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The Government is making funding available for heat network optimisations that could help reduce heat bills to residents.

Public and private operators managing existing district heat networks or communal heating systems can apply for funding for optimisation and improvements works associated with their heat network. The government has launched the Heat Network Efficiency Scheme (HNES), a £4.175m grant scheme. Applicants can apply for either revenue grant funding (costs to carry out optimisation studies) or capital grant funding (delivery or installation of improvement measures).

While it may seem that the government has been focusing on developing projects to fund new schemes, there is still a need to support existing heat networks, which seems to have been recognised. Eligible works will cover the energy centre/plant room, primary and secondary distribution networks, as well as tertiary networks. There are no restrictions on the type of existing primary heat generation plant of the heat network. Funding for replacement of the primary plant is not eligible.

Applications close at 23:59pm on 31 October 2021 and the deadline for funding draw down is 31st March 2022. However, there may be opportunity to apply in the future as BEIS intends to launch a multi-year HNES Main Scheme in 2022/23, subject to further funding.