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.