Tens of thousands of UK homes, businesses and public buildings are one step closer to benefitting from greener, cleaner energy thanks to £44m of government funding announced today.
Today’s funding package addresses the urgent need to reduce the carbon footprint of heating homes and workspaces which makes up almost a third of all UK carbon emissions.
Of the £44m funding announced today, £30m will fund 3 innovative heat network projects providing low carbon energy in south-east London, Manchester and Cambridgeshire, whilst helping to bring down energy bills.
A heat network is a distribution system of insulated pipes that takes heat from a central source, such as a combined heat and power plant or heat recovered from industry and delivers it to a number of domestic or non-domestic buildings. They are a proven, cost-effective way of providing reliable low carbon heat at a fair price to consumers.
More than £12 million of funding to develop one of the UK’s largest heat networks in the London Borough of Bexley that will supply low carbon heat to 21,000 homes. Heat for the network will be drawn centrally from the processing of non-recyclable waste, a low carbon alternative to individual gas boilers. The project is part of plans by energy company Vattenfall to deliver low carbon heating to 75,000 homes across the Thames Estuary over the next decade.
£14.7 million to develop a network across a zone of five square kilometres in Manchester’s city centre that will distribute low carbon electricity, heat and cooling to a range of buildings, including the local hospital, a mix of social and private housing, student accommodation blocks and commercial organisations such as the Heineken brewery. Heating will be powered by energy from solar panels and air source heat pumps.
£3.3 million for a first-of-its-kind community-led project in the Cambridgeshire village of Swaffham Prior, which will allow 300 properties to collectively transition from oil to low-carbon heating using a network of hybrid ground and air source heat pumps.
Minister for Climate Change Lord Callanan said: “Almost a third of all UK carbon emissions come from heating our homes and addressing this is a vital part of eradicating our contribution to climate change by 2050. Today’s funding package will accelerate the development of low-carbon technologies that will both reduce emissions, and ensure people’s homes are warmer, greener and cheaper to run. Securing a lasting move away from fossil fuels to heat our homes will allow thousands of households and businesses to feel the benefits of projects that are breaking new ground and making our villages, towns and cities cleaner places to live and work.”