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Over £3 million awarded to upgrade heat networks across Britain

13th Nov, 2023

Millions of pounds of investment is being provided to social housing, local authorities, and private housing organisations to improve and optimise heat networks across the country, helping residents to keep warm at lower prices.

Through the Heat Network Efficiency Scheme (HNES), £3.12 million will be provided to 54 heat networks. The funding will help keep over 7,000 residents warm and comfortable throughout the year whilst also saving them money on their energy bills.

HNES, funded by the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ), provides funding to heat network owners and operators in all sectors looking to improve the efficiency of their underperforming heat networks.

Over £17 million has now been announced from the scheme and this funding will help to facilitate improvements and vital optimisation studies for a range of different public, private and third sector providers.

Capital grant funding is provided to aid performance improvement works whilst revenue grant funding is available for studies to determine opportunities for efficiency enhancements.

These improvements include various initiatives, such as pipework replacement, installation of new metering equipment, and other essential infrastructure upgrades.

The heat network improvements and optimisations made possible by this funding will result in a reduction of over 5,000 t/CO2 reductions over the next 40 years.

Lord Callanan, Minister for Energy Efficiency and Green Finance, has welcomed today’s HNES funding announcement:

We want to ensure customers can access all the benefits heat networks have to offer, with regular, reliable heating and hot water.

Today’s funding will see old and inefficient heat networks get the changes needed to prevent breakdowns and use less energy, keeping customers warm and saving them money on their energy bills.

Louise Singleton, Principal Consultant at Gemserv, added:

Today marks a significant milestone for HNES as over £17 million has now been allocated to elevate heat networks across England and Wales. The announcement of over £3 million in funding represents a major step towards enhancing heating infrastructure, benefitting 7,200 residents.

As the dedicated delivery partner, we’re proud to provide essential funding to optimise existing heat networks, resulting in substantial consumer savings and contributing to the UK’s net-zero goals.

It is inspiring to see such enthusiasm for the scheme from both the public and private sectors as they leverage this opportunity. Gemserv is delighted to be part of this journey.”


Capital Grant Funding

Capital grant funding will go directly towards covering the cost of operational works to improve the efficiency of existing heat networks. In this round, over £2.48 million will directly improve the efficiencies of heat networks serving 1,967 residents.

Health and Education Organisations

Hull University Teaching Hospital NHS Trust
The Hull based NHS Trust has been awarded £251,381 to improve two heat networks serving Castle Hill Hospital and Hull Royal Infirmary. At Castle Hill Hospital, the funding will go towards upgrading the pre-1987 built heat network, including adding in controls for greater monitoring and management, replacing and installing improved insulation and installing additional meters.

At Hull Royal Infirmary, the even older 1973 built network also needs upgrading to improve the control system, replace the insulation, and install similar infrastructure in line with plans at Castle Hill Hospital.

University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD)
The University of Wales has been awarded a total of £11,890 to renovate a heat network built in 1989. Funding will go towards replacing the water heater, flue, and mains water pumps.

Local Authorities

Gateshead Council
Gateshead Council has been awarded £752,954 in capital grants to improve a heat network serving the East Street Flats. Funding provided to the 50-year-old network will address poorly insulated pipework, overheating issues, lack of return temperature controls and introduce heat metering to flats to give residents greater control.

London Borough of Brent
The London Borough of Brent will receive £408,745 to improve the efficiency levels of a heat network serving four existing blocks in Granville Homes, in the South Kilburn Estate Regeneration Area. The current heating system has a lack of controls resulting in high running speeds all year round, excessive electricity consumption and high running costs, alongside excess heat losses, service interruptions and high flow temperatures. Funding provided by HNES will seek to remedy these issues, closing bypasses, reducing return temperatures and upgrading the network’s infrastructure to provide for more efficient heating provision and readiness to connect to a low carbon wider heat network.

Southampton City Council
Southampton City Council has been awarded £468,191 to improve the efficiency and reliability of the Holyrood Estate District Heating Scheme. The Heat Interface Units (HIUs) that are currently being used at the Holyrood Estate are old and difficult to maintain, resulting in uncontrolled heat losses. Today’s funding will go towards upgrading the heat network’s pipework and heat exchangers, replacing the old HIUs for more efficient equipment. This will allow the network to operate at lower and more efficient temperatures, reducing the natural gas needed to operate the network and provide heat to homes across the Holyrood Estate.

Private Sector

Bristol Heat Networks Limited, owned and operated by Vattenfall
Vattenfall’s Bristol Heat Networks has been awarded £57,042 for the Redcliffe Heat Network. Funding from HNES will seek to improve the ability to link the two energy centres to optimise the way they adapt to changing demands, replacing the control system and updating the asset dispatch control strategy.

Citigen (London) Ltd
Citigen has been awarded £495,463 for the Citigen Heat Network in London. Issues include high network return temperatures, inefficient substation, and flow control difficulties. HNES funding will seek to resolve these issues, replacing old heat exchangers with correctly designed equipment, the installation of a pressure-independent control valve to manage return temperatures, and upgrading the existing BMS control strategy.

Veolia ES Sheffield Ltd
Veolia ES Sheffield Limited has been awarded £37,000 to improve the Sheffield District Energy Network. Funding from HNES will further their position as a strategic city-scale network, enabling future larger scale performance improvements and decarbonisation.

Revenue Grant Funding

Projects across England and Wales have also been awarded over £645,000 worth of funding for optimisation studies to review the performance of their heat networks, identifying areas of improvement to ensure high performance and maximum efficiency. This funding will contribute to improving the efficiency levels of heat networks serving 5,250 residents. The following heat networks have been awarded revenue grant funding for optimisation studies:

Health and Education Providers

The University of Plymouth, for the Davy Heat Network to review performance levels.

University Hospitals Birmingham HNS Foundation Trust, for the Solihull Hospital heating network, to identify improvement measures for the system serving the main hospital and other connected buildings.

University Hospital of Leicester NHS Trust, for the Glenfield Hospital, Leicester Royal Infirmary, and the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust heat networks, identifying measures to improve control systems.

Royal Agricultural University, for the Royal Agricultural Heat Network, serving 58 residents.

Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, for the Birmingham Community Healthcare heat network, serving 150 residents.

The University of Leicester, for the Rocklands/Glebe Court and Southmeade Court heat networks, serving 370 residents.

The University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD), for the Library Main Boiler Network.

Housing Associations and Social Housing Providers

Anchor Hanover Group, for the Birch Court, Hurst Place and Jubilee Lodge heat networks.

Beyond Housing Limited, for a Regent House heat network optimisation study.

First Choice Homes Oldham Limited, for the Eldon Street and Littlemoor House heat networks.

The Hyde Group, for the Prospect, Hicks & Eyot heat networks.

SNG (Sovereign Network Group), for the Archer Tower, Bircherley Court, Peppermint Heights, and Rainbow House heat networks serving 322 residents.

Notting Hill Genesis, for the City Park West and Clive Lloyd House heat networks.

The Guinness Partnership, for the Cooper House heat network.

Wandle Housing Association Limited, for the Clarson House, Finch House, Margaret House, and French House heat networks.

Local Authorities

City of York Council, for the Glen Lodge communal heating system.

Rotherham Council, for the Mansfield Road/Florence Avenue Boiler House, Swinton Fitzwilliam Boiler House, The Grange, and Vine Close heat networks.

Private Sector

Anthology (Wembley Parade) Management Company Limited, managed by Rendall and Rittner, for the Wembley Parade heat network.

Anthology (Hoxton) Residents Management Company Limited, managed by Rendall and Rittner, for the Hoxton Press heat network.

Anthology (Deptford Foundry) Residents Management Company Ltd, managed by Rendall and Rittner, for the Deptford Foundry heat network.

Birmingham District Energy Company, for the Birmingham District Energy Scheme.

FirstPort Group Ltd, for the Victory Pier heat network.

Homestead Consultancy Services Ltd, for the Seven Rivers heat network.

Janeteva Limited, for the Raeburn House heat network in Cambridge.

Streatham Hill Management Company, for the Gaumont Place heat network.

Southampton Geothermal Heating Company, for the Southampton District Energy Scheme.

Urang Property Management Limited, for the Kennington Park Square and Prichard House heat network.

Authors