Local authorities publish heat network plans

As part of proposals published last month to improve the energy efficiency of Scotland’s homes, the Scottish Government is planning to require all homes in Scotland to be heated by a “clean heating system” like a heat pump, heat network or electric storage heaters by 2045. For further information on the new energy efficiency proposals see here.

To support the clean heating system proposal the government placed an obligation on all local authorities to publish a “local heat and energy efficiency strategy” by the end of 2023 setting out potential zones for the deployment of heat networks. Properties located in a heat network zone could in the future be offered a connection to the network which would supply hot water for heating and washing through a network of underground pipes, doing away with the need for heating appliances like boilers within the home. The heat can be generated in different ways, including through heat pumps that draw thermal energy from a local river, or from the recovery of excess heat from local businesses like distilleries.

Once heat network zones have been agreed, suppliers will be awarded permits giving them the exclusive right to design, build, finance, operate, and maintain heat networks in each zone. An example of where a heat network is already in the process of being introduced at the Granton Waterfront area of Edinburgh where heat will be generated by a heat pump drawing thermal energy from the sewage network to heat around 3,000 homes.

Members may be interested in consulting their local authority strategy document to see if their properties are in an area which has been deemed as having potential for a heat network. Strategy documents for Edinburgh and Glasgow can be found using the links below. For other local authority areas do an internet search for “Local heat and energy efficiency strategy” followed by the name of the local authority.

Glasgow – potential zones are detailed on pages 88-97 and 191-202

Edinburgh – potential zones are detailed on pages 64-97 of the delivery plan document

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