UK heat networks consumers pay less for heat

In January 2018, the Association for Decentralised Energy, ADE, released a new report on the UK heat networks market. The report gives the reader an update on the number of existing schemes, a segmentation of customers and operators, and shares new insights on the public’s attitude towards heat networks.


A fast-growing pipeline

In the UK, almost half of the final energy consumption is used as heat, mainly used for space heating and water heating in domestic and commercial buildings. While the UK has made significant progress in bringing down its carbon emissions, challenges remain, in particular in the heat sector. Today, heat networks provide about 2% of the overall UK heat demand. Government’s research suggests that 14-20% of the demand could be cost-effectively supplied by heat networks by 2030.

Today, 81 heat network projects are in the pipeline under the Government’s Heat Network Development Unit, HNDU, and are currently seeking investment. The projects are at different stages of development, from initial heat mapping through to commercialisation. The industry is growing at a rapid pace, and over the period of January to October 2017, there were about £260 million worth of public contracts spent on heat networks. While heat networks are not suited to all buildings, the ADE’s report suggests that about 50% of all buildings in the UK are in areas of a suitable density for heat networks.

Lower energy bills with heat networks

It is stated in the report that heat networks is a relatively unknown infrastructure, but that consumer satisfaction is high or equal to that of any other utility. On a very positive note, heat networks consumers paid, on average, £100 less annually for their heat than non-heat network consumers using conventional gas boilers.

The Association for Decentralised Energy, the ADE, is a strong advocate and supporter for heat networks and continuously monitor the development of the market. The new report’s findings are based on a survey of heat network operators (i.e. ESCOs, housing associations, local authorities) conducted in 2017 combined with previous research. Please download the full report here.

Sweden is at the forefront of decentralised heat networks technology. Our aim for “Heat Networks – Sustainability by Sweden” is to facilitate knowledge sharing between British and Swedish stakeholders and develop and encourage environmental and economic best practice.
To find out how we can help you and your organisation, please contact our London-based “Heat Networks” team. We can introduce you to leading consultants, suppliers of technology and services who will be pleased to share know-how of the development of heat network solutions.

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