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DECC grant will stimulate innovation in heat networks arena

ZERO, a renewable energy company based in Exeter, is celebrating after being told it would receive a substantial pot of government funding to invest in promoting the uptake of heat networks in the UK.

The £378,780 development grant takes ZERO through to Phase 2 of the 'Heat Network Small Business Research Initiative Competition', which was launched by the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC). The competition's main objective was to identify innovation to help deliver the Government's ambitions for heat network development to cost-effectively meet 43% of the UK's heat demand by 2050.

A report by the Committee on Climate Change agreed with DECC that heat networks can play an important part in the overall plan for lower carbon heating in the decades ahead. There are currently approximately 2,000 heat networks in the UK, supplying heat to 210,000 dwellings and 1,700 commercial and public buildings. A further 150 schemes are known to be under development by local authorities across the UK. ZERO hopes to dramatically improve these statistics.

ZERO’s managing director Finian Parrick said: 'This is brilliant news, as it means our development team can move forward with our project to encourage the use of heat networks and to help drive down energy bills and boost low carbon heat supplies in the UK. We are passionate about advancing low carbon heating technologies and this grant will help us to do exactly that.'

The competition primary aim was to support innovation and progress in the heat industry so more homes across the UK can be heated for less, while at the same time improving energy efficiency and cutting the UK's carbon emissions.

ZERO has been working in close collaboration with another Exeter firm, Granted, which specialises in providing bespoke grant funding advice to private, public and not-for-profit sectors.

Mr Parrick continued: 'We are very grateful for the support of Granted through this whole process, without whom we would never have had the time, capability or resources to achieve this. We have been working with Granted for the last five years and their support and expertise in writing informed, intelligent grant applications is worth its weight in gold.

'Reaching Phase 1 provided ZERO with vital funding to demonstrate the feasibility of our proposed project, while Phase 2 will involve demonstrating the technologies selected from Phase 1 on existing heat networks or those due for construction by the end of 2015.'

29 June 2015

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