Government confirms heat network zones

Standard approach to be developed following heat network proposals

In its response to the consultation on proposals for heat networks zoning, the government has said it will develop a standardised methodology to identify potential heat network zones.

Local councils will have the power to act as, or appoint, a zoning coordinator, who will determine the delivery model for the heat network in their zone.

A national mapping exercise, led by a central authority, will identify and prioritise areas where a heat network zone could be situated. Specific buildings or groups of buildings within a zone will be given a prescribed timeframe in which to connect to a heat network. A minimum carbon standard will also be introduced for new networks – and new connections of existing heat networks – in zones.

Ofgem has been appointed as regulator of the sector . A stakeholder scrutiny board will also be formed to advise on how to design and implement a cost-effective regulatory framework.

A pilot programme was launched in February, with 28 towns and cities in England testing the methodology for identifying heat network zones.