Community heating metering and billing specialist Switch2 has welcomed the government announcement of more than £300 million of funding for up to 200 UK heat networks.
The announcement was made as part of the Autumn Statement, delivered by the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne on 25 November 2015.
The Chancellor stated that the 200 heat networks will “generate enough heat to support the equivalent of over 400,000 homes and leverage up to £2 billion of private capital investment.”
Commenting on the announcement, Kirsty Lambert, Director of Switch2 said: “This funding will enable more residents and businesses to benefit from reliable, affordable, lower carbon heat supplies. District and community heating is one of lowest cost methods of decarbonising energy supplies in towns and cities, where the heat that is normally wasted in conventional power generation is captured and used. The smart metering that Switch2 supplies is key to making resources go further and maximising capacity.”
Tim Rotheray, Director of the Association for Decentralised Energy (ADE), said: ” Heat network infrastructure creates stronger local economies, controls energy bills, and improves the productivity of our energy system, while meeting our decarbonisation targets at least cost. The money for heat network infrastructure represents a milestone in the development of a long-term strategic framework for heat.”
He continued: “There are currently 180 potential heat network investments in cities and towns across the country, with a potential investment value of £2 billion. 15 of those networks are ready for investment now.”
Switch2 provides metering, billing and prepayment services to more than 50,000 homes across 400 community and district heating schemes. Its award winning G6 meter is transforming energy prepayment – enabling residents to monitor consumption while introducing a convenient and fair system of billing. The technology is being used by Sheffield City Council across 6,000 homes and is predicted to cut annual heating bills by £1.4 million.
Other customers include Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing, Wakefield District Housing, and Notting Hill Housing, as well as numerous other local authorities, registered social landlords and public and private sector organisations.
Switch2 is a member of the independent steering committee that has founded the Heat Trust and has been involved in developing The Code of Practice for Heat Networks, which will both raise industry standards and promote best practice.