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Scotland’s heat network initiative

Words: Roger Milne

Scotland is set to be the first country in the UK to legislate on the development of heat networks to help meet climate change targets and tackle fuel poverty.

The Heat Networks (Scotland) Bill, just published, will introduce regulation and a licensing system for district and communal heating to accelerate use of the networks across Scotland.

District or communal networks deliver heat from a central source through insulated pipes to local homes and other buildings, and have the potential to reduce or remove emissions from heating commercial, public buildings and homes right across Scotland.

The heat come from sources as diverse as power plants, energy-from-waste projects, rivers and sewers to buildings through a network of underground pipes.

The introduction of  so-called Heat Network Consents and Heat Network Zone Permits will enable new heat networks to be thoroughly scrutinised before being approved.

Energy minister Paul Wheelhouse explained that there were currently more than 800 networks across the country.

He said: “The benefits of heat networks are not only environmental; they can save space, remove combustion risk within buildings, and have been shown to save householders and businesses up to 36 per cent in fuel costs, with consequent benefits for tackling fuel poverty and reducing costs faced by businesses and public bodies.”

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