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£320m Heat Networks Investment Project for England & Wales

A major government fund to help encourage the wider use of heating networks for domestic and public buildings has opened to applications for a fourth round.

Delivering on its commitment to tackle energy costs using innovative, low carbon solutions, the government has created an initiative for homes and non-domestic consumers, including schools, hospitals and council buildings, to participate in a heat networks scheme.

Heat networks supply energy from a central source to consumers, via a network of underground pipes carrying hot water. They can cover a large area or even an entire city, or be relatively local, supplying a small cluster of buildings. This avoids the need for individual boilers or electric heaters in every building.

The Heat Networks Investment Project (HNIP) is investing capital funding in heat networks, through grants and loans. This is provided as ‘gap funding’ to grow the UK heat networks market and deliver the carbon savings required to meet the nation’s future carbon reduction commitments.

The programme has an overall investment pot of £320 million, to be awarded through grants of up to £5 million and corporate loans of between £25,000 and £10 million.

Investment costs eligible for support under the HNIP scheme include:

  • The building of new heat networks (generation, distribution and customer supply).
  • Development of existing heat networks including expansions, refurbishment or the interconnection of existing networks where additional carbon savings can be demonstrated (which can include refinancing or acquisitions).
  • Commercialisation phase and construction costs.
  • Works to access recoverable heat.
  • Costs for heat network infrastructure connected to the generation plant.

HNIP will offer grants and capital loans to both the public and private sectors in England and Wales, for networks serving two or more buildings. All HNIP funding mechanisms will be open to all applicant types – public, private and third sector, except Central Government Departments. Supported heat networks must be located in England and/or Wales.

Round 4 is now open to applications. The Pre-application deadline is Wednesday 4 December 2019, and the Full application deadline is Friday 3 January 2020.

Full details…

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