Last reviewed 24 September 2013

A £6 million grant funding programme has been launched to help local authorities (LAs) in England and Wales to develop new heating and cooling networks, and expand existing networks.

The Government said: “To win a share of the funding, LAs must bring forward ambitious and innovative proposals to develop and deliver heat networks that, as much as possible, draw their heat energy from renewable, sustainable or recoverable sources.

“This could include any system in which heat is generated off-site by renewable or recovered sources such as waste heat from industry, energy from waste plants and biomass combined heat and power. Many university campuses, new mixed commercial and residential developments and high rise flats draw their heat from these systems.”

Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said: “Increasing the use of low-carbon heating in our buildings is helping to reduce our dependency on costly, imported oil and gas.

“Thanks to the Coalition Government’s support, many UK buildings have already made the switch from traditional fuels to low-carbon heat sources. This new grant funding programme builds on these successes by helping local authorities develop more commercially viable low carbon heat networks.”

The bidding process to apply for grant funding started on 20 September and will continue for 18 months through a series of six bidding rounds. The Government said bids will be assessed against transparent and robust criteria, including the potential for commercial development, contribution towards low-carbon and energy reduction objectives, compatibility with wider low-carbon and growth agendas and “a demonstrable commitment to robust project management and governance”.

For further information, see www.gov.uk.