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The Heat Network Efficiency Scheme (HNES) – One Year On

8th Feb, 2024

The Government’s Heat Network Efficiency Scheme (HNES) opened to its first applicants in February 2023. As the scheme celebrates its one-year anniversary, we take a look back at the big HNES achievements so far and anticipate the potential benefits still to be realised by thousands more residents, businesses, hospitals, schools, universities and charities in the scheme’s second year.

HNES, part of the Heat Network Transformation Programme, is designed to support public, private and third sector applicants in England and Wales to improve the infrastructure and efficiency levels of suboptimal heat networks. The scheme runs alongside government plans to expand and support the creation of new low carbon heat networks as they scale up to provide a significant proportion of the nation’s heating demand on the road to Net Zero.

With a vast number of customers already connected to older heat networks across the country, HNES helps to ensure that existing connections can get the best possible deal on their heating provision, improve the efficiency of suboptimal networks, and reduce energy bills and carbon emissions.

What has been achieved so far?

Since its inception, HNES has provided over £25 million of both capital grants and funding for optimisation studies to 73 housing associations, local authorities, NHS Trusts, schools, universities, charities, and other private sector organisations, supporting improvements to 137 heat networks.

Funding has unlocked improvements for over 27,000 residents and produced carbon savings of over 97,000 tonnes of CO2 per year across 40 years. This is the equivalent of the lifetime emissions of 100,800 diesel powered vehicles.

Public and private sector organisations, including social housing, hospitals, council buildings, local schools and businesses will see not just cost savings on their more efficient heating systems, but also greater comfort levels and a healthier environment – all while reducing their impact on the world around us.

What’s next?

As a testament to the impressive achievements made by HNES and the ongoing importance of maintaining existing heat network infrastructure, the Government provided HNES with a £45 million funding boost at the end of 2023. As a result, the scheme will continue to support hundreds more heat networks across England and Wales to futureproof their heating systems in the coming years.

If you’re a public, private or third sector heat network owner and want to explore the potential to improve energy efficiency levels and building comfort for customers, click here or contact the HNES team to request an application pack.
Round 6 closes on Friday 22nd March. Want to find out more? Sign up to attend our next application seminar for Round 6 applicants, providing an overview of the scheme and what we expect from an application.

Authors

Louise Singleton

Principal Consultant – Low Carbon

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