We’ve been awarded over £3.6 million to improve the efficiency of heat networks that serve more than 800 of our residents.
The Heat Network Efficiency Scheme (HNES) provides funding to public, private and third sector applicants in England and Wales to support improvements to existing district heating or communal heating projects that are operating sub-optimally and resulting in poor outcomes for customers and operators. It’s a £32 million grant support programme spanning 2023-2024 (year one) and 2024-2025 (year two).
We successfully bid, in round one of the application process, for capital funding for four sites - Glyn Street (Muscovy and Dexter House), Windmill Park (Meadows), St Pancras Way and Factory Quarter. The bids set out exactly what work we intended to carry out at each site based on previous performance issues and optimisation reports that our heat consultants, Fairheat, were commissioned to produce.
Under the scheme rules the capital money awarded will cover 49.9% of the work we are doing, we will make up the rest ourselves.
We will mainly be using the money for heat interface unit (HIU) retrofits and heat plant pump and pipework modifications, but each site has its own specific specification for the work that needs to take place. All of the work will improve reliability and efficiency of the heat networks and reduce carbon emissions, bringing savings in bills to our residents and a more reliable heating and hot water system in their home. The work should go some way to helping us achieve the vision set out in our Better Together corporate strategy and deliver on our strategic priorities of delivering improvements to our homes within the existing budget and ensuring our residents have a safe, warm, comfortable home.
Group director of assets and sustainability, Matthew Cornwall-Jones said:
“We know the heating and hot water systems at some of our estates have not met the standards of efficiency either we nor our residents expect, and this funding will be vital in progressing the upgrades and changes we need to create a system that households can have faith in.
“We look forward to seeing this programme make tangible improvements for hundreds of households in the coming years and will keep our residents up-to-date with these projects every step of the way.”
Work has already started at St Pancras Way, Glyn Street and Windmill Park as we had already prepared the design and scope of the work and procured contractors prior to bidding. We’ve been keeping residents up to date with what is happening on their estate as we go. We are currently working on recruiting the contractor to carry out the work at Factory Quarter, which we hope will start in January 2024.
In addition to the capital funding, we also received revenue funding as part of the £3.6 million award. This will cover 100% of the cost of producing more optimisation reports at Stoke Quay and Reservoir and Watersreach to see what improvement work could take place, benefiting the 479 residents who live there.