heating to the low carbon heat networks that will heat the UK for the decades to come,” he said. “This is the tip of the iceberg for the UK’s heat networks and is vital to protecting UK consumers from high prices.”