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Popular Heat Network Efficiency Scheme Demonstrator announces its first funding awards

20th Jan, 2022

Gemserv is delighted to announce that funding has been awarded to 39 capital funded projects via the Heat Network Efficiency Scheme (HNES) Demonstrator.  

The HNES Demonstrator has proven very popular since it opened for applications in October 2021 as part of the Government’s plans to support performance uplifts to existing heat network and communal heating schemes.  

All projects have successfully been awarded funding despite the scheme being significantly oversubscribed.  

The diverse range of projects can now further progress their ambitions to drive short-term and sustained efficiency savings in fuel consumption and carbon emissions by implementing and installing low carbon technologies.  

The HNES Demonstrator seeks to build the capital funding pipeline for a future multi-year HNES scheme, subject to further funding. This will help to further support performance uplifts to heat network or communal heating projects in support of ambitions for a net zero economy.  

Heat networks have been identified by the Government as essential to delivering clean and cost-effective decarbonisation on the road to net zero and have the potential to deliver around a fifth of low carbon heat demand by 2050. HNES forms a key part of plans to develop and grow the market and address some of the challenges related to heat decarbonisation. 

Dr. David Hiller, HNES Project Director said: 

 “I am extremely pleased to announce that all 39 capital projects have been funded. There is clearly an appetite amongst industry to improve heat networks or communal heating to help contribute to the net zero target by 2050. Gemserv is proud to be delivering the scheme, and we are delighted that BEIS have secured funding for all of the capital projects that applied.” 

Awarded projects

Successful projects are based throughout England and vary in nature. Some examples of how they differ are highlighted below.

National Trust

The National Trust has secured funding to reduce fuel consumption and carbon emissions at its Lyme Park site, on the edge of the Peak District.

Stockport Homes Group

The Stockport Homes Group has secured funding to install new equipment to improve its Lancashire Hill estate heat network, which will improve system performance, efficiencies and aim to reduce costs for the estate’s residents.

Bunhill Heat and Power Network  

Located in Islington, London, the Bunhill Heat and Power Network uses waste heat recovered from the London Underground network, providing low carbon heat to local homes, schools and leisure centres. The innovative network is owned and operated by Islington Council and forms a crucial part of their net zero carbon strategy, by lowering cost and providing cleaner heat to the area. Funding secured will optimise the network performance to benefit Islington Council’s residents. 

The “Movement”

The Movement is a Greenwich development connecting buildings with various uses, via a district heating network. It serves 181 residential units, student accommodation, nursery, health club, offices and a hotel and provides a vital service to a wide range of customers. The project will be overseen by Vital Energi, and will improve the system efficiency, reduce operating temperatures and overheating in some common areas. 

Gemserv will soon announce those that have been successful in securing revenue project funding. 

Media contact

For all media enquiries please contact:

Notes to editors:

The HNES Demonstrator is being delivered by Gemserv and supported by Ramboll, and opened for applications by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) in October 2021.   

The Heat Network Efficiency Scheme (HNES) Demonstrator is a £4.175 million grant scheme for the 2021 to 2022 financial year. It will support performance uplifts to existing heat network or communal heating projects where outcomes for customers and operators are sub-optimal.  

Find out more about the Heat Network Efficiency Scheme and read the scheme guidance: 

Heat Network Efficiency Scheme Demonstrator – GOV.UK (  

About Gemserv:  

Gemserv is a purpose-driven professional services company, dedicated to enabling sustainable and ethical business practices that tackle today’s social and environmental challenges. Working across multiple major sectors of the economy including energy, low-carbon, the public sector, cyber security, digital transformation and health, the Gemserv business provides consultancy and outsourcing capabilities to transform critical services. From safeguarding data and personal information to improving access to information and services, the business helps organisations harness the power of digital transformation through expert industry consultancy.

Gemserv is a registered carbon neutral company in accordance with the Carbon Neutral protocol.

About Ramboll: 

Ramboll is a multi-disciplinary consultancy working to create a sustainable society where improved quality of life and economic growth is enabled by innovative and durable solutions to the most pressing needs, challenges and concerns for business, public institutions, and people. The Ramboll team will lead on application assessment, providing a team with decades of experience working with district heating projects across the globe. Ramboll specialises in optimising existing heat networks and has specific technical assessment experience that will be applied to HNES. This includes extensive global experience in heat networks, encompassing initial opportunity identification, feasibility assessment, business case development and project specification, procurement, and commissioning. 


Fiona Chestnutt

Senior Consultant

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