Regulation, finance and monitoring critical to success of district heating schemes
Wider regulation, more technical and financial support and better monitoring systems are priority requirements for promoting district heating in the social housing sector, according to a new research report.
Published by environmental charity Changeworks, District heating: Delivering affordable and sustainable energy explores the experiences of UK Social Housing Providers (SHPs), such as local authorities and housing associations, in developing, delivering and operating district, communal and community heating (DCCH). The experiences of householders living with district heating were also investigated. The research, funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) and carried out by Changeworks in partnership with the Centre for Sustainable Energy, investigates how schemes deliver on their affordability and sustainability promises to inform policy, current and future practice. Research findings are relevant as district heating is being strongly promoted by the Scottish and UK governments as an important way to decarbonise heat while tackling fuel poverty.
Teresa Bray, Changeworks chief executive, said: “This research recognises the potential for district heating, yet doesn’t shy away from exploring why the potential is not always achieved. The ability for schemes to deliver on promises of affordability and sustainability are reliant on a complex range of factors. Two areas which need to be addressed are the lack of both detailed monitoring and consumer protection due to an unregulated heat supply.”
Summary of research findings: