The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy issued a call for evidence on 30 September 2020 to help shape a forthcoming consultation on the design of a new Green Heat Networks Fund, which is proposed to be available from April 2022.
Heat is responsible for around a third of UK greenhouse gas emissions, and decarbonising heat is a key requirement to meet the government's net zero ambitions. Growth in the heat networks sector based on low-carbon energy sources will be an important way to achieve this.
In our response, the CLA calls for the Green Heat Network Fund (GHNF) to be designed to provide support to small rural heat networks of a few properties as well as large networks serving thousands of properties in cities. Rural areas are off mains gas and oil heat dominated, and therefore offer much in the way of potential decarbonisation of heat by replacing oil boilers with low carbon heat networks using biomass and heat pumps. There are many clusters of rural properties across the countryside where the heat networks model could be usefully deployed, which would help rural areas to play their part in reaching our collective net zero ambitions.